On 16h December 2017, TAPMI gave its students an excellent opportunity to learn by inviting Mr. Soumya Basu for an expert interaction with them. Mr. Basu is the Director of Business Development in Visa, one of the largest global payments technology company. With an industry experience of 9+ years, he has worked across sectors such as technology, financial services, and information services.
After a brief introduction to himself and his career, Mr. Basu began the session by giving the students an insight into Visa, as a Fintech company and what they do. Visa considers itself to be a B2B2C company in the sense that they combine both B2B and B2C for a complete service transaction. He said that the aim of Visa is to provide its customers with the same consistent and seamless payment experience, wherever they go, across the globe. Every day, the Fintech companies are coming up with new ideas for making payments more effective and efficient, such as Amazon Pay and Samsung Pay. In Q2 of 2017 alone, global VC-backed Fintech start-ups raised $5.2Billion across 251 deals. Mr. Basu said Visa considers these companies as partners and not as competitions.
Mr. Basu then explained why Fintech has gained so much exposure in payments space and why now, in particular. According to him, the sudden exposure is more about being connected to the internet in some way or the other. By 2020, there will be around 50 billion devices connected to the internet around the globe. When someone makes a purchase on Amazon through smart devices such as Echo, it involves a form of payment and Fintech companies like Visa facilitates that transaction. Mr. Basu cited demonetization as another example that changed the way payments work. He also explained how Visa acts as a facilitator in a transaction between a cardholder and the merchant and how they process close to 65000 transactions every second, around the globe.
In the second half of the interactive session, Mr. Soumya Basu shared his view that the biggest competitor of digital payments space is cash. He said, payments are no longer about digital and offline and the lines are blurring. He cited the example of Amazon Go to show how far the payment space has evolved. To explain the work Visa has been doing, he gave the audience a sneak-peak into the concept of connected cars, a concept Visa is developing in collaboration with Honda. The Connected Car facilitates various day to day transactions effortlessly through an in-car app.
Mr. Basu said that in this new world, Visa is not just a card, but an account. In near future, the cards we know as now will cease to exist and only the payment credentials will be there. He then cited three innovations Visa has introduced to make payments more efficient, transparent and convenient – Visa PayWave which uses contactless cards, mVisa for QR payments and Token Services which enables payments in Samsung Pay.
Towards the end of the session, students were given the opportunity to ask their questions and Mr. Basu ensured that none of the queries went unanswered. The experience was enriching and a great learning experience for the students.