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Payments: The march of tech

From payments to full retail banking services, tech companies are encroaching on the banking space.



Kanika Saigal on payments

On Christmas Eve, when few people were paying attention to the world of fintech, Google was awarded a European Union e-money licence from the Republic of Ireland.

The agreement followed a similar deal the tech giant had struck with Lithuania’s central bank just a few days earlier.

With the pervasiveness of smartphones, e-money accounts – the digital equivalent to cash – are becoming ever more popular. With its new licence, Google Pay is now one step closer to fulfilling its ambitions to become a leading online payments provider in Europe.

Traditional banks still don’t have the same capability as the tech giants when it comes to mobile payments.

The big credit-card companies and banks are joining forces with the likes of Apple, Samsung and Google to facilitate contactless access for their customers’ cards, but these partnerships mean banks are not monetizing mobile payments and are losing out on substantial business.

But banks are keen to state that the pie is big enough for everyone to enjoy success – that there are so many opportunities in this new digital world that all the actors in the payments space can perform.

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