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One in a series of previews of the FMI MarkeTechnics Show
One of the most profound changes in the way people shop is the way people for the products they buy…which will be the subject of one of the workshop sessions scheduled for this year Food Marketing Institute (FMI) MarkeTechnics conference, scheduled for San Francisco, February 29-March 2.

How will money and value be represented in the future? Will generations be identified by their preferred method of payment? What payment systems will follow today's "magnetic" (stripe) generation?

To get an on-the-money preview of this intriguing session, we turned to the workshop's presenter: John Briggs, senior vice president/CFO/treasurer, Hy-Vee, Inc. And we started with one of the more pressing questions:

MNB: Is cash dead?

John Briggs: No. A significant portion of the population remains unbanked and relies upon cash transactions. Recent products such as payroll cards have been introduced but cash remains an important payment alternative for many customers.

MNB: Do you think that money somehow has less value (which might explain why so personal indebtedness is so high) because people don’t actually handle money anymore.

John Briggs: Money will always continue to be important to customers. This is true for customers that have significant financial resources and those that live from paycheck to paycheck. While credit cards have significantly contributed to personal indebtedness the reduction of cash in our society is not a contributing factor.

MNB: What are the ratios of how people generally make transactions in supermarkets (cash vs. ATM cards vs. debit cards vs. checks vs. credit cards) and how do you think it will change over the next five years.

John Briggs: The use of alternative payment methods including debit and credit has grown significantly in the past few years. This trend will obviously continue as financial institutions continue to provide customers with these payment mechanisms and retailers accept these methods for payment.

MNB: The industry is put a lot of time and muscle into the debit card suit against MasterCard and Visa, but do you think this really will have any sort of impact on how people pay for the things that they buy.

John Briggs: Customers will generally use the cards they have been provided by their financial institution for payment. This would include incentive based credit cards. The results of the lawsuit will not change this behavior although individual retailers may decide against accepting a particular type of payment vehicle or an individual brand.

MNB: How do you think that biometric payment systems really can get and in what timeframe.

John Briggs: We are seeing increased use of biometric payment initiatives for a variety of payment methods. In some situations these may be used just to identify the customer to eliminate fraud. As our society becomes more accustomed to biometric technology because of continuing security threats the opportunity for biometric payments will continue to be more acceptable to consumers.

The FMI MarkeTechnics workshop "Show Me The Money" is scheduled for Monday, March 1, and will examine the emerging payment mechanisms and tokens that may be presented at checkouts soon.

You can register for the event and find out more about it by going to: /
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