Abdeslam Alaoui Smaili, CEO of HPS, identifies two key trends he has no doubt will have huge ramifications for the payments industry.

Payments is a dynamic sphere that is constantly changing. 2019 has been no different for the industry.

Taking stock of 2019

Underlining this year of transformation, in my opinion, have been two key themes: open innovation and instant payments.

Open business and innovation have been vital to the payments industry, and I expect this trend to continue long after the end of the year. It is a cornerstone of financial technology and particularly important to the payments sphere.

Our partnership with SIA in July this year is symbolic of the increasingly borderless methods of conducting business. We created a dedicated “Centre of Excellence” in Athens to support SIA in the development of all payments cards initiatives in Greece.

This initiative is emblematic of the open business era, highlighting a new way to conduct partnerships and shows how interconnected the relationship is between supplier, client and customer.

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Instant payments are and will continue to be, a major trend in the payments industry. The fight against cash has driven the adoption of instant, electronic payments. The fight is worldwide and happening now. We have seen instant payments take on characteristics of

cash e.g. immediate settlement – but what is more exciting for us at HPS, is the scope for innovation in fraud prevention, security and payment analytics.

The two key trends of 2020

As 2020 approaches I would highlight two key trends that will no doubt have huge ramifications for the payments industry: instant/invisible payments and the role of AI.

Artificial intelligence (AI)

AI increasingly underlines everything we do, not only at HPS but with our clients and partners too. There is huge potential for its application, and I think that 2020 will prove to be pivotal to its widespread implementation.

There are so many areas within our industry in which it can play a role; from customer relationship management to anti-fraud security measures. The capacity for machine learning and behaviour prediction could lead to significant increases in productivity and a reduction in the cost of business.

The future of AI is exceptionally exciting, and I believe in 2020 we will see its role come to the fore.

Instant/invisible payments

Instant and invisible payments are also trends that we have seen in recent years, but ones I expect to grow even more in 2020.

As Gen Z has matured around technological development in payments, there will be no turning back. I predict that Gen Z will soon not be able to imagine a payment that is not instant. Invisible payments, admittedly, is further behind but 2020 will see huge advances in this technology. As legacy financial companies grow less afraid of their fintech counterparts and begin to adopt new technology we will see huge advances in payment technology.

Finally, it would be remiss of me to fail to mention regulation. It plays an important role in defining the industry, and 2020 will be no exception. Regulation, in the end, aims to protect the consumer and as solution providers we are committed to meeting international regulatory and security standards.