Exciting to see that data is being used as a means of payment in a student cafe. Clearly, personal data is valuable because it allows big tech services to improve and become more targeted and accurate. But is data really money? And what are the implications for FS providers? 

The text books tell you that, to be money, something must be 1) a medium of exchange 2) a store of value and 3) a unit of account. For me, data passes the first two tests. But it isn't a unit of account because it has very different values depending on what kind of data it is. 

As for the implications for financial services? One of the conclusions from Deloitte's recent work with the World Economic Forum on artificial intelligence in financial services was that, while in the past dominant institutions were built on the scale of their assets, in the future, they'll be built on the scale of their data. In that case, perhaps we'll see payment with data as a way to scale faster.