Payments Leader

How to Disrupt the Disruptors in 2018 – by Esther Pigg

December 19, 2017

Esther Pigg | Senior Vice President, Product Strategy FIS Payments Division

The incredible pace of change in 2017, combined with the uncertain regulatory and political environment going forward, and the acceleration of competitive pressures across the payments industry can make 2018 look like the hardest year yet. However, if we approach this disruption with a collaborative and agile mindset, there’s no need to be overwhelmed.

Here’s how you can turn 2018 into the next stage of your plan to become indispensable to your customers.

Customers’ Evolving Expectations

One in three customers says that all banks are basically the same, according to The Financial Brand. This represents a huge opportunity to display what makes your financial institution better than your competitors and build the trust that results in long-term relationships. But you must act immediately. Just as the customer experience is moving front and center, financial institutions are facing disruptive pressures that often result in fewer touchpoints, meaning fewer opportunities to engage customers, and more pressure to get things right the first time around.

As the millennial generation moves to maturity, focus expands to Generation Z as the payments industry’s future customer base. Predicted to be just under half the U.S. consumer population by 2020, Generation Z represents the first fully digitized generation – born into a life centered around Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon and more. This “see now, buy now” generation craves immediate, relevant, engaging and personalized content. And, as they enter the workforce they will not only use mobile digital tools to manage payments and personal finance but also expect their mobile apps to seamlessly “think” for them.

Consider this: almost 70% of Generation Z uses mobile banking apps daily, with 68% wanting instant P2P payment capabilities. With almost all Millennials and now Generation Z entering the market force, mobile access is not just a cool feature that banks can offer, but is becoming a requirement to appeal to the needs of the digitally inclined generations.

Collaborative Co-operation

Whether led by market or regulatory forces, collaboration is bigger and bolder than ever before. Financial institutions and FinTech’s now routinely collaborate on the provision of real-time payments, the application of blockchain-based currencies and the provision and parsing of account information. In the new normal of open and instant payments, financial institutions can get to market faster and differentiate themselves from their competition, by using third-party products and services.

Payments innovation will continue to accelerate with FinTech and bank partnerships, yielding a brave new payments landscape within a decade.

Digitized Data is Gold

The most powerful tool in a digitized payment world is the data itself. Whether enabling firms to make more relevant offers at the right moment or to better detect potentially fraudulent behavior, it is the data that is the goldmine to truly knowing and protecting customers. Effectively using data about consumers, businesses and how they transact is a catalyst for improving payment experiences and setting expectations in the future.

Consider this: more than 50% of consumers surveyed said they would share personal information to receive personalized offers.

We all leave a digital “exhaust” in our wake as we conduct our daily lives. Insights on where we go, what we buy and with whom we interact can provide truly customized financial services. With intelligent data analysis, firms can deliver an experience that gives customers an immediate understanding and control of their financial lives.

Deep predictive data analysis also drastically improves the detection and flagging of potential cybercrime. To be effective, response to cybercrime demands multi-layered digital strategies that utilize artificial intelligence and machine-learning techniques. With predictive analytics, linked to geolocation and behavioral biometrics, transactions can be analyzed in a more effective way to evaluate the likelihood of fraud.

Nothing to Fear but Complacency

The ability to compete, grow and drive efficiency in the future demands products that are open and instant, intelligent and secure. Tomorrow’s technology is composed of open and flexible systems that are inherently agile, can predict and meet market needs on short notice.

As we approach 2018, it is time to disrupt the disruptors and seize the digital transformation opportunities.


Esther Pigg, JD

Senior Vice President | Product Strategy FIS Payments Division

Esther leads the Product Strategy team for the Payments division of FIS that spans debit, prepaid, credit card, merchant, network and loyalty programs. With extensive experience across the banking and payments technology industry, Esther focuses her team on developing long term product strategy for U.S. and global retail payment products to effectively engage the markets FIS serves.