Obviously, nobody has a crystal ball that can predict exactly how the future of any industry will play out. But in the financial technology, or fintech space, asking one of the leaders of the company that is widely credited with pioneering the fintech revolution is the next best thing.
With that in mind, here's a Jan. 14 Fool Live video clip of Fool.com Matt Frankel, CFP, asking Jim Johnson, head of merchant services at Fidelity National Information Services (NYSE:FIS), how he sees the next chapters of the fintech revolution playing out.
Matt Frankel: All right, so I want to get to a few predictions because I was reading a few of your presentations you gave on the future of the fintech industry and things like that. In say 10 years from now, where do you see the payment landscape? Will we still be using cash at all? You said you're a believer in crypto, will we still be using US dollars at all?
Jim Johnson: Yeah, I'm not in the prediction business, but I'll tell you early in my career I ran our check processing business. That same check processing business that I was running 10, 15 years ago that people would tell me, hey, wouldn't be around another three years, it's still thriving and active. Thriving is probably an aggressive word, but that technology is still cooking. When you look at people saying 20 years ago, there wouldn't be a mainframe five-years from that point, they still exist. Ten years from now, like I said I try to avoid predictions, but my guess is you're still going to see cash payments taking place, you'll probably even still see checks. But what I will tell you is there's going to be an aggressive, continued movement to digital origination. Points are going to continue to evolve. The insights related to directing, how and when and where you transact are going to continue to evolve. People are going to continue to try to influence you days, weeks, moments, seconds before you're thinking about buying something. The friction-less nature of the payments, the convenience of it is going to continue to evolve. You open your fridge you don't have milk, you probably just going to buy milk through a transaction done and paid for on the front of your refrigerator. Those types of things are going to continue to happen. People talk about Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) Plus or whatever. I was joking the other day, you're going to get your goods an hour from when you order. I think there's going to be a point where people are going to predict for you [laughs] to buy stuff before you even thought about buying it. I just think the commerce experience, and the ease and the friction-less nature, and the convenience and the evolution of that is going to really be where you see the technological advancement. I think the fulfillment of the payment will continue to evolve but I think cash on the back-end will continue to be in some way shape or form around for a while.
Frankel: I tend to agree with that. GT has a question, and I'm going to rephrase it a little bit.
Johnson: If my mom's still alive, she's going to be paying with cash in 10 years.
Frankel: [laughs] Exactly. Until people my age get to that point, I think cash is still going to be around.
Johnson: Fraud influences that decision as well.