The future is cashless – this is what our Wirecard experts regularly report on this blog. But as we also find other perspectives exciting, we have asked various eternal experts with different backgrounds for their insights, experiences and opinions about cashless as part of our "Cashless Think Tank" interview series.
We start with Jan van der Holst, Director Payments at Adidas Group.
Jan, from your perspective, what are the most important advantages of cashless payment?
To begin with, a big advantage is that you have less stuff to take with you. Most people never leave the house without their smartphone or their smartwatch anyway, so that’s all you need for payment.
In addition, cashless payments are more secure. You can’t lose your money and there are no mix-ups with small change. Think about it, for example depending on your settings, you can’t do anything with your phone without a PIN or biometric unlock.
And last but not least, cashless payment is better for the environment. Who still needs coins and banknotes, which, by the way, are increasingly produced with plastics such as polymer, have to be transported by heavy armored trucks, stored in high security distribution centers and require ATMs?
What are the most important trends that are helping cashless payments to become more prevalent worldwide?
Digitalization, which is changing a lot of things, is also changing payment habits – mobile devices play an increasingly important role and it will not be long before the majority of the younger generation will also use them for payments at POS. After all, they already use them heavily for online purchases.
Another important factor is the deep integration of the payment process into the shopping experience – e.g. the self-checkout in a brick-and-mortar shop: This is a fantastic way to avoid long lines at the checkout and therefore increases customer satisfaction.
"In 2030, people will pay with secure smart wearables, implanted chips or invisibly with trusted merchants" - Jan van der Holst (@JanvdHolst), Director Payments @adidas, in his #CashlessThinkTank interview on the #WirecardBlog
Peer-to-peer payment options are another strong reason why cashless is becoming more widespread worldwide. There is nothing easier than quickly splitting the bill with your smartphone between your friends or colleagues for the pizza you ordered.
How do you think cashless payments will be made in 2030?
People will pay in many ways: With secure smart wearables, based on strong authentication. Some might even have chips implanted that also support payments. Invisible payment will become more and more popular with trusted merchants. I also expect crypto currencies and SCTinst – which is instant payment based on the SEPA credit transfer – to a play a significant role.
And realistically, even in 11 years, some people will still want to pay with cash, but plastic cards might have disappeared.