Hundreds of international financiers, business leaders and policymakers from around the world gathered in Bahrain to discuss the future of financing at last week’s sixth annual GCC Financial Forum. Marcus Treacher, head of Ripple’s strategic accounts, spoke alongside Chris Skinner, fintech commentator and author, about future trends in the global digital payments industry.
The speakers agreed that global transactional demands have changed. Today’s businesses need a system that can process high volumes of payments immediately. In order to discuss what future trends may emerge in global payments, the industry must first address the pitfalls of the current system and embrace opportunities to reinvent the way cross-border payments are made.
“Global commerce is moving and banks will inevitably need to adopt updated technology to keep up. Ripple is reinventing the plumbing layer of banking, it’s a way of re-intermediating banks services to bring them into the 21st century,” said Treacher.
Skinner echoed the need to embrace blockchain technology, noting that many governments worry about cryptocurrency, fearing that it escapes regulation, however, when implemented correctly it actually allows for more traceability than ever before.
The two also discussed the Internet of Value and what it means for the future of the global digital payments industry. Skinner described the Internet of Value as, “a third innovation in trade and commerce,” with the prior two being the invention of money and the invention of paper money.
Treacher added that with the Internet of Value, many machines and devices will be able to pay one another, with the ability to handle tiny amounts of money. Ripple has created a system that aligns with this vision and will enable banks to be where payments are going whereas with the systems available today, this is out of reach.