Looking back to 2017, technology solutions were focused on making life easier. We were certainly no exception (check out how we’ve been making payments easier than ever). To get a sense of what upcoming tech trends might mean for payments in 2018 (and beyond), we picked the brain of our senior vice president of solutions, Heath Roehr.
Heath says artificial intelligence is becoming increasingly real, as we’re now beginning to see the application of it (specifically, natural language processing) in things like chat bots.
“People want to interact with machines in new ways—like talking to them,” Heath said.
One AI that’s already found her way into the homes of millions is Alexa. And while we’re still in the early phases of developing an integration, Heath says the dev team has been playing around with what AI could do for payments.
While it may be too early to see commercialization of augmented reality, Heath says it’s definitely coming.
“One interesting implication is the costing of things and how you can buy things,” Heath said. He envisions a future where startups may try to build completely virtual stores.
“What we’re seeing now is the hardware that enables that,” he said.
2017 saw a rise in use of cloud services, and Heath doesn’t predict that changing anytime soon.
“I think the amount of value-added features they’re rolling out—AWS specifically—is unprecedented,” Heath said.
Cloud services provide organizations the ability to scale because it doesn’t necessitate purchasing more servers as companies expand. Or, in Heath’s simpler terms, it allows people to build bigger and cooler technology.
Heath is confident that blockchain is here to stay—and it’s something our team is very interested in.
Blockchain, Heath explains, is a way to transact between two parties without the need to know or trust one another. It creates radical transparency between two parties in a transaction.
In the traditional model, there is a ledger owned by a trusted third party a person or organization is relying on. In the blockchain model, everyone has a copy of the ledger.
“This makes it tough—or impossible—to rewrite history,” Heath said.
The PaymentSpring dev team is exploring the best ways to create value around blockchain for merchants and customers.
“We have a huge appetite to figure that out,” said Heath. “Our adventure is just beginning.”
It’s true, people—we really are living in the future. Here’s to another year of innovation!