This third episode explores how innovations in modernization will make a difference for Canadians across generations. Justin is joined by Shannon Lee Simmons, millennial personal finance expert, author and financial planner; Generation X freelance journalist and author Ceri Marsh, and Baby Boomer David Cravit, Vice President, ZoomerMedia Ltd. Our research indicates Canadians want more choice for payment options that are safe, secure, efficient and reliable – but each generation is adopting these methods at a different pace. This panel examines those cross-generational variations, challenges faced due to a lack of options, as well as some surprising common traits. Listen to The PayPod: Episode 3.
- Shannon Lee Simmons, millennial personal finance expert, author and financial planner
- Ceri Marsh, freelance journalist and author
- David Cravit, Vice President, ZoomerMedia Ltd.
Justin Ferrabee: As digital disruption continues to make headway across every part of our day to day life, it has become more important than ever to continue to evaluate how and in what ways it's impacting us, both good and bad and assess what more needs to be done. In payments, the move towards digital options like e-transfer e-wallets and digital currencies has made many of these day to day interactions faster and more efficient, but many challenges and questions remain.
Hi, I'm Justin Ferrabee, Chief Operating Officer at Payments Canada, and I'll continue to be your guide on the PayPod podcast, a multi episode series on everything to do with Canada's ambitious payments modernization mission. On the last episode, we discussed modernization within the context of small and medium size businesses. Today we'll look at a new side and focus on how innovation in payments will make a difference for Canadians across generations. Joining me to dive deeper into this is a group of panelists that each bring a unique point of view to payment modernization. We have Shannon Lee Simmons who is a millennial personal finance expert, author and financial planner. We have freelance journalists and author Carrie Marsh, and David Kravet, Vice President Zoomer live and Zoomer you. Excellent to be with you all on the PayPod.
Ceri Marsh: It's nice to be here.
Shannon S.: Thanks for having me.
David Cravit: Thanks for having me. Looking forward to it.
Justin Ferrabee: Okay, let's get into it. As a recent survey commissioned by Payments Canada revealed, while digital options exist, traditional methods of payments, like credit cards, debit cards, and cash come out on top. However, more than half of Canadians say they are willing to move to electronic payments on their mobile phones. To all of you, and knowing that many Canadians are open to this change, why do you think people still resort to traditional forms of payment?
Ceri Marsh: I think that we like what we're comfortable with, especially when it comes to money. You grew up using checks or a credit card and that's what you know, so that's what you rely on. And so I think it's just that comfort.
Shannon S.: Yeah, this is what I know. And I would also, I'd be interested to know how long it took for people to go from using cash to debit or cash to credit cards, when that shift really happened. Was it a slow burn or did it happen overnight? Maybe we're just expecting it to happen so quickly when really people are just slow to take on anything with their money, because it's money and you don't want to risk it at all.
David Cravit: I think that's true and I think that it's compounded by an awareness problem of what the alternatives are. It's not as if there was one magic day where the alternative was completely figured out and we all had an equal chance to find out about it and some of us haven't found out yet. I think it's emerging. Is it a creature of my bank? I think for most people, what is your bank offering? That's usually your pipeline to changing your behavior. My bank lets me do this online and they've now got this online and it's kind of I go with them, but I think that there's a big gap in awareness of what's out there and how to access it and what it means.
Justin Ferrabee: And are each of you using these old payment methods primarily?
Shannon S.: If by old you mean debit and credit? Yes, absolutely.
Justin Ferrabee: And cash.
Shannon S.: I barely use cash if I'm honest. I think finding change for the TTC is hard to do in my house. So I'm definitely a debit kind of gal.
David Cravit: Well in my case, I pay I would say probably 95% of bills through online banking. I use credit cards for physical trips to a store or a restaurant, or debit, increasingly a debit card. But it's really a card. I mean, if I'm in the store or in the restaurant, I take out a card, but I pay all my bills online if I can.
Ceri Marsh: I use everything. I use debit, credit, checks, cash, and I think that that's a lot to do with the stage of life that I'm at. I have two young kids, so every week I need to scramble around for toonies for Pizza Day. I have a babysitter, I pay her with checks because that's easier for me to track at tax time. So I do think that there's a certain life stage that demands a certain way of using money. And that's definitely my sort of gen x life stage, is that I need it all right now.
