The global payments industry has come a long way since 1959 when American Express introduced the world to the first plastic card for electronic payments.
The key driver of the progress we’ve seen in recent years is mobile technology, which is changing the way people discover products and how they pay for them
The story so far
When the Internet first hit, people were reluctant to transact electronically. PayPal changed that by creating a robust way to pay for things online.
Now, everyone’s at it. The number of payment options available at PoS - both online and offline - is exploding, and we’re not just talking about Visa, PayPal and Apple Pay. We have also a seen a big rise in the adoption of P2P payments.
This trend has been driven by a new breed of startups. Here at Shieldpay we’re proud to be leading the charge. 2018 was a big year for us, with the launch of our secure P2P payments app, the first fully digital mortgage settlement, our Fraud Tracker and, to top it all, our exciting global partnership with Visa.
The tipping point
Other startups in our sector are forging ahead too. We’re reaching a tipping point when it comes to P2P payments. It might seem that consumer habits are hard to change, but once people see the benefits of adopting new technology, change can be rapid and wholesale.
Take Sweden, where cash transactions are, pretty much, a thing of the past. In fact, 6 out of 10 Swedes use ‘Swish’, a P2P money transfer app that’s largely replaced cash. And there’s also been explosive growth of mobile payments in China, which is now responsible for almost half the world’s digital payments through apps such as Alipay and WeChat. The same is true in Africa, where mobile continues to be the predominant method of payment.
Growth through collaboration
It’s clearly a time of rapid change and growth in the payments industry. Payments benefit from the strongest network effects of any sector and, in recent years, a new breed of providers have become proficient at acquiring users and analysing their data in order to drive adoption and retention.
In some regions, the industry has moved away from traditional checking accounts to multi-purpose “superapps”. Machine learning and AI are accelerating this trend, helping payment providers to consolidate and grow market share. In short, the world’s biggest payment providers have a formidable head start over challengers since they already have millions of users and petabytes of user data at their disposal.
So, how can the new breed of P2P payment providers hope to compete with the behemoths? We believe the answer lies in collaboration. By teaming up with leaders, innovative companies can leverage superior brand equity and data volumes in return for innovative ideas and new technology. This is exactly what Shieldpay is doing with Visa.
Our partnership enables secure card payments across marketplaces, opening up the use of debit and credit cards to the £120bn classified industry. In practice, this means consumers will no longer be restricted to risky cash payments or bank transfers, which let’s face it, is an absolute game-changer.
Here’s how it works. We’re giving Visa access to our instant digital escrow solution, which mitigates the risk of fraud by verifying the identity of all parties, holding funds securely and only releasing funds when all sides agree they are happy. Working with Visa’s CyberSource platform, we’re enabling new verticals to leverage secure P2P payments, where they’ve otherwise been tough in the past. The partnership also means our partners can use Visa Direct’s push payments service, enabling funds to be disbursed directly to a Visa card in real time in many European markets.
The new partnership opens up a host of possibilities for Shieldpay customers:
- You can now buy rare classic cars internationally with total confidence from sites like autoclassics.com, who are also a partner of ours.
- You can import unique items from all over the world, totally confident in the purchase. Great if you’re into shopping on Etsy!
- You can buy art from dealers safe in the knowledge you won’t be ripped off.
- You can rent accommodation for holidays and even at home.
For sellers this is also a huge opportunity. Local sellers can grow their expanding businesses internationally by offering a secure way to get paid. This is also great news for freelancers, who can now get paid to work anywhere in the world, accessing their funds instantly with fast payouts and a Shieldpay Visa card for use anywhere, anytime, in any country.
The road ahead
Mobile technology is changing payments quicker than anyone could have imagined in the 1950s. The P2P payments industry still has a long way to go but we are making great strides. In the coming year, the core objective for Shieldpay will be educating consumers about the benefits of P2P payments and our unique escrow offering.
By partnering with global leaders like Visa we can reach new audiences in a context they understand, pushing the entire P2P payments industry forward.
Shieldpay protects both buyer and seller in any transaction so that you can deal with anyone, anywhere with total confidence.
How do we do it? We verify the identity of both sides, funds are held securely in the Shieldpay vault and only released when both sides agree they’re happy. If anything doesn’t go to plan, we help out with any disputes!
Find out more about Shieldpay, or let us know your thoughts by leaving us a comment or chatting to us on Twitter, we'd love to hear from you!