Payment Trends Outlook for 2020

Payment trends will be influenced by consumer demographics, targeted customer experiences, and the rise in contactless and person-to-person payments.

payment trends

Approaching a new year and a new decade, payment trends indicate that significant changes are ahead. Here are five forces that will shape the payment solutions you provide to your customers in 2020 and beyond.  

A New Generation

To stay relevant, merchants spent the last decade replacing long-standing processes — and perceptions — to provide millennial-generation consumers with the convenient, digitalized, customer-centric experiences they demand.

As the new decade begins, merchants will see the rise of another generation, with new demands and expectations. Accenture estimates that Generation Z, the oldest of whom are in their early 20s, will make up 40 percent of US consumers by 2020.

One of the most significant differences between Gen Z and other generations is that they’re digital natives. Accenture says to expect