Although a number of mobile payment companies have predicted the “death of cash” or the “end of the wallet,” Lee sees that as nothing more than wishful thinking by new entrants to the payments marketplace. Lee sights our 27-century relationship with cash as proof positive it is here to stay.
This is due mostly to the user-friendliness of cash and the fact that it is impossible to replicate all the properties of cash. Lee also points to the continued existence of differing social classes, and the unlikelihood of complete public trust in cash alternatives, as making total replacement of cash in society impossible.
The CEO also predicts the eventual demise of the staffed branch in the very far future. He recognizes increased automation, including self-service and video banking, along with the rise of customer-owned devices are precursors to eventual total automation, but says we have a ways to go before staffed branches disappear completely.
Lee saw plastic, cash, and mobile technologies continuing to coexist as they do now, and providing the potential for global synergy between mobile banking and ATMs.
Lastly, Lee looked at virtual currencies such as bitcoin. He points out that digital is a copy of analog, and that humans and cash are analog. In other words, they come first. He added that digital has been embraced for its convenience; but he believes society will never completely abandon high-touch and human-friendly analog technologies.