Future of financial services is algorithmic, experience-centric: PayPal CTO Shivananda

Future of financial services is algorithmic, experience-centric: PayPal CTO Shivananda 705 377 C-Suite Network
Sri Shivananda, PayPal’s Chief Technology Officer. Image sourced from PayPal Inc.

PayPal Holdings Inc.’s digital payments platform is available in more than 200 markets worldwide and used by 227 million active account holders. Sri Shivananda, senior vice president and chief technology officer of the company, is a geek at heart who earlier worked at eBay Inc. as a software engineer and rose up the ranks to become vice president of global platform and infrastructure. He will be speaking at EmTech India 2018—an emerging technology conference organized by Mint and MIT Technology Review—on 8 March in Gurgaon. In an email interview, Shivananda talks about the dynamic digital payments market and the impact of emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain. Edited excerpts:

In the payments space, do you see the big getting bigger or will there be ample room for multiple smaller companies that have only recently emerged?

We have seen the sector evolve over time. We know there will be more innovation in the next five years than we have seen in the last 50 years. As long as the needs of the customer are kept at the heart of innovation with a focus on creating a secure payments ecosystem, there is room for companies of all sizes to grow.

One must remember (that) how a customer defines a good experience has changed dramatically with the advent of emerging technologies. Instead of it being a battle between the big and the new, it is more important than ever today to understand the potential of collaborations.

How do you see the role of traditional banks evolving? How are newer technologies like AI (machine learning, deep learning, etc.), blockchain and the Internet of Things disrupting this sector?

It is difficult to stay relevant in this world without infusing emerging technologies intelligently, and financial services are no exception to this. The future…