David Cravit: I think that's fair. I think that's fair for baby boomers to, where you have bills with large institutions, be it utilities or department stores, where we could conveniently pay online. You need to write some checks. I probably don't use cash. There might be weeks when I don't use any cash at all.
Justin Ferrabee: Yeah. And do you use your mobile phone for your banking? So have you made the switch from online banking, or branch banking to online banking to mobile banking?
David Cravit: I have my bank's mobile app on my phone and unless it's a ... The biggest barrier for me to mobile is the screen size and typing stuff in. So it's easier if I can see it on my laptop. But I'm quite comfortable, I transferred some money this morning on my phone no problem.
Ceri Marsh: I'm so glad you said that about the screen size cause that's exactly why I do [crosstalk 00:05:09]. I don't like to do much on my phone other than listen to podcasts. But I definitely use my desktop computer to do all my banking.
David Cravit: Yeah.
Shannon S.: I almost exclusively run my banking through my phone. Such a millennial.
Ceri Marsh: Your young, sharp eyes can handle it.
Justin Ferrabee: Do you think that ... So there's this sense of you do your banking mobile or online, and then you have the things that you pay with and you may make a deposit with a check with your mobile, but you actually, all your payment is separate. Do you think that it's just not easy enough to come across and use it or it's effort to make it happen, or is it risky? Is it kind of like a self driving car, even though it works, you still feel really uncomfortable not being there?
Ceri Marsh: I do think that there's a risk element out there, whether that's fair or not. I think that even though the Facebook debacle is not related to banking at all, I do think those kinds of incidents in the news make people feel uncomfortable about the security of their data, the security of their money. I do think there's this sense that maybe it's not quite as safe as we all wish it would be.
David Cravit: I think it's really, I come back to awareness. I mean in my own case, and I don't know how typical or untypical I am of my generation, I literally don't know what to do instead of paying my bills online. I'm talking about bills, a restaurant or a store I take out a piece of plastic [crosstalk 00:06:44]-
Justin Ferrabee: You've got a couple of choices, yeah.
David Cravit: But I literally don't know, because I've got recurring bills set up with vendors set up pays in my bank, it's very easy. I drop down, I click who it is. I set up certain recurring payments, for example, on credit cards. I don't know what to do next, so it's not so much that I've rejected some better alternative. I'm in a state of zero awareness of what that alternative would be. Literally zero.
Shannon S.: I think your point is true. Very true. I would actually just validate both points. Anytime that I've spoken to clients or even my peers/ I have a friend that was working on a mobile e-wallet and everyone's like, "What is that? What does it do? What's the value prop? Why wouldn't I just use my card?" And so if I have to take something out of my purse or out of my bag to pay anyways, why isn't it just my card? So I think that there's a lack of understanding of what the value proposition actually is and why I should bother.
Justin Ferrabee: And it may even be just an incremental improvement. Whether I'm tapping my phone or my card is ...
Ceri Marsh: So what's the point?
Justin Ferrabee: What's the big prize here?
Ceri Marsh: Yeah.
David Cravit: The other thing too, I mean, just from a convenience point of view, and you may say to me, well everything you just said you could do with your mobile wallet, but in my experience, so I can go online at my bank and I can see all the payments to that vendor. I can search those payments against my checking account, my savings account, when's the last time I paid them? What did I pay them? I've got all that figured out already. And it's not that hard or inconvenient to go onto my laptop once or twice a week and do that stuff. So I'm not sure why it needs to be mobile, what the advantage would be. So again, it's an awareness issue.
Ceri Marsh: I think another issue is even just, we were chatting before we got started and there's not even a consistency in the nomenclature yet. Some people refer to the wallet as the place where they put their plane tickets or their concert tickets, and maybe there's some banking information. So I think a lot of people are using this mobile wallet word and it's like, I don't know that we all understand it in the same way even.
David Cravit: I don't think we do. I understood it as being that that's where I have credit cards instead of physical credit cards.
