Speaking to Coinslot following his participation on a Euromat panel on alternative payments, Reflex Gaming managing director Quentin Stott outlines why the industry must be ready for finance’s ‘Uber’ moment.
Britain’s gaming and amusements industry must be prepared for when the “Uber” moment of finance is reached, according to Quentin Stott, managing director of Reflex Gaming.
Speaking after sitting on the Euromat Summit panel, Alternative Payment Options: Now Or Never?, at the beginning of the month, Stott explained that while different countries are shifting away from cash at varying rates, the universal trend needs to be addressed before it begins to seriously affect revenues.
“In the UK, 52 percent of all payment transactions are now non-cash, whilst in Germany it is only 30 percent,” he detailed. “However, the trend is universally away from cash, and on the panel we discussed how products could be adapted to accept alternative forms of payment whilst also increasing social responsibility and player protection measures. With different countries moving away from cash usage at different speeds,I wasn’t surprised to hear representatives from some of our European neighbours less concerned by the need for immediate alternative payment methods, but I was very surprised to hear one major UK representative stating that cash would be king for many years to come. I understand that “profit” from successful gameplay will always be king, but I really do challenge anyone’s thinking about profit remaining in the form of cash for very much longer.”
While Stott doesn’t “profess to be much of an economist”, he does keep up with the relevant debates, following proper economists to ensure he retains a good under- standing of the current landscape. Indeed, he noted that Andy Haldane, chief economist at the BoE, said last year that both the financial services industry and the BoE are looking at exploring Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) – the technology responsible for blockchain – as a means of reconfiguring financial structures.
But it wasn’t until a year later, Stott continued, that Dave Ramsden, deputy governor for markets and banking at the BoE, spoke explicitly of finance’s ‘Uber’ moment. Indeed, although new banks and alternative payment technologies – or “signs of evolution”, as Ramsden put it – have risen massively over the last several years, he explained that “finance has yet to face its ‘Uber’ moment”. While Ramsden did not say exactly when he expects this moment to come, it is clear that the BoE is taking DLT very seriously, with Haldane adding that “some believe this new technology of distributed trust could bring about a genuine transformation of money and finance”. This would present a significant challenge to the amusements industry, and it’s one Stott thinks we need to be prepared for.
“With the Bank of England completely aware of consumer spending changes, exploring blockchain technology and looking at infrastructure changes required for financial and fintech development, I feel our sector needs to be prepared for when that “Uber” moment in finance is reached,” he concluded. “As one delegate at the summit pointed out,the shift away from the mainstay Nokia style phones to smartphones happened so quickly, that a few years later consumers can hardly remember using the old technology. We must be prepared for a similar shift in the way consumers are moving away from cash.”