As stakeholders across the payments ecosystem begin to gather in San Diego for the kickoff of PAYMENTS 2018 on Sunday, I’m struck by how much the conference has changed over the years.
It was around 1987 when I first started attending – back when hair was big and payments were much simpler. Checks were the biggest payment player back then and the focus was about how to drive increased volume in ACH payments through programs like Direct Deposit of payroll. EDI was advanced, not a cumbersome legacy standard.
With all of the innovation that’s taken place in the payments space in these intervening years, the scope and focus of the PAYMENTS conference have changed drastically. Education is centered on a wider array of payment schemes than ever before, including faster payments alternatives. There is significant discussion around how to add more value with electronic payments, and a focus on the end-user experience is driving great changes for all participants.
Today’s narrative is more about how to stay relevant in this rapidly changing landscape, as evidenced by all the sessions about innovation being featured on the agenda. In the 80s, machine learning was more a topic for movies like The Terminator than for anything to do with the payments industry!
I’m excited to have been a part of this payments evolution, and I’m counting the few remaining days to find out what comes out of PAYMENTS 2018. It’s been a wild ride and one that’s far from over!
Lynne S. Herrman is the director of Paymode-X Product Management at Bottomline Technologies.