Justin Ferrabee: Yeah. Or cryptocurrency wallet, because there's actual currency in it.
David Cravit: I've seen people in a store hold up their phone instead of taking out a credit card, so I guess if you're saying don't carry around all that plastic, have it all encoded on your phone, hold up a screen. If I may be even wrong, that may not even be what it is. But in terms of paying bills, particularly if it's hydro, if it's Enbridge, if it's department stores. I mean that's not something I need to be mobile for.
Justin Ferrabee: Yeah. So that's a good survey of current, that there is multiple, we're in a transition period. There's some new stuff, there's some old stuff. It works for certain things to pay a babysitter. And each of us is adapting to reflect our habits, our stage of life. If we started to look forward, and rather than just not carrying a card as being the prize, we said, "Well, what could be possible with payments?" And we started to look at the idea of programmable money, as in if I am somebody who manages my finance more from a paycheck to paycheck level, I might want to say don't. Rather than have an automatic debit card that comes out when I don't know exactly when or the amount, I don't know or it's double debited for whatever reason, I'd like to control that.
So don't take out my Rogers bill if my balance is below $200. And then Rogers could come to me and could say, "Can we debit?" And I can say yes or no and you could just start to put yourself, insert yourself on the payments on your phone, or you could even do programming. If this. then that. If my pay happens on this time, then move my payment to two days after my pay. Or you start to say, if I reach a certain limit in dining out, don't let me dine now. Or some version of that. But you start to put things in that, that allow you to gate it so that you don't get an NSF or something like that. Do those kinds of things sound like they might be interesting to you?
Shannon S.: Yeah, I think that would be cool. I think it would be great if you could help take advantage of somebody's good intentions with their finances and empower them to make those decisions in the moment when it's actually happening. So a lot of times, someone would leave my office and be like, "I'm going to do this." And then that good intention can leave. And so if you've actually brought that home and it's like this is happening right now, do you want to make a financial decision? It's that reminder of being mindful, like, "I'm about to make a financial decision. Maybe I should think about that." So that could be-
Justin Ferrabee: Is this good or bad?
Shannon S.: Exactly. So that could be a really, really neat way to engage a consumer to actually use their financial planning on the day to day basis, which is actually how all financial planning happens, right? It's in your day to day life.
Justin Ferrabee: And it's actually the feedback if there's too much distance between when you get the feedback when you make it. So right now my bank statement comes 30 days later, I look at it like, "Ooh, I shouldn't have done that." Should've, could've would've. We could with the information also give context to decisions.
Shannon S.: Yeah. And help that behavior shift along the way.
David Cravit: Well, how many people are waiting for a bank statement to come?
Justin Ferrabee: Maybe not that many.
David Cravit: The boomer here, we're the older supposed to be the most conservative and least prone to tech, but that's not true. But I mean, my bank statement for me is 24/7/365.
Justin Ferrabee: Online. Yeah, right.
David Cravit:Yeah. Where do I sit? What have I got? What do I want to do? Move it around or not.
Ceri Marsh: But as a freelancer, those things would be a huge advantage to me. I don't have a predictable income. It's always changing, you know? And we all know that the gig economy is growing, and so more and more freelancers are going to be out there. I think that those kinds of things would be a huge benefit. One of the hardest things about managing your money as a freelancer is that predictability. It's not like my paycheck drops on the 15th and so I set up all my payments after that. It's always a bit of a surfing game and it creates a lot of anxiety.
Justin Ferrabee: We are trying to, or move payments toward to be sub commercial in that you just do your regular life and the payments are happening kind of in the background. Like you said, it's invisible. I want to manage my life and then I want the payments to be executed as per what I'm managing and not be, it shouldn't be a thing to have to pay. Like you see the Amazon store in the US, where you just go and you pick something and you walk out and it pays for you and there's a ... Oh big deep breath there. How does that all that work and who's getting access to my account? But do you think that that idea of sub commercial payments, where just happens in the background for you is interesting? I see you shaking your head.
Shannon S.: NO.
