If I asked you to listen to a podcast about payments, you’d probably change the subject very quickly. But if I told you we were going to have a discussion about the future of money — and in turn, that discussion would really be about the future of freedom — I hope that would get your attention.
Things are suddenly moving fast in the world of money. You might pay for things by swiping your phone across a cash register. I bet you’ve bought coffee with an app. These kinds of transactions might seem small, but there is a revolution going on in the background. There’s also peril. We seem headed at breakneck speed towards a cashless society. Hipster salad places and bars don’t take cash now. What will we do about the 7% of Americans, and the billions worldwide, who still don’t have access to plastic money?
But that’s only the beginning of the potential problems we are stirring up.
As my readers know, Zelle and other p2p payment apps are not safe for transactions, yet millions are using them anyway. Starbucks isn’t such a great bank, either. Meanwhile, Facebook, Google, China…seems everyone wants to print their own money now, or create a cryptocurrency. It’s confusing. All these developments have the potential to end the reign of bank behemoths like Visa/Mastercard; or even end the supremacy of the U.S. Dollar. What does that mean?
This week, Alia Tavakolian and I talk with Gartner analyst Avivah Litan, who always offers sharp opinions and smart insights. It’s a fun chat; she sees the amazing potential in the future of cryptocurrency, and thinks it could help unlock human potential worldwide and spread equality. But that’s hardly assured.