Moderated by Neosurf CCO Andre McGeachin, a panel titled The Future of Alternative Payment Methods on day one of the SBC Summit Barcelona – Digital, saw industry professionals come together to discuss the future of the payments industry. 

Opening up the discussion Isabelle Delisle, Global Head of Payment Solutions at Pinnacle, stated: “When I started in the industry an Alternative Payment Method (APM) was anything that wasn’t credit cards. Those aren’t alternative anymore, they are the meat and potatoes, they just aren’t cards. It seems that now APM is more crypto versus what it used to be. 

“I’ve argued the problem with crypto is that everyone argued at the start that it was more than it was. It was made into this daunting and terrifying thing but it actually isn’t that complicated. That has been bad for crypto as a whole as there are many people who are scared of it due to it being over complicated at the beginning.” 

Providing his opinion on the modern day definition of APMs and discussing the future of the facet, Vasilije Lekovic, Director of Gaming at Trustly, added: “In my view the APM’s should be methods that aren’t commonly used in the market. Alternatives should be any payment method that are disrupting the common ones. 

“I think the future of what makes APM’s smart is innovation, speed and security. It helps solve problems that both consumers and merchants are facing today. Payments need to be simple and seamless but it’s not enough to help move money anymore, APM’s need to become more than just payments, they need to offer help to merchants with KYC or to help users skip the verification process. I believe this is the future of APM’s. 

“I think the future looks bright, I think there will be lots of opportunities for APM’s to use lots of technologies to improve. When it comes to bank payments there is the open banking initiative which is opening up capabilities for improvement. I think there are several markets across the world where we can bring payments closer to consumers. The new technologies will help payment providers to offer more than just payments. It will help make a seamless experience for the user regardless of industry, and the new technologies and innovations are making the future exciting.” 

Lior Segal, Director of Payments at The Stars Group, provided a differing opinion regarding the future of APM’s as he predicted both credit and debit cards once again being considered APM’s as they once were in the past. 

He commented: “Moving forward credit and debit will become APM. Alternative payment solutions will become the traditional ones in the future. Alternative methods will be credit and debit because everyone is using something different now. It is the APM of the old world and it will be for the new one too.” 

The Stars Group Director of Payments also provided his opinion on the future of banking, adding: “The old banking world doesn’t exist anymore. COVID-19 really pushed us through non-banking solutions. A need for a bank is no longer as valid, I think the new age will bring different crypto and different technologies will replace cash and old banking systems. I don’t think my kids will ever step into a banking branch or talk to a clerc in a physical place. Everything will change and I think I will no longer require the old baking system to access my funds.”

The panellists were also joined by Coingaming CEO and Founder Tim Heath who discussed his experience with Cryptocurrency before sharing his opinion on the future of payments: “My perspective is more horizontal. In some markets what may be considered alternative becomes primary. Alternatives methods are very different per your jurisdiction. 

“The hardest thing is educating users. For us it’s all about education, how do we engage and integrate payment methods to help people come into the crypto world. The issue we are trying to solve with crypto is how to take away volatility and how to make it a comfortable feeling for people, remove the barrier of entry – the sacredness to users. 

“I see the future in crypto mainly because banking is so difficult nowadays so if you can make an ecosystem of money flying around in crypto then life becomes much easier. I am enjoying the challenge of less banked countries and trying to find local payment methods and making crypto easy.” 

SBC Summit Barcelona – Digital takes place over four days this week (8 – 11 September) and features four main zones – Sports Betting, Casino & Gaming, Payments & Compliance, and Affiliate & Marketing – each of which have their own conference tracks, networking roundtables and interactive expo halls. 

Click here to secure your free pass for the betting & gaming industry’s largest-ever virtual event.