Justin Ferrabee: What is the ... Both of you. Okay, let's-
Shannon S.: I agree with the idea that you want some sort of technology to help facilitate your life and it shouldn't be so choppy all the time. You want a smooth transition. But the idea of no checkout purchasing, I mean I'm on the front lines of financial planning every single day. I'm talking to real people living in their life and I'm telling you right now, that is a recipe for potential disaster, because we are human beings who have weak moments. And when you don't have to stop for one second and have a check in or be mindful about what's happening, like what you're doing, that leaves the door wide open for completely overspending. If this was all hooked up to debit, that's one thing. But then if you've spent all your money and rent is due the next day, what do you do at that point? And if it's hooked up to credit cards, there's potentially no real ceiling on that. And so we as human beings, we have a capacity to ignore the information that's helpful. So even if you had an alert that was like, "You shouldn't walk out of that store right now." Screw it.
Justin Ferrabee: You can't afford it.
Shannon S.: I can walk out of here and do as I please. And I don't even need to have that fear of having an NSF on my debit card. Like that's a thing, right? And so I believe from a personal finance point of view strictly, that a sober second thought or a moment of inconvenience can save people a lot of money and a lot of potential trouble down the road.
Justin Ferrabee: So it's a management tool. The friction of payments is a management tool of your finances.
Shannon S.: From a personal finance point of view, absolutely.
Ceri Marsh: And no surprise that big companies, big retailers are pushing for this.
Shannon S.: Right.
Ceri Marsh: Right.
Justin Ferrabee: I detect a bit of suspicion there.
Ceri Marsh: Well I mean, of course, of course, if I'm Amazon or Whole Foods or whoever, I want you to be able to spend as easily and with as little resistance as possible.
Shannon S.: Yeah.
Ceri Marsh: That's my goal.
Justin Ferrabee: Are there not times when that's helpful? The payment facility at Uber made it really easy, so that actually is part of what makes that work. Is Airbnb fixing the check changing and all that kind of stuff, isn't there are times when make it easier works?
Ceri Marsh: Well Airbnb, you know in advance what you're spending. So yes, if that's easy, great. You've already decided in advance, "I'm going to stay at this place. It's going to cost me 140 a night," or what have you. You know. I don't think that's the same as being in a store and loading up your car with-
Justin Ferrabee: And not knowing how much you're buying?
Ceri Marsh: Well, or maybe not really, just as Shannon said, just taking that second to say, "Do I really, is this really the right choice to buy this?"
Shannon S.: Can I afford it?
Ceri Marsh: Can I afford it?
David Cravit: Well, here I think there is a generational difference, because I think that the longterm effect will be much more favorable with the older generations for what you're talking about. They are conservative savers. They're watching the money more carefully, and I think you have to make a distinction for the purpose of this conversation between what is desirable, because I agree with you as a financial planner. Don't just go into the store and check without knowing, but what's desirable and what the market wants may not always be the same thing. There's going to be an insatiable demand as far as the eye can see from older consumers for more convenience. And so the need to just, it happens. It's paid for. I've got it covered. I built it into my planning tool.
If you think you're going to be going into Amazon and checking out without checking out, that's just now. 10 years from now, I mean, they're working on the Amazon ... The Walmart, even more than Amazon, truck will drive up to your home with all the stuff that you've ordered and just deliver it. You won't even be in the store. The store will come to you. The convenience store industry now is hearing speakers at their conferences that 15 years from now, all the drones won't be owned by Amazon. They'll be owned by you. You'll be sending your own drone to the store to get the stuff and bring it back, all paid for before it even happens. And in a society where people are living longer, the fastest growing age group are centenarians, mobility is an issue. Getting out is an issue. The inconvenience of shopping is an issue, multiplied by winter is an issue. The more it can come to me, that's seamless and frictionless, bring it on. That's going to be your biggest market, I predict. I know it's counterintuitive. [crosstalk 00:17:52]
Justin Ferrabee: Very interesting. That's great. [crosstalk 00:17:54] No, I love it. Love it.
David Cravit: That's going to be your biggest market. I'm sitting at home, I want it all to come to me and don't you worry. I know where the money is and all my planning tools.
Shannon S.: That's the key. You've got the money, the boomers, they got it.[crosstalk 00:18:02].
