By Matt Kerper, Vice President of Strategic Business Development
Last month, the CashStar team convened with fellow industry experts in Las Vegas for Money20/20, the largest global event focused on payments and financial services innovation. Bringing together more than 10,000 attendees from 3,000 companies and 75 countries, Money20/20 was a week full of lively discussion and ideas about connected commerce through mobile, retail, marketing services, data and technology.
One of the big highlights of the event for us was CashStar CEO Ben Kaplan’s participation on the panel, “The Power of Mobile Payments in Retail.” The panel discussion focused on how brands are creating rich mobile app experiences that seamlessly integrate with in-store payments, ultimately strengthening customer relationships and driving sales. Ben was in good company with CashStar client Johnna Marcus, senior director of the Sephora Innovation Lab at Sephora, as well as executives from Giant Eagle, OpenTable and Lane Bryant. During the discussion, which was moderated by Scott Gamble, CEO of Mobios Digital, Johnna drove home the importance of making it truly easy for customers to set up accounts via mobile, as well as wowing them with delightful surprises and benefits to drive mobile adoption. OpenTable’s Tomer Molovinsky touched on the huge opportunity for casual dining restaurants to reduce table turn time through the use of mobile payments. Ben tied it all together by communicating the importance of retailers and restaurants investing in their mobile marketing programs.
Our team was able to attend several other sessions over the course of the four-day conference and learned a lot, but the main takeaway from Money20/20 can be summed up in just two words: frictionless payments. Everywhere we went, we heard people talking about the critical need to make payments so seamless and behind-the-scenes that the customer hardly has to think about it.
What this really boils down to is the customer experience. To be successful, next-gen payments technologies will have to simplify, empower and deliver personal, non-monetary benefits to consumers’ lives – whether that’s in the form of loyalty programs, special promotions, coupons or gift cards. It’s great to see the payments industry evolving to meet these expectations.
It was a pleasure to be surrounded by enthusiastic people coming together in the spirit of innovation and we’re already counting down the days until Innovate 2016. Hope to see you there!