There have been sweeping changes in the payments space over the past ten years, and, heading into a new decade, there is no doubt that substantial changes will continue. Payment trends for 2020 appear to be moving the industry in a much more consumer-centric direction, focusing on ways to make payments as easy and convenient as possible. These six trends illustrate this commitment to frictionless payment processes:
1Declining percentage of cash payments
According to McKinsey & Company, cash transactions around the world have decreased from 89 percent to 77 percent. According to the Federal Reserve, cash has lost its top position as the most frequently used payment type in the U.S. Debit cards now account for 28 percent of payments vs. 26 percent of payments made with cash. Furthermore, analysts predict cash use will continue to decline in the next five years as a result of factors including new payment options and continued growth of digital commerce.
Banks are issuing new, contactless payment cards this year. These cards, featuring near-field communication (NFC) technology, will enable consumers to simply tap or wave their cards near a card reader to make purchases up to a specified amount. Consumers, from quick service restaurant and convenience store customers to commuters on the NYC Metropolitan Transit Authority, will begin to experience how quick and easy it is to just tap and go.
As merchants upgrade their payment hardware to meet this demand, the contactless payment trend is expected to expand beyond contactless cards. The same technology that allows merchants to accept payment with a contactless credit card will also allow them to accept mobile wallets like Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay or payment using watches, wearables or fobs.
3No signature required
In 2018, card brands removed the signature requirement from credit card transactions. With advancements in payment security technology, such as EMV, tokenization, and artificial intelligence (AI) for payment data monitoring, the process of authorizing transactions with a signature has become virtually obsolete.
All merchants, however, didn’t immediately remove the requirement for the payment transactions they process. Look for more merchants to reimagine credit card transaction processes this year, making them faster and easier for their customers.
Consumers have been using fingerprints to unlock their smartphones, authorize mobile banking transactions and make mobile payments for several years. Look for fingerprint or other biometric identification to authorize payments in even more places, making transactions more efficient, accurate and secure.
Internet of Things (IoT) technology has the potential to create seamless payment processes. Just as drivers with RFID sensors can bypass toll booths and pay their tolls with a card on file, shoppers, such as those at Amazon Go stores, will be able to select their purchases, walk out of the store and receive a receipt on an app or via email or text.
In 2020, merchants will continue to explore the potential value of moving payments to the background to enhance customer experiences.
6Never trading security for convenience
Along with payment trends toward consumer convenience is the trend to continually make payment security a top priority. Each tech advancement meant to make payments easier and more convenient will be accompanied by security measures. Security is embedded into customer-facing technology, at the merchant level, and implemented by payment companies and card brands to keep data secure. In 2020, look for heightened measures to collect and share threat intelligence and to use advanced technologies, including artificial intelligence to detect and stop fraud.
Stay on Trend
A key takeaway for ISVs, VARs and other solutions providers is that your merchant clients need to evaluate their current payments solution and identify gaps. It’s essential that you give your clients the ability to accept all payment types that their customers want to use. It’s also vital to provide your clients with the most updated solutions, demonstrating to their customers that they’re up to date with technology and serious about payment security.
Enabling merchants to enhance payment transactions with greater functionality and convenience can help your clients build customer loyalty and retention — and by providing your clients with the solutions they need, you may also find your clients are more loyal to you.