When the payments industry assembled for the launch of the most recent instalment in a crowdsourced publishing series – The Paytech Book – Ali Paterson (right) was there to witness it.
I am also a massive fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, especially the scene in Avengers: Endgame (spoiler alert) where everyone, and I mean everyone, comes back through the portals – best three minutes in cinema!
What’s that got to do with paytech? Well, I was lucky enough to attend the launch signing event for The Paytech Book (full title The Payment Technology Handbook For Investors, Entrepreneurs, And FinTech Visionaries) and be one of the first to arrive. Then everyone arrived. And by everyone, I mean everyone.
Coming through the portal to that event was the entire payments industry – acquirers, payment schemes, processors, regulators, banks, POS providers, thought leaders, people from Australia, India, New York, Iceland, and even Manchester. It was what I refer to as a ‘record scratch… so I bet you’re wondering how I got here?’ moment.
Then I read the book (at least the other parts of it that I hadn’t written). There is so much in it to digest; payments cover every aspect of society. But one of the highlights for me was the section dedicated to ‘Payments in Practice’, especially Andrea Dunlop’s piece.
I read books for many reasons: to be entertained, to be inspired, for ‘how-to’ knowledge, and often what I look to take away are those golden nuggets of thinking. In her piece, Andrea considers what an omnichannel mindset truly should engage, using the likes of Nike and Apple as illustrations. Because payments aren’t just about doing digital payments well. It’s about doing all payments well.
You can’t have a payment book without looking at blockchain and cryptocurrencies. This one covers their use cases, both from an economic and technological level, touching on stable coins and regulation. One great piece by Eversheds Sutherland and the Alan Turing Institute breaks down some of the models for payments on blockchain exceedingly well. I had only previously given stablecoins as a concept a brief look, but this highlights how they can be used to reduce volatility.
As well as (ahem!) a fantastic piece on the Fintech Finance Payments Race, in the section on ‘Payments Explained’, Israel Lazcano from the University of Edinburgh reconsiders that age-old question ‘what is money?’. I always find it fascinating to look back at the history of cash and tokens, but also slightly terrifying when you realise how much of today’s payments are based on the same systems and thought processes that have persisted for thousands of years. Israel does set us up for a new future, though, given that we are now in the Fourth Industrial Revolution and that ‘code is the new god’.
Editor Susanne Christi and the team have really cracked this formula for crowdsourced books, with, not unlike the Marvel Comic Universe, a selection of entertaining storylines and insights that work as standalone outings, but when they all assemble, create something kinda special. Roll on the AI and lawtech books!
Great for: Investors, entrepreneurs, fintech visionaries (including Tony Stark)
Best read: In Jessica Jones’ shabby New York apartment… she might learn the best way to pay for a front door that works
Good read rating: