In the final part of his interview with Marc Terry, Managing Director-International, Cardtronics, Ed Glass, Principal in the Technology & IT Services Executive Search Practice at Odgers Berndtson, looks to the future of cash globally.
After investigating the importance of cash and the impact of the digital payment revolution on consumer choice in the UK in the first part of this interview, Ed Glass looks at the wider payment picture. Marc Terry, the international leader of Cardtronics, the world’s largest ATM deployer, answers the questions.
Ed Glass (EG): How does the UK compare to other markets when it comes to cash and digital payments?
Marc Terry (MT): The UK, like many other developed economies, is seeing a reduction in cash transactions.
However, it is interesting to note that the amount of cash in circulation continues to grow ahead of GDP. This is not unique to the UK, and I believe it’s a reflection of the continued preference that individuals’ have for cash as a store of value, a convenient way to pay and as a reliable fall-back in the event of the failure of technology – whether this is because of a lack of mobile coverage, network outage, device loss/failure and so on.
Cash has been a constant in our lives for a long time and will continue to be so for the foreseeable future.
EG: Do you have concerns about cybersecurity and digital payments?
MT: We should all be vigilant when it comes to cybersecurity. There are many simple things we can do to keep our devices secure.
As our reliance on technology increases, so the rewards for cybercriminals increase.
It’s a simple game of economics for those in society who choose to act illegally. Crime will always follow the money and we all need to work hard to keep ahead of the cybercriminals.
EG: What do you think about the idea put forward by British MP Chukka Umunna to charge people 1p at self-checkout machines in order to raise money to promote social inclusion?
MT: Personally, I would be happy to participate, but I’m not convinced that this is the right mechanism to do achieve his objectives. The Pennies charity already uses a similar mechanism to collect charity donations and has done some fabulous work in delivering a simple way for consumers to donate to worthy causes. Another great example of how payments innovation can be a force for good.
EG: You have worked in the payments market for many years. How has the sector evolved and how do you see the landscape in five years’ time?
There has never been more focus on innovation in the payments market. This is an exciting time to be working in the industry and I think that the pace of innovation will accelerate even further, but I fear that the resulting fragmentation will see a great many useful innovations fail.
To date, our industry has been good at delivering broad-based propositions that consumers find easy to adopt.
The trick will be finding intuitive, ubiquitous solutions that add true value to the payment cycle.
Who knows where we will be in five years from now? One thing is certain though – cash will still have a significant role to play, and Cardtronics, as the world’s largest ATM deployer, will continue to play a central role, innovating around the cash value chain to ensure that cash remains a sustainable payment mechanism for as long as consumers want to retain it.
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