When it comes to payment, I have to admit that I am the first person to want to rid myself of cash first and foremost, followed by credit cards. Give me an app that I open and pay with at the click of a button and I'm golden. Now, I bet a bunch of you could point me to ten different solutions that already allow me to do this today. I can probably also name ten off the top of my head. Unfortunately, that's the problem.
Even though we could technically leave cash and credit cards behind at this point with the available technology out there, we won't. I also don't believe that we will rid ourselves of these payment methods anytime soon. The world out there is too fractured in terms of transactions and systems in place to make a sweeping change short-term. Now don't get me wrong! I am convinced we will eventually only pay digitally and new forms of currency will emerge. Yet, the time to get there is more like ten years in my opinion.
The first thing that has to happen for digital payment to really take hold is that at least one or two standards need to be in place. I have to be able to pay with that app when getting gas, buying groceries, online, offline and so forth. I don't care to have five different apps for five different use cases. Further, this standard has to be accepted everywhere and not just here and there, forcing me to still carry cash and credit cards. Finally, I believe we will first see cash go (if) and a couple years later, credit cards. It won't happen at once and it's one of those changes which evolve as Bill Gates said:
We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next ten. Don't let yourself be lulled into inaction.
Hence I believe now is the time to be disrupting things in payments and FinTech in general but it will take time before we can say the world has been turned on its head when it comes to cash and credit cards. Those changes kicked off with PayPal back in the early naughts are just bearing fruit now and you probably won't be universally paying with your phone everywhere you go until 2020 or so. Just for the record, I hope I am totally wrong and it all comes sooner.