David Cravit: Like the planning tool [crosstalk 00:18:03]. But I want the planning tool to do it for me. The planning tool to figure it all out. I can sit there, all this stuff's going to come to me because I don't want to get in a car.
Justin Ferrabee: And you want the planning tool to also manage the drones.
David Cravit: I drive through the snow load and ... Who wants-
Justin Ferrabee: Now going further out, what about cryptocurrency, bitcoins? Other things? Would you trust those as a payment method?
Shannon S.: Do you mean the technology or do you mean the idea of a cryptocurrency being as store value, that I can buy ... I can actually buy-
Justin Ferrabee: The latter. So you have a bank account. Would you also have a crypto account then, if it was easy and convenient? Would you see any difference between that currency, this currency?
Ceri Marsh: No. I mean I can't pretend to really understand it or to have spent a lot of time looking into it. But I feel like money is a conceit and cryptocurrencies are a conceit and if that's the going currency, then that's fine. I'm not, and if you remember this book from the '60s, The Zen Of Motorcycle Maintenance, I am not that person. It's like, I don't need to know how the microwave works to use the microwave. If people are using cryptocurrency, I'll use it. I don't need to dig into the granular understanding of it.
David Cravit: Yeah, I agree. It's like seeing a Visa or Mastercard logo in a store window. We accept Visa. If we accept a crypto currency, if it becomes a unit of exchange ... Remember, we're talking about using it to pay for not speculating in it.
Justin Ferrabee: Right. It's not an investment.
David Cravit: Not An investment, that's another issue. But if somebody accepts it, then they accept it. If I can go walk in and pay for something with cryptocurrency, sure.
Shannon S.: I agree. If it's a unit of value, like a stored value that everybody agrees with and you can pay with it and actually use it as an exchange of value, then it would be something. I think the only thing that would scare me would be the volatility of it. And how do you know what people ... That we accept this today, maybe not tomorrow and maybe it's worth like 10 times what it is today, tomorrow and maybe it's worth less. I think that that would be the only thing that would stop me from using an actual cryptocurrency as a currency, not as an investment, would be the volatility of it and not really knowing what that stored value is tomorrow.
Ceri Marsh: The most conservative is the millennial.
Justin Ferrabee: Yeah, curiously enough.
David Cravit: I think that would apply everywhere. It's too soon. I mean maybe 20 years from now it'll become ...
Justin Ferrabee: And I guess the question is the context for what, how much or what.
David Cravit: And then how easy is it to switch? So if it becomes-
Ceri Marsh: Right, is it interchangeable?
David Cravit: You know, I could have, I could pay for something in US dollars. I could have a US dollar account as a consumer now, not as a speculator, and even if it goes up or down a few cents a year, the Canadian dollar in relation, I'm not speculating and I'm just ... I have a couple thousand bucks of US dollars for whatever. I'm going to Buffalo every so often, I'm not going to get hurt on the exchange. If cryptocurrency became that interchangeable and I said, "Okay, have some thousands of dollars worth of crypto in your [crosstalk 00:21:13] bag of tricks, then fine, but I don't think people ... The moment you got to buy a bunch of it and invest in it, then it's-
Justin Ferrabee: Then it's volatile. Then it's [crosstalk 00:21:20]-
David Cravit: Then you won't do it any more than you'd buy US dollars. You might keep a few thousand US dollars if you're going there often. But if you're going to buy, go into a bank and lay down a hundred grand worth of green backs, you better be sure it's not going to be worth a lot less. You can get really hurt.
Justin Ferrabee: Do any of you have a stash of cash? We're not going to chase you down, but I wonder if you ever worry that maybe [crosstalk 00:21:42]. If there's like all this dependency on this electronic infrastructure, if something were to happen for a period of time, what do you do? Do you have cash or you think actually somebody will solve that problem if it-
Ceri Marsh: Like actually under the mattress?
Justin Ferrabee: Or it could be in your freezer too. I mean, I don't have a bias to where you keep it.
