In three questions, Fernando Carvalho, Director of Unicre, outlines the future of payment methods with the digitization of currency and the advancement of artificial intelligence.
Fernando Carvalho, Director of Unicre, admits in an interview that in the short and medium term, the progress of artificial intelligence will make it possible to enhance voice payments and biometric recognition, whether facial or fingerprint.
How do you see the next five years in the world of payments?
After what we have witnessed in the past decade, I believe that the next five years will certainly be very promising and full of innovation. We will continue to see the adoption of increasingly digital and innovative payment methods, which are in line with market trends and consumer demands – a scenario we have already seen according to the European Central Bank, which found that cash payments have been decreasing over the year. years, representing 59% of transactions at points of sale in 2022, i.e. 13% lower than the values recorded in 2019. In addition to this trend, the inevitability of supporting artificial intelligence in all payment and purchase processes, and therefore also in the payment process, will greatly affect on the consumer journey, which will bring initial challenges to the entire market.
This paradigm shift, as we had the opportunity to hear during the “Challenges and Benefits of Simple Payment Journeys” event, through partner use cases, can only be achieved through technology. The inclusion of this tool in the financial sector, in particular, has driven (and will continue to drive) the development and increasingly availability of differentiated, simple, fast, secure and convenient payment experiences.
What trends will emerge? What will change in this area?
If a few years ago we made bank transfers that could take up to 48 hours, we are now seeing greater demand, from merchants and consumers, for more digital, cashless and instant payment solutions. This change is reflected in the use of contactless technology at REDUNIQ, where, in January 2019, the number of transactions carried out using this payment method represented 11% of purchases, and today it already represents more than 80%. In the same way that I refer to contactless payment, I also refer to Tap-to-Pay, which is a contactless payment solution directly on the smartphone, without the need for a payment terminal, buy now, pay later, which is a huge global trend, which has now reached Portugal allows fractional purchases, interest-free wallets and digital currencies, among other trends that have (or will revolutionize) the payments market.
In the case of the latter (digital currencies), we already know that the next two years will strongly witness developments in European monetary policy and the digitization of money. The European Central Bank recently announced that, on November 1, it will begin the next phase of preparing the digital version of the single currency, a crucial step to confront unregulated digital currencies, which will ensure greater stability for both the global financial system and the world. Of the economies themselves.
What is the role of artificial intelligence here?
In parallel with the availability of these digital payment methods, we will also see greater adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) across all economic sectors. In the case of the financial sector, using this tool allows you not only to automate and simplify the entire purchasing process, but also to collect data, analyze it and prepare reports. In this way, potential errors are reduced and sector workers are allowed to focus on more strategic tasks of the company, in addition to enhancing payment security, as large amounts of payment data can be processed in real time, identifying potential fraudulent patterns and activities. On the other hand, I believe that the progress of artificial intelligence, in the short and medium term, will make it possible to enhance voice payments and biometric recognition, whether facial or fingerprint.
However, the financial sector will continue to invest in solutions that, by leveraging technologies, always keep in mind the simplicity, convenience, security and sustainability of payments. Years of real turmoil are expected.
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