Women in Payments CEO Answers: Could Facebook Libra Be a Huge Threat to Visa and Paypal?

  • Kristy Duncan, the CEO of Women in Payments started the company in 2012, looking to add value in a different way, to connect, inspire, and champion women who are working in the payments industry globally. In our interview with Duncan, she shared with us the changing payment landscape with the emerging technologies in the sector.

    The mobile payment landscape

    Led by ever-changing technology, Duncan stated that the payment landscape in Asia is dynamic and innovative. “I see a lot of mobile payments in Asia, people using their phones to do everything here. Even at the Asian Financial Forum, they got a whole demo at Standard Chartered where they are using their mobile phones to connect with the ATM. This kind of innovation, I think, is really helping to drive mobile payments and mobile applications.” Duncan concluded that the innovation being seen in the financial and payments industry would drive innovation with other sectors as well.


    The second payment services directive (PSD2), an EU Directive and administered by the European Commission aimed to regulated payment services as well as payment service providers in Europe. Aimed to revolutionize the payments industry, the new requirements the break down of the bank’s monopoly on their user’s data. The PSD2 will also require stronger identity checks when consumers are paying online.

    “I think it is very exciting that the UK, EU, and Australia are leading in that whole banking PSD2 market. It offers new opportunities again for the FinTechs, and the heritage or incumbent organizations to collaborate so that ultimately these new solutions can come to the market faster, and increase the competition in the markets,” Duncan added.

    Democratizing payments with blockchain

    Blockchain and cryptocurrencies made its debut when Bitcoin was introduced to the public, and thereafter, other cryptocurrencies followed. Duncan believes that blockchain can be used to democratize payments in ways that have never been done before. “If you look at distributed ledger technology and cryptocurrencies, for example, Ripple is looking to offer a new way to do global payment transactions, especially cross-border in a way that provides increased transparency and much faster settlement opportunities with that we didn’t have before,” she explained. “It’s bringing new approaches to the industry that increases efficiency, reduce costs, and ultimately benefiting the customers.”

    In the long-run, Duncan considers blockchain will be widely used and will go under the covers where the end-users would be unaware of the integration of the technology. With blockchain’s innate features, providing more transparency, visibility, and ease of processing, Duncan has confidence in blockchain in offering convenience and irrevocability to the end-user, while gaining popularity and becoming more commonplace in the payments industry for different applications. “We’re still in the early phases with blockchain, I think, in a couple of years, it will be much clearer as to where the optimum applications will lie.”

    The launch of Libra: A threat to existing payment companies?

    The announcement of Facebook’s Libra put central banks on its toes, as the concept of a global stablecoin is entirely new; according to Duncan, it is “not something that’s beyond the realm of possibility.” Visa, MasterCard has pulled out of the Libra Association, along with other large corporations as regulatory unclarity continued to roam.

    “Ultimately, we could see something that would be good if it were to be initiated by a global body like the IMF, for example, because they’re more affiliated with the fiat currencies - the central banks” explained Duncan. “I would rather hold my currency with a central bank denominated coin rather than something that is privately held because I feel it would have more stability and transparency; then I would have more confidence in that.”


  • Even now many users have no idea that the services they use have integrated with blockchain.

  • Interesting to see that mobile phones can be connected to ATMs.

  • With the target of many to increase efficiency and improve transparency with blockchain, what comes after full optimisation?

  • I like how they're for women empowerment. Great to see women being successful and helping one another.

  • Maybe only when Libra has officially launch would we see the actual impact it has.

  • @hola55 Very true. Many are not educated on this technology that has actually made so much changes to our lives.

  • @supermario I never knew that too. We're moving along just fine with blockchain.

  • @elixir That is something we'll see when we get there. Right now, we're still too far away.

  • @bell This is something worth celebrating. Women have come so far.

  • More women are playing important roles in revolutionising payment and blockchain technology.

  • @pokemon Perhaps so. But will they launch in time?

  • Just waiting to see who follows suit next.

  • @crazyfrog Women empowerment is becoming bigger as the years pass.

  • @pokemon or maybe full optimisation is not reality.

  • @harrypotter So pessimistic huh that many don't see eye to eye after joining arms.

  • @pokemon soon it's going to be very accessible and common that people don't even blink twice seeing one






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