Ceri Marsh: I do not, but my husband does and I know where it is. Because he's a bit paranoid. So yes, he's the person who's thought of that scenario. I would just be like, "That's fine. You don't ever need that." But there's like [crosstalk 00:22:14] There's a little metal box in our house, so come over, if it happens, we're the ones who are going to help you out.
Shannon S.: I have 500 bucks cash in my house at any given time for mad money. My mom always called him mad money and it was ingrained in my brain. And so that's there. It's not enough to do anything, any real damage with it, but it's there just in case you need 500 bucks of mad money for whatever reason, get out of dodge when the Zombie apocalypse happens.
Justin Ferrabee: Just enough to get far enough out.
Shannon S.: Yeah.
David Cravit: Don't forget, this is interesting though because we talked earlier about the invisibility. So the institutions that we rely on, I.e. The Bank of Canada, the banks, the ministers of finance, have created the impression, and it may be completely accurate, I'm not making this as an accusation, that nothing can go wrong. And that impression started back in my great grandparents, when the daily exchanges were by paper, I presume. The banks cleared their checks manually in some room at the end of the day for all I know. So the system was supposed to be that nothing can take down the system and we all rely on that. So if that's not true, then I would suggest we've got bigger problems than can be solved by a stash of cash.
Justin Ferrabee: Yeah, and I want to reassure you the system's safe.
David Cravit: Yeah.
Shannon S.: It's not the Handmaid's Tale.
Justin Ferrabee: I assume so [crosstalk 00:23:37]
Ceri Marsh: Your debit card doesn't work.
Shannon S.: What's happening.
David Cravit: Because I think there's redundancies and stuff built-
Justin Ferrabee: Right, it's all planned for and there's a lot of business continuity planning and it was just one of those questions about suspicion or just your own risk tolerance and what you do and that kind of stuff. That was a ...
David Cravit: Yeah.
Justin Ferrabee: So let's move internationally now. Let's see what's going out in the rest of the world and see if it were to come here, how would you feel about it? So we'll travel East first. If we look at China with WeChat and Alipay, where these platforms are taking over the payment system with a penetration in the upwards of the 70, 80% where you are paid into your WeChat and you use your WeChat to your tax or you put wherever you're going, that it is ubiquitous, it is accessible, it is fluid, it is friction-free and you can move through anywhere and it all goes into the same place and it comes out of it, kind of like a Facebook only for payments and other things. What do you think if that were to come here?
Ceri Marsh: Well, I do think as someone who works, I'm a freelance writer, I have clients in the States, in Europe. I travel quite a bit in Europe. I think I would really welcome a platform that made payments and receiving money more easy. You know, often when you're paying for things in Europe, they want to use a wire transfer, which is very easy in Europe, it's very expensive in Canada. Often when I'm getting paid by an American client, there's all sorts of paperwork involved. I would really welcome something that made those international transactions more painless. Right?
David Cravit: I think for an international purpose, if I was in your situation it would be, but otherwise it's just, it sounds like just a replacement of everything I get from the bank now.
Justin Ferrabee: Yeah. Not a big, [crosstalk 00:25:23]-
David Cravit: So my income goes into my bank account automatically. My bank account disperses funds everywhere, including the US. I would say 85% of our household shopping is online, including increasingly food. It's all settled through the bank with your credit card, debit card, e-payment. So I don't know what a Alipay would do that I'm not already getting. That's my ... Now if I was having to make payments overseas maybe, [crosstalk 00:26:02] but that's a small percentage of the market. So I'm not sure what other functionality they offer that I'm not already seeing, because I'm getting that one stop inbound, outbound-
Justin Ferrabee: Through your Vanquish Trust.
David Cravit: ... through my bank now.
Justin Ferrabee: Yeah. Great. Okay, let's look west. So open banking is in Europe and there's a version of that that applies just for payments. So payments data. And as we are discovering, payments data is helpful data if you want to learn things. So the applications, the hackathons where people come up with all these great ideas have come up with a lot of ideas on what you could do with payments data. And there are some very serious things, like if you have a, if you suffer from a mental illness or some other medical condition, your payments could have a pattern. And when you deviate from that pattern it could alert a caregiver who could help out. So it would be a very good way of understanding behaviors in support of keeping you on a track that you wanted to be on. So it's a very helpful view, and there's many versions like that.
