Irving Wladawsky-Berger: The Evolution toward a Global Digital Money Ecosystem

I recently read an excellent article, 2012: The Year in Payments - A Look Back At The News And The Noise In Payments by Karen Webster, CEO of Market Platform Dynamics and founder of PYMNTS.com.  In the article, Webster reviews some of the major developments in digital payments over the last year, and gives her opinion of what is likely to happen in 2013 and beyond.  Beyond her detailed reviews and predictions, the article is a very well written overview of the evolution toward a digital money economy, including the major advances already underway as well as the huge challenges that still lie ahead. 

For several years now I’ve been convinced that the development of a global digital money ecosystem is among the most exciting and important societal challenges in the coming decades.  It’s right up there, in my opinion, with other technology-based transformational innovations, including electricity, the telephone, radio and TV, and the Internet and World Wide Web.

Where are we in digital payments?  Webster believes that 2012 will be viewed in the payments history books as a very good year.  “Payments innovation fueled by the IP-enablement of devices used by consumers and merchants to interact drove payments innovation into high gear.  Players large and small flooded the market with new applications, new business models, and new approaches to transforming the shopping experience.”

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1. Smart toys and media
2. Mobile workforce
3. Electronic value transactions
4. Event experiences
5. Interactive advertising