A.T. Kearney: What Digital Disorder Means for Retail, Mobile Payments, and More

June 26, 2019         By: Steven Anderson

For anyone who followed E3 this year, whether in person or online, you know one of the—if not the outright—biggest winners was Keanu Reeves’ surprise cameo as Johnny Silverhand from “Cyberpunk 2077”, the hotly-anticipated title from CD Projekt Red. While a future of holography and sub-dermal armor plating may seem outlandish, a new report sent our way from A.T. Kearney suggests one part of the cyberpunk future may be setting up as we know it: digital disorder.

The growth of digital has basically been on the rise for the roughly three decades or so that the World Wide Web has been a thing, and with the arrival of new digital technology designs and applications—smartphones were a huge spoiler that really weren’t even imagined much back in the earliest days of the web—the growth doesn’t look to be slowing much, if any.

Yet there are outside forces acting on the developments as well, a so-called “techlash” that’s coming back on digital development. Governments are actively trying to foster growth while at the same time reducing downside risk, which isn’t out of line. Thus, businesses are left to not only practice their attempts at growth in the midst of a crazy quilt of contradictory regulations and a growing uncertainty besides.

Oh, but the potential rewards…a different A.T. Kearney study found that if digital payments use was increased just 10 percent annually, it could raise global economic output by as much as $1.5 trillion by 2021. The rise of cryptocurrency, meanwhile, has meant opportunity all over, from cross-border payments facilitation to making it easier to commit crime.

Just as subject to the risks of over-regulation as anyone else, we’ve seen mobile payments hailed as the future of commerce and decried as a massive security risk. Yet we’ve also seen mobile payments actively work to regulate themselves, making themselves a more secure proposition as a means to draw in new users. They’ve also competed in a diverse regulatory environment, though perhaps not so diverse as the one A.T. Kearney suggests might occur going forward.

Though no one knows what the state of the mobile payments future will look like, we can all rest assured that mobile payments has done what it can to remain viable.