JWT Launches Report on ‘The Future of Payments and Currency’

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New trend report explores new ways to pay and rise of alternative currencies

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Our whole idea of value, exchange and currency is being disrupted with new systems that trade in trust, social currency and other commodities.

JWT, the world’s best-known marketing communications brand, focuses on disruption in payments and currency in its latest trend report.

The report details the array of new ways to pay merchants and peers, and examines how the concept of currency is evolving as bitcoin and other new forms of value exchange gain steam. It also includes results of a quantitative survey of consumer attitudes conducted in the U.S. and U.K.

“All friction is being removed from payments so that we’ll almost make transactions without realizing it. We’ll also move beyond contactless mobile payments to paying with our bodies—our iris, our thumbprint, etc.,” says Lucie Greene, worldwide director of JWTIntelligence. “Our whole idea of value, exchange and currency is being disrupted with new systems that trade in trust, social currency and other commodities. People are finding new ways to trade, and brands are enabling this by creating alternative payment and currency systems.”

“The Future of Payments & Currency” covers several broad trends:

New Ways to Pay
Digital technology is opening up new ways to pay, many of them more seamless and secure than traditional methods. Foremost among these is the mobile wallet, but other ideas coming to fruition include wearables (tapping a watch, scanning a ring, etc.), biometric solutions like pay-by-fingerprint, and simple texts or tweets.

New Forms of Value Exchange
Alternative currencies—ranging from cryptocurrencies to local currencies, branded currency and social media currency—are supplementing or even replacing conventional money. Consumers are paying with bitcoin or tweets, and getting paid in mobile airtime.

New Payment Players
Disruption in the payments and currency sphere is opening the way for new players to act as intermediaries between consumers and their money. We’ll see consumer interaction with banks and other traditional financial institutions wane as newcomers offer innovative or compelling solutions.

The report also outlines what’s driving these changes. “The case against cash and physical cards is getting stronger, with Millennials already moving away from the status quo and adopting some alternative ideas,” says trends strategist Nick Ayala, author of the report. JWT’s survey found that Millennials are significantly more likely than other generations to express interest in mobile payments and to agree that “With today’s technology, it doesn't make sense that we mostly still rely on cash, debit and credit cards to pay for things.”

Additional knowledge and research on JWTIntelligence.com includes recent reports on the new family, the circular economy, mobile trends and JWT’s 10 Trends for 2014 and 100 Things to Watch in 2014.

J. Walter Thompson, the world’s best-known marketing communications brand, has been inventing pioneering ideas for the past 150 years. Headquartered in New York, JWT is a true global network with more than 200 offices in over 90 countries, employing nearly 10,000 marketing professionals. JWT consistently ranks among the top agency networks in the world and continues a dominant presence in the industry by staying on the leading edge—from hiring the industry's first female copywriter to developing award-winning branded content today. For more information, please visit http://www.jwt.com and follow us @JWT_Worldwide.

JWTIntelligence is a center for provocative thinking that focuses on identifying shifts in the global zeitgeist. Its aim is to bring the outside in—to help inspire ideas beyond brand, category and consumer conventions—and to identify emerging opportunities so they can be leveraged for business gain. As a part of JWT, the world’s best-known marketing communications brand, JWTIntelligence has conducted trends research and analysis across categories and geographies for nearly a decade. For more information, please visit http://www.jwtintelligence.com and follow us @JWTIntelligence.

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