And then we have that are more novelty but are telling. And that is your payments data says a lot about you, that there are now or in progress or suggested that we could have a dating app which is based on your payments data, that you're more accurate to describe who you are based on what you spend your money on than on any profile you complete or any values thing or any kind of other mechanisms that you use to describe yourself. What do you think about that?
Shannon S.: That makes me want to cry. So absolutely your payments data says absolutely everything real about good, bad, ugly about who you are. You give nobody a shot. Everyone will be single forever. Oracle match or what would realistically, what I could see happening would be this person has a terrible credit rating, so does this person has a terrible credit rating and let's match them together because they clearly like blowing money on the same things, right? And so you have these financially terrible couples and then these financially wonderful couples. And what would that do for natural selection? I don't know. I feel like that day, I'm being facetious, but the amount of data that you could get from what people pay for, even if there is good, I worry about what it could do. It's so much personal information, and I would argue maybe the most personal information that you could possibly get from somebody, who you are when no one's watching and so I feel afraid for that type of information of person to be in somebody else's hands.
Ceri Marsh: But I can also seeing it being terrifically popular. I agree with everything you've said. It's-
David Cravit: But be the underlying assumption is it's opt in obviously. [crosstalk 00:28:46] You can't so it without your consent.
Justin Ferrabee: Correct.
David Cravit: So to me it's a non issue. It's just another piece of information about yourself that you choose to reveal or not, depending on who you're revealing it to and what you think they're going to do with it. If you indicate your sports preferences and your sexual proclivities, why not your payment tendencies, if you want to do it and it's transparent?
Ceri Marsh: I think it's a little bit more explosive, just because I think it makes clear how many people feel about class, which is that they want to stay in the class that they feel comfortable with.
Shannon S.: Yes.
Ceri Marsh: And so this is a way of talking about class, that doesn't get right to the point. Which is why I think a lot of people would be drawn to it, that they want to stay where they're comfortable.
Justin Ferrabee: It's also interesting you have a reaction at first, which is that it's so personal.
Shannon S.: It's very personal.
Justin Ferrabee: Your finances is a way of describing you, and it's very personal. It's interesting how that ...
Shannon S.: Not even so much what you make, but how you spend. The most personal.
Justin Ferrabee: Choices. Because it's a reflection of choices.
Shannon S.: Behavior, yeah.
David Cravit: I can only throw two curves at this if we're predicting what will happen. So already it's been estimated that according to a third of the profiles on Linkedin are fake. 25% of the profiles on Facebook are fake, people are going to create fake spending profiles, fake identities. They're going to create virtual personas. We're already in a world of avatars, of virtual websites, of people that are spending more time online, particularly people that are socially challenged, with fake identities. So I think there's going to be a lot of risk for the payment at the other end. You're assuming everybody's got this totally legit data that we're hoarding. What happens if we decide to game the system?
Second thing I think that's coming, I know I'm way out on a limb here, but it's been discussed, is affinity groups that can be organized on the consumer side. So what happens if one million high net worth people find each other and say, "We're going to charge for our data. We're not going to give you our data for free, Facebook. You can't drop a cookie. You want to drop a cookie on my computer, five bucks." That's coming. People are going to realize, because as the CEO of Apple said about Facebook, he says, "At apple our product is phones, at Facebook their product is their consumers. So why should I supply them with product gratis?"
So the day is coming when the consumers will figure out how to aggregate themselves and charge the institutions for the privilege. And when that happens, look out because then the possibilities to organize affinity groups, buying groups, consumer groups and say, "You can't have my data at all unless you pay for it." And then you're going to see the cost of market research multiply by orders of magnitude. Because we're suckers now. We're just giving up this stuff gratis and letting the companies resell it for money. Why should we?
Justin Ferrabee: Great point. Thank you all for your sound advice and comments, and for offering a closer look into how each generation is being impacted by the payments evolution in Canada. That's all the time we have for this episode, but join us next time on the Pay Pod, when we delve into the world of payments. The show is available at payments.ca and join the conversation online using #modernpayments.