Were you one of the folks walking around CES with the same $20 in your pocket that you had when you first arrived in Vegas?Â Welcome to the cashless economy. Whether itâ€™s the new EMV credit cards, NFC enabled wearables, mobile wallets on your phone or new virtual currencies, the future is clearly cashless.
At CES 2016 we held the first Digital Money Forum to take a closer look at how the CE industry along with retailers, payment companies, financial institutions, regulatory agencies and new fintech startups can work together to make the transformation to a cashless, world wide economy a safe and robust one.
The Confluence Â of CE and Payments
Michael Casey, moderator of the Digital Money Forum, said it most eloquently: Â A confluence of paradigm-shifting innovations that includes the Internet of Things, wearables, peer-to-peer marketplaces, mobile computing and digital currencies mean that our experience with money and finance is poised to change drastically. That change will shake up a deeply ingrained system for exchanging, storing and accounting for value. And it will generate as many questions about the future as answers.Â
Companies like MasterCard (our sponsor) are quickly distancing themselves Â from the moniker of being a payments company, and becoming a giant as a technology company. Â Much of their momentum comes from understanding the ecosystem. Â Demonstrating a smorgasbord of case studies from paying in a restaurant, to paying with a piece of wearable jewelry, to buying groceries while peering at an empty fridge.
To Tap or To Swipe
The new EMV chips have made credit cards less susceptible to abuse, fraud and theft but wait thereâ€™s more. Look carefully at aggregated credit cards from companies like Coin, or at mobile wallets from players including Google, Samsung and Apple and see how transactions are changing. Â From vending machines, to securing a loan, from splitting the restaurant check to depositing the paycheck the process is being reinvented.
Those Millennials and their Money
Millennials expect their financial transactions to be on par with everything else in their digital lives: Â authentic, transparent and immediate. Â There disdain for traditional banking systems and their love of new tech startups is driving much of the payment change.
The Rise of the Bitcoin/BlockChain
Matthew Rosznak of Tally Capital quoted Victor Hugo â€œNothing can stop an idea whose time has comeâ€ when he predicted that 2016 would be the year of the first Bitcoin unicorn company and cited China as the place to look for the greatest BitCoin growth .