Bangor Professor invited to share expertise at mobile payments conference in the US

A lecturer from Bangor Business School was the only academic from any European university to attend a conference on the future of retail payments held in the US recently.

Professor Bernardo Batiz-Lazo, Chair in Business History and Bank Management at Bangor and the Bangor Business School London Centre, attended the conference at the Institute for Money, Technology & Financial Inclusion at the University of California, Irvine, where academics and practitioners partook in a knowledge exchange on the subject of mobile payments.

Sponsored by the Intel Science and Technology Centre for Social Computing, the aim of the meeting was to establish a multidisciplinary group to better understand the drivers of innovation in retail payments.

Contributing his expertise in the history of payment systems, Professor Batiz-Lazo joined academics from a number of US universities, including Harvard, MIT and the University of Southern California. The disciplines represented by the academic cohort ranged from accounting and anthropology to economics and information systems.

Alongside the representatives from the world of academia were practitioners for whom the issue of an increasingly cashless society is a pressing concern. Mobile payments solution company Square attended, as did chip manufacturer Intel and the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. There was also representation from venture capital and law firms, and an independent IT consultant to major US banks.

At the heart of the discussion was the fact that it is unknown whether mobile payments will take hold in this age of cashless transactions. The payments ecosystem is complex and changes tend to be gradual. Yet there are opportunities – potentially profitable ones – to bring about change.

The result of this meeting of minds was a conceptually-informed research agenda that considers how practitioners should respond to the changing face of retail payments.

Professor Batiz-Lazo has also attended two similar forums in the UK recently, including the Tomorrow’s Transactions Forum on the future of retail electronic payments, and the International Payments Summit 2013.

Publication date: 3 April 2013