The payments environment is undergoing dramatic change, driven by the changing behavior of payment services users. While consumers have clearly expressed a desire for something more convenient than cash, the supply side has been seemingly unwilling to meet this demand. Financial institutions have failed to provide handier and more convenient alternatives to cash. Service providers should see this field as a blue ocean – a market space ripe for pioneering new payments initiatives.
The intense competition over incumbent payments services makes that market a red ocean – a market space crowded with many existing payments options. Would-be players need to create value propositions that can supplant existing payment methods if they wish to succeed. They need to develop ways that allow them to be more intimately intertwined with the activities of corporations and the lives of consumers . Indeed, the key to competition in financial services may lie outside the financial industry, coming from services and businesses that specialize in knowing the customer such as YouTube and Ritz-Carlton.
At Celent, we believe that new payments services for retail customers will be a watershed, replacing existing e-money and serving as a platform for information transfer and value transfer for a digital native generation. Next-generation transaction banking services for corporate customers will enable the overhaul of existing supply chains and the exercise of tighter control over corporate information and value transfer through digitizing and liberating contracts and settlement.
Celent sees great potential for significant innovation and a "payments revolution" from firms willing to challenge the status-quo despite the apparent immediate obstacles.