UTRUST Talks 2019 in Mobile Payments

December 4, 2018         By: Steven Anderson

Now that it’s December, it’s definitely time to start seeing predictions emerge about 2019 emerge. UTRUST, a company focused on making cryptocurrency accessible for everyday online purchases, recently sent our way some predictions about 2019’s year in mobile payments with 2018 still yet to conclude.

UTRUST–as expressed by vice president of global partnerships Sanja Kon–projects that there will be many more cryptocurrency transactions in 2019. Bitcoin is projected to be the leader therein, thanks to lower transaction costs and growing decentralization.

Peer-to-peer (P2P) payments will also be on the rise, seeing double-digit growth thanks to growing numbers of smartphones and relevant P2P apps on hand. Venmo alone saw $35 billion in transactions in 2017, a 95 percent growth rate over the preceding year.

Artificial intelligence is also slated to grow, with a host of new applications putting AI to work in things like fighting fraud, automating certain systems, and improving cloud technology.

Finally, Kon projects biometrics technology will spike as well, backed up by a thrust of mobile technology and mobile banking / payments applications using such systems for security.

So far, Kon seems mostly right. We’ve seen biometrics tech on a tear over the last year, so to project its current tear will keep right on tearing in 2019 is perfectly plausible and a natural outgrowth of current trends. It’s also worthwhile to say likewise about AI advances and peer-to-peer. With Zelle now in the field and actually doing more business than Venmo by some reports, predicting spikes in P2P in 2019 is likewise valid. AI has made no shortage of gains either.

I differ with Kon, however, on her crypto predictions. While she makes a good point about bitcoin’s primacy—it’s been the “reserve currency” of crypto for years—bitcoin still suffers from slow transaction speeds, and advances on this front like the Lightning Network have been a little less than effective. Frankly, I’d look for one of the major competitors—Ethereum, Litecoin or Ripple—to take over that slot.

Only the arrival of 2020 will tell us how 2019 went, but Sanja Kon’s projections seem pretty valid. I’m not completely sold on bitcoin’s increased prominence, especially after the recent price crashes, but for the most part, she’s working according to what we’ve seen so far.