Want to start—or bet on—the next big thing in payments? Forget glitz and glamor and focus on startups that address pressing problems with substantial and realistic solutions, argues Eric Grover.
Successful payments fintechs such as Adyen, Ant Financial, Klarna, Stripe, and Square have generated enormous excitement. With the arguable exception of Ant Financial, they all employ traditional business models, and enhance, and in places stress but don’t disrupt, the existing payments ecosystem.
Closer to terra firma, a handful of interesting early-stage payments ventures worth watching are Modo, Marqeta, Beyond, RS2 North America, and Veem. All address big opportunities or problems, and rely on proven business models.