Insights from South by Southwest 2019

Just as many companies operating in the digital innovation industry, Swish too went to get inspired by new payment solutions, AI and data during the SXSW conference in Austin. And just as many other visitors, we were able to bring with us many new perspectives back to Sweden. Below our marketing manager Pär Ekroth shares his main insights from the event.

To be able to continue developing Swish for our customers it is important that we constantly monitor relevant discourses in society, not least the ones that concerns payments. A rather divided but clearly present such in Austin, was the one about the future role of cash.

The merchants of Philadelphia has to accept cash

Although mobile payments are increasing in the United States, cash is still king. About a week ago it became statutory that merchant’s in the state of Philadelphia have to accept cash as payment method, something that made the debate about the future of cash a highly mentioned topic at the local news stations. According to the rather unanimous media it is likely that similar laws will be introduced i more states within a near future.

China embrace mobile payments

In contrast to the cash friendly United States, Alibaba, also present at SXSW, showed us another picture. What became clear was that China, unlike the US, have chosen to completely embrace mobiles as today’s wallet. Alipay explained how they work systematically with facilitating becoming a part of the digital society among citizens, for example by in different ways inserting Chinese traditions into the phone with the help of smart design, in order to make everyone feel at home.

Cash-free society by 2023

Regardless of the different opinions about the cash free society, it is, as you all probably know, an ongoing discussion even in Sweden. 2023 is said to be the year when cash will completely disappear – if so, what do we do with the groups that are still standing outside the digital society?

Swish wants to reduce digital exclusion

At Swish, our mission is to make our service accessible to everyone. Today we have closer to 7 million users, and we continue to grow by approximately 50 000 users per month. But there is still room for improvement. How do you think that we should work in getting more Swedes to take part of the digital revolution, and in that way decrease the digital alienation in society?

Please contact me should you have any exciting ideas:

/Pär Ekroth, marketing manager
April 5, 2019