I had the great pleasure of recently interviewing PayPal CEO Daniel Schulman on the future of commerce, fintech, and financial inclusion on Capitol Hill as part of IIEL’s expanding Fintech programming. As the head of the world’s leading online payments firms, Dan has unique insight into not just the direction of retail commerce, but also how consumers and market participants are interfacing in real time. No one is better situated to see emerging trends set to disrupt retail commerce as we know it.
The entire conversation was brimming with interesting insights, so I’ve divvied them into bite sized pieces across a number of issue areas (and a web story is available here). In the segment above, Mr. Schulman makes a number of truly fascinating, and critical observations. Among them: that mobile commerce is already profoundly transforming how and where people shop. Malls and shopping centers will continue to face massive disruption, and the future of retail will be much as Asia looks now–an environment free of carts and sales lines, where shoppers use their phones to tag wished goods and within a half hour items are delivered to people’s homes. In the process, stores will increasingly comprise, and morph into, miniature logistics operations.
As the future progresses, the offline and online components of commerce will blur as algorithms compile data to allow more bespoke products and services. But for all of the wonderful new services this may enable for consumers, data-based competition will create higher barriers to entry in retail for young companies—just as increasingly powerful technology firms disrupt incumbent old-line retailers.
In the larger segment, we cover a number of other big issues, including 1) how mobile will impact financial inclusion and banking deserts, 2) fintech and regulatory sandboxes, and 3) Paypal’s role in global markets. You can find the full video and playlist here.