PayPal and the future of payments

Sri Shivananda is PayPal’s senior vice president and chief technology officer. Mohamed Dabo brings you a video presentation where the Silicon Valley executive shares his vision of the future of the payments industry.

The paradigm of the largest transformation in technology, he says, has been either through the replacement or removal of something. For example, the automobile was modelled after the horse carriage.

He says this pattern will continue to be manifest in future payments innovations.

Shivananda leads PayPal’s Technology Platforms & Experiences, overseeing a team responsible for the company’s secure, reliable, and scalable global infrastructure and strategic core platform.

“On the one hand payment play will be a user experience play, on the other hand, it will be a platform play,” he says in this video presentation. “This creates limitless opportunities.”

Elsewhere, Shivananda, who calls himself PayPal’s “Chief Geek,” has said:

About PayPal

“What compelled me most was the purpose of the company. What we wanted to do was democratize financial services all around the world. We wanted to make it easy for anyone to manage and move money. And we know that there are 1.8 billion people in the world who don’t have access to those kinds of capabilities.”

“Dan Schulman, who’s our CEO, often talks about how it’s actually expensive to be poor. And what we want to be able to do is create great capabilities through innovation where we create a more inclusive payments platform where everyone can participate.”

Current and future state of affairs of payments 

“What’s happening with payment experiences is it is becoming ambient. You express the intent to take a ride or order some food and payment just happens. It’s no longer that friction-full activity that you did at a store, at the end where you had to check out everything and pay. So, a lot is happening from an experience perspective, a lot is happening from a speed perspective, a lot is happening from a security perspective and collectively that’s just exciting. It’s also becoming easier for all kinds of people from various parts of the world, various segments and various demographics to participate in that economy of where they can move and manage their money faster.”

“The physical fall of money will start to diminish or disappear, and money will go entirely digital, not just the transactions that you do, whether it is in-store, through your mobile phone or card and so on. But eventually, money will become digital.

“The act of moving money or paying for something is just going to not be a big concern. It just becomes safer, more secure, and more convenient no matter what kind of transaction you want to have and no matter where you want to have that transaction between people across the globe, that just becomes super easy. It already is in many cases, but that’ll continue to grow as well.”

About internal IT and innovation

“In terms of the internal IT itself, there are two distinct aspects to it. One, is all the corporate platforms that you have, whether it is for human, legal, your financial back office, and so on. And those platforms have to be built in a way that, whether it is your HR practitioner like an employee or for that matter, a salesperson can do what they do daily, extremely easily and so that they can be productive and they can focus on the value creation, not in wrestling with the systems that they’re dealing with. This is why, I would say the internal IT portfolio has moved more in the direction of design thinking and experience design, not just the underlying, nuts and bolts of how to offer those systems.”

“eCommerce, if you look, has brought about a revolution where there was a time pre-nineties when you’d go to a shop and with eCommerce happening, shops started to actually come to you. You now shop where you are, and you can shop for anything around the world. The world is one large unlimited shelf of goods that you can buy from.”