FinTech and eCommerce 2016

December 29, 2016

FinTech and eCommerce 2016

ecommerce 2016 fintech 20116
End of year festivities always causes nostalgia and anticipation for the future. In this spirit, we should reflect on FinTech and eCommerce 2016, and consider 2017. There have been definite trends and clear responses to consumer demand. Benchmark companies in this space continue to dictate the pace of development. Let’s look back at industrial evolution from last year.

2016 & 2017 FinTech Development

A year is a long time, and lots of events and developments have shaped the year behind us. So many so that I struggled to recount all the topics! Here are FinTech’s hottest trends.


A hot topic for years, the logic behind cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoins, see more formal adaptations. A great example of this is Visa and MasterCard’s adoption of blockchains (1) and the Swiss railway ticket machines that sell Bitcoins (2). Whilst much of what I have read on Blockchain technology this year is conjecture, it is surely deserving of its own blog post in the future. We can expect for 2016 to be one of the first carriages on the Blockchain train.


2017s’ FinTech and eCommerce will see some influence because of the UK’s departure from the EU. We certainly hope for a sunny outcome, but forecasts have indicated gloominess. Such as the recent House of Lords publication (3). This is a topic that will certainly unfold near the time of our exit strategy.  Brexit is disruptive, so what about disruptions’ antithesis: collaboration?


Collaborations are as important as departures. We have had great examples this year, in Cardstream alone, such as our PayPal integration (4). The card issuers, Visa and MasterCard have formed partnerships in FinTech 2016. MasterCard has collaborated with PayPal (5) and Visa acquired Cardinal Commerce. Visa and MasterCard also collaborated with each other this quarter to improve transaction security. (6) PayPal has branched out in a big way this year by reshaping the landscape as they go.


2016 was the year that biometrics ‘took off’. An increased number of smartphones that have thumbprint reading capabilities, this has not fully bridged over to payments. An exception could be virtual wallets, where you can use your prints to log in. selfiepay may be the biggest step forward in biometrics, it is a mobile payment wallet where the user verifies their identity by taking a selfie. Unfortunately, I do not know if you can share the selfie afterwards (7)! We expect to see bigger steps forward here in 2017.

Big Data and the Internet of Things (IOT)

I am bravely putting these together as manifestations of the same thing. In Big Data, our identity is no longer limited to our physical presence but reimagined by our online behaviour and the sites we visit. Are you and Android user or an Apple user? What does this say about you? Based on the findings, you are marketed towards in a tailored way: adverts are no longer deployed en masse to whoever is watching.

With the Internet of Things, we find data being collected from everyday items and used to prompt one another. I could mean something as contemporary as changing the song on your phone from your tablet connected-speakers miles away. I could mean “the fridge that orders milk” (8). Fintech fits well with the latter of these examples. In fact, Samsung has delivered on this idea with its Family Hub. Still lots of space for innovation and development in this technology. Augmented reality could be set to join in the IOT with PayPal’s payments patent (9). Isn’t FinTech versatile? This post from SAS makes for interesting reading on the BD and IOT overlap.

Cardstream innovates in FinTech, therefore we sit concentrically with eCommerce too; which has seen its own independent movements. Keep in mind some topics are interchangeable between FinTech and eCommerce 2016.

2016 and 2017 eCommerce Development

Black Friday

eCommerce 2016 saw the spending period for Black Friday increased. We use Amazon as a benchmark, and they set a standard again this year with their 12 days of spending. Black Friday is becoming more widely known as ‘Black Fiveday’. Could 2016 be the death of a traditional black Friday (10)? mCommerce and eCommerce 2016 continue the momentum by reducing the amount of brick and mortar sales. “[On 2016’s] Black Friday, one-third of all PayPal payments were made on mobile devices, as PayPal handled $15,507 payments per second… (11)”. How about this finding: “According to Adobe Systems Inc., online sales on both Thanksgiving and Black Friday rose 18 percent to $5.27 million.” 2017 should see less one-day, instore franticness and more online purchases over a greater spread of days.

Drones and Next Day Delivery

We are starting to see mechanised delivery vehicles in the forms of drones and carts. Whilst both technologies are infantile, London has seen some bots delivering takeaway for Just Eat (12) and Cambridge has seen drone delivery from Amazon (13). Automated deliveries make for faster deliveries. The referenced The Guardian article cites a 13-minute delivery for the order. Cheaper and faster delivery are important for consumers; in fact, “61% of consumers are willing to pay more for same-day delivery (14)”. eCommerce retailers should anticipate a drive for swifter service in their checkout and delivery services.


I used to spend time as a child conversing with robots like Furby to Cleverbot because all this technology engaged verbally with me. This technology has gone from entertainment to functional in FinTech and eCommerce 2016, in the form of payments in Facebook Messenger (15). More followed. The purpose of the chatbot is to take orders and checkout in a Messenger app. Payment methods, therefore, get integrated into the app too. Chatbots are new, but, with MasterCard launching KAI (16), there is a competitive future ahead of it.


Uber’s core platform is to provide a driver marketplace. This popularly comes in the form of ordering a taxi. Except, Ubers’ service now include UberEats and UberRush. Essentially, this disrupts existing delivery services by carrying their marketplace into existing sectors. How does this affect eCommerce?

1. When a platform emerges and prospers, simulacrums are built to capitalise on the platform’s success. Popular marketplaces that are imitated include Just Eat, Amazon, eBay and other auction sites. Whilst these may not be the first of their kind, their success sparks innovation and investment from start-ups. Uber’s success as a marketplace ‘of people’ will continue to inspire other similar models in and out of eCommerce, but certainly online.
2. Uber have reportedly “been in talks with software companies like BigCommerce and Shopify… integrating with these software companies, it can make its delivery option available to a large number of small brick-and-mortar stores… without having to integrate with each and every one (17).” If this succeeded, how different would eCommerce look with mandatory Uber integration? With guaranteed same-day-delivery Shopify sites through Uber, consumer retention would compete in other parts of the experience and checkout process.
We should look forward to where Uber invests in 2017.

FinTech and eCommerce 2016

FinTech and eCommerce 2016, aren’t just news. The amazing thing about where we work is how much people shape the technology. Your purchase of an item influences the direction a company takes. What you are Googling changes marketing. What you’ve left in your basket.  Everything! Cardstream isn’t just reflecting fondly, we’re talking about some of the development that will change your everyday life. Some of them will be behind closed doors, such as blockchains. But the Internet of Things itself is based on the thing we take for granted every day: The Internet! Speaking of technology that develops behind closed doors, what about Cardstream?

Cardstream and 2017

Our partners, with whom we have worked with for years, have seen a huge range of functions added to their white-label service. This adds value to their core product and auxiliary payment gateway. The value of their payment service feeds into their own merchants’ success. By, for example, collaborating with MasterPass and PayPal, Cardstream has increased consumer retention for their merchants. By having a solid 99.99% uptime (more, actually) our partners’ merchants have experienced no downtime for their payment service. This is valuable, respective of 2016s’ tumultuous year in payments.

We are providing a solid technology to some of Europe’s biggest payment gateways which enable partners to offer a unique service to household names. If 2016 was Cardstream’s year for partnerships with global card issuers and payment services, then 2017 will see an even greater focus for Cardstream on our white-label product, our partners and remove the limit on what functionality your business can offer merchants. We look forward to working with you in the new year.

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