There is considerable discussion among loyalty marketers regarding the state of the electronic payments market as a customer engagement/customer experience vehicle.

Loyalty360 CEO and CMO Mark Johnson has said: “We continue to see the convergence of loyalty, customer experience and payments at the point of sale. Consumers yearn for products, services, and brands that enable simplicity, yet create the opportunity for immersive engagement. Many brands struggle to rise above the cacophony of products that come to market on a weekly basis, and struggle to execute on the promise they have laid out.”

Speaking at the Bernstein 32nd Annual Strategic Decisions Conference on June 1, Visa CEO Charlie Scharf shared some definitive thoughts on the state of digitization of electronic payments.

“The fact is the way we think about it, we’re very, very early in the digitization of electronic payments,” Scharf said. “Even though we’ve been doing what we’ve been doing for 50 some odd years and we’ve had the successes as the other networks have had, the fact is today we process $4 trillion-ish of U.S. dollar equivalents through our payment system. There is $11 trillion or $12 trillion of cash, up from $7 trillion when we went public; that’s still out there in the marketplace. So, there is more for us to intermediate than ever before and we have more tools to do it than ever before. Add to that the fact that commerce itself is moving to digital platforms. It doesn’t mean that the physical point-of-sale is going to disappear in the short term, but you certainly see the pressures that are brought to bear. And our products work better than any products in the marketplace to pay, as more and more commerce moves to digital platforms, be it in traditional retailers or other environments that exist out there. And so, when we come to work, we think about the opportunity is bigger than it has been, rather than the opposite.”

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