The Future of Payments: Notes from Money20/20

future-of-payments-map-lg.jpgDuring this year’s Money20/20—the world’s largest payments and financial services event—Discover® Financial Services CEO David Nelms participated in a panel discussion focused on the future of payments. During the discussion, Nelms spoke about the present payments landscape and the future; he touched on the trends, events and technologies impacting the industry and how they are shaping our tomorrow. Here are the highlights of how Discover stays nimble in the rapidly evolving payments ecosystem.

Improving Global Acceptance

One of the most prominent ways Discover has a global impact is by connecting local networks to Discover® Global Network. These partnerships provide country-by-country networks global reach. While the country partner handles the local acceptance, Discover Global Network provides their cardholders the global acceptance.

Through Discover Global Network, local networks like those in Brazil, China, Japan and South Korea gain the ability to have their cards accepted globally, not just locallykeeping in line with the Discover Global Network mission that extends across culture, innovation and acceptance.

Payments Innovation

As a company focused on a culture of innovation, Discover continually prioritizes new solutions that work toward securing, authenticating and adding value to transactions.

Current trends in payments innovation include making payments more secure. Historically, payments security revolved around preventing data theft. Now, there is also a focus on devaluing that data, and tokenization is one such method.

Tokenization is the process of substituting a cardholder’s 16-digit account number with a surrogate value called a payment token. Payment tokens limit the impact of a data breach because tokens are limited to use on specific devices, for specific merchants, for specific types of goods and services. If a data breach occurs, the payment token can be seamlessly removed and replaced with a new payment tokenhelping to keep the 16-digit account number uncompromised.

No matter the innovation, though, Nelms emphasized the importance of security working together with speed. That is to say, whether it be tokenization, blockchain or other technologies, there is opportunity to improve security without hindering the speed of payments or the customer experience. Reinforcing his point that security and speed must work together, Nelms referenced India’s latest move to placing its entire population onto biometric authentication. In this case, India reinvented how citizens are identified in an effort to build an all-in-one digital infrastructure with the goal to reduce oft-complicated systems. Though India’s move is not without controversy, it presents new ideas and experiences to learn from when it comes to security and speed.

Placing People First

“We put the customer experience first,” said Nelms.

Customer first” was a reoccurring theme for Nelms as he described how Discover works as a global company with global teams to solve global challenges within payments.

When recent hurricane catastrophes Harvey, Irma and Maria struck, for instance, Discover Card waived late fees and minimum payments to impacted cardholders. In the case of this year's hurricanes, Discover Card reached out to cardholders in affected areas.

“That speaks to the Discover culture,” said Nelms.

The essence of the culture, Discover is designed to put customers first. And whether the customer be the cardholder or a payments partner, Discover relentlessly pursues innovations that improve the customer experience and brings those innovations to market as quickly as possible. By prioritizing what brings value to the customerthe cardholders and payments partnersDiscover continues to grow.

The information provided herein is sponsored by Discover Global Network. It is intended for informational purposes based on independent research, and is not intended as a substitute for professional advice.

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