For most of us, it’s obvious that you don’t buy a house and then put in the plumbing. You expect the plumbing to be there when you put the key in the door the very first time.

That same logic increasingly applies to the way payments are viewed, according to Osama Bedier, CEO and founder of Poynt. 

“Payments have become plumbing,” Bedier said during the keynote address at PF WORLD 2019 earlier this month. “You can’t actually deliver a great commerce experience without payments already paving the way.”

Bedier quoted Theodore Levitt, who was one of the founders of modern marketing, as saying that “every major industry was once a growth industry.” According to Levitt’s theory, many industries stop growing when they stop defining their business by the needs they serve for customers, focusing instead on the good or service they produce.

The payments industry is at a transformational point where it is refocusing on its purpose – the needs of customers in the current market, Bedier said.

 “We’ve been at it for so long, we sometimes forget – what is the value we provide?” he said.

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The integration of payments into software is part of the industry’s transformation back into prioritizing the needs of customers. 

According to Bedier, the advent of ecommerce means that items for sale have become a “utility” – shoppers will buy goods online wherever they can get the cheapest price – reducing the means for retailers to make a profit on the goods they sale. This means that successful retailers will look to develop relationships with their customers by delivering better experiences.

“The more invisible payments are, the better the experience,” he said. “The best payment experience you’ve ever experienced is Uber – one that doesn’t exist.”

Bedier told the audience that, while U.S. payment facilitators handle $600 billion in payments processing volume today, they’re on track to handle $1.5 trillion in the next three years. Acceleration like that will lead the model to account for a significant portion of the $7.5 trillion in credit card volume processed each year, he argued.

“It’s not too far out where 50-plus percent of it becomes led by software players, with payments being already inside the software,” Bedier said.

Watch for more insights from across the payment facilitator ecosystem as we continue to share video from PF WORLD 2019 in future weeks.