THE ART OF THE POSSIBLE… 16 YEAR OLDS FORECASTING THE FUTURE & DESIGNING FINANCIAL PRODUCTS THAT HELP THEM GET THERE
Known not just for designing tailored electronic payment solutions for today, but with a firm emphasis on the future, Accomplish did something very few organisations would do. We engaged a group of local school students to imagine what the future might hold in store, and what this would mean for payments in the future world.
For the third consecutive year, Accomplish ran its annual work experience programme for local students. This enabled us to go direct to the source of the future – four 16 year old high school students with a particular interest in the world of finance. The group was tasked with identifying what the world might look like in 2030 and, in response to that world, developing a payment product designed for 12-18 year olds that would be relevant both today and in 2030. After all, who better to understand current and future needs of this age group than fellow 16 year olds.
With only a week to not only accomplish this assignment but to also produce presentations on how the world will look in 2030, this remarkable group of North London teens produced work that made us sit up and take note.
The talented group conceived a brand new financial product which they named ‘Cashcub.’ Developing its functional side with wristwatch and wristband based card/payment products and considering a fully holistic offering, they designed to product to empower young people’s financial management from an education, management, and, most importantly, an accountability perspective.
Now is when the excitement really starts – turning ideas into real projects with students seeing their ideas come to life.
THE WORLD IN 2030
With a brief asking them to consider a diverse range of factors from earning to shopping, owning stuff, banking, playing and interacting, the group’s presentations were worthy of any boardroom. Their perceptions and original, considered, provocative ideas were truly futuristic and caused much discussion and debate amongst the Accomplish Board – exactly what the exercise intended to spark.
A general consensus was that physical bank branches could become much less common or even redundant in a virtually cashless society and that crypto or digital currencies will play a far bigger role in the financial world.
Some of the group members here did also consider the associated risks; warning of the security implications around digital and cryptocurrencies, particularly for business. On a global basis a thoughtfully constructed view was that cash may still play a major role in less financially included or digitally native communities. In their vision of the future, spending will take on far greater importance in the digital world with further advances in tokens and coins rather than physical currency.
WORK IN 2030
Whilst the world of work has changed significantly since COVID, the group put forward their belief that in future there will be even greater work-based collaboration, incorporating a blend of both technology and face to face contact to strike the right balance between online and offline worlds.
THE NEW WORLD OF RETAIL
No longer will you be strolling through malls, gazing into windows and trying on clothes. In the metaverse of 2030, your shopping will likely be a virtual reality tour with your lifelike avatar trying on the clothes for you. It was though, wisely pointed out this would be more likely in larger urban areas than smaller towns, where the high street would still continue play an important role in society.
And no longer would you struggle to fit that couch you bought into your lounge as a 3D model of your room will assess exactly how it would look and fit.
Instead of craving the latest luxury furnishings the 2030 buyer will crave objects and artwork to show off in their metaverse, rather than simply ‘owning stuff’. Online shopping as we know it will further extend into property and cars giving you the taste and feel of both without leaving your home.
Gaming, already growing exponentially, will be even more immersive and connected. Faster and more powerful by 2030 you’ll find it very difficult to differentiate between the real world and what’s a game. With the environment in mind and reducing carbon emissions you’ll even be attending metaverse parties, rubbing virtual shoulders with friends around the world.
PREPARING FOR THE FUTURE
The crux of the exercise showed that the right preparation and infrastructure provisions are key to the new digital world. Whilst we’ll mostly likely be travelling in electric cars, will there be enough electricity? Highly sophisticated online security systems will need to be in place for the currency of the future. We already have much of the technology and new internet satellites but will need the foundations to be in place to support these systems and adequately secure them.
One pupil perhaps encompassed the most important message. The world in the future has an emphasis on togetherness. So the whole world has to develop before we can fully embrace this technology in society.
According to Simon Bradley, Head of Partnerships at Accomplish, “As a generation, we’re uniquely placed to learn from the wisdom and insights of the older generations, but also to draw upon the thoughts, dreams and aspirations of the younger generations. This is exactly what we want from our work experience programme- to make the students part of the conversations that will shape the future of our business and wider industry.
We can’t possibly innovate without understanding people and their connection to money and payments. So being afforded the opportunity to glean the insights from this talented group has been of genuine tremendous benefit to us as an organisation.
”With young minds such as these on the cusp of careers in financial development the future is truly in good hands.”