The Pay Off: How Changing the Way We Pay Changes Everything
How we pay is so fundamental that it underpins everything – from trade to taxation, stocks and savings to salaries, pensions and pocket money. Rich or poor, criminal, communist or capitalist, we all rely on the same payments system, day in, day out. It sits between us and not just economic meltdown, but a total breakdown in law and order. Why then do we know so little about how it really works?
As you read this, technology is dismantling payment barriers and governments are erecting them; cash is on the way out, and crypto and BigTech are fighting their way in. The Europeans are heavily regulated, the Americans oddly backward, and the Chinese hoping to lead the way forward. Challenging our understanding about where financial power really lies, The Pay Off shows us that the most important thing about money is the way we move it.
Leibbrandt and De Terán shine a light on the hidden workings of the humble payment – and reveal both how our payment habits are determined by history as well as where we go from here. From national customs to warring nation states, geopolitics will shape the future of payments every bit as much as technology.
“Payments are the most important things most people have probably never even thought about. Banks, tech companies, Central Banks, crypto firms and crooks all know that if you control payments, you may also control critical data and ultimately the world. The Pay Off cleverly dissects the workings and future of this geopolitical and technological war. A must read for anyone in business.”
- Bob Wigley, Chair, UK Finance, and author of Born Digital: The Story of a Distracted Generation
“a long overdue, highly readable and authoritative account of the uses and occasional abuses of the systems on which we all rely, and how they are still rapidly changing, that both specialists and the general reader will find informative and entertaining.”
- Mark Yallop, Chair, FICC Markets Standards Board, Former External Member, Prudential Regulatory Committee at the Bank of England, Former External Member, Financial Market Infrastructure Board at the Bank of England
“Whenever you buy or sell something, you use a payments system but, do you ever wonder how that system works? It’s like plumbing or electricity maybe, but it is actually far more complex as it is changing fast thanks to technology. You used to pay with cash, then with a click, now with a swipe or with a touch. What’s next? How does all of this work? The Pay Off provides a wonderful deep-dive into the subject […]. In this book, you find so many useful insights about the past, present and future of payments that anyone who is vaguely interested in the politics, economics and world of finance should pick it up and read it. NOW!”
- Chris Skinner, author, commentator and troublemaker