Will banks continue to be at the center of the payments industry?

by Erin McCune on December 8, 2006

in Banking, Payments News, Strategy

Not necessarily. In a recent speech Mark Garvin of JPMorgan, acknowledges the threat of non-bank entrants to the payments industry:

Having talked to regulators, correspondents, market infrastructures and,
most importantly, our clients, about how they see the future of payments in 10
years, the consensus is that everyone is expecting a much more streamlined,
accessible payments product, and one that is truly global. We all recognize
that someone will ultimately offer that simpler product – let's hope it's a

Over the next 10 years, governments will continue to push us towards greater
interoperability, higher speed and lower charges. Our non-bank competitors, in
some ways, are already there. Each time someone chooses PayPal to pay for an
online purchase there is a shift of perceived value from banks to non-banks.
Our data suggests that this bias for simplicity will continue to drive change
in payments, whether you're a consumer or a General Electric.

Drawing on the history of the CLS initiative (CLS is used by over 850 banks, corporates, non-bank FIs, and investment funds around the world and accounts for 65% of all spot market forex transactions – more info here), Garvin outlines a course of action starting with industry cooperation on a global scale – abandoning national, parochial payment issues. He stresses the need to agree on a vision for the industry end-state, then develop a well-honed strategy to get there. He suggests that execution is dependent on "sufficiently representation, well governed, and adequately funded and staffed" industry bodies to guide collaboration, determine priorities, and establish common ground.

Sounds like a tall order for the world's largest banks that have trouble achieving consensus and alignment within their own organizations.

Read the full text of Garvin's speech on GTNews.
And there is an informative overview of CLS here.


One Response to “Will banks continue to be at the center of the payments industry?”

  1. Damon says:

    This is a great article, and it’s great for business. I’m going to speak to some of my managers on this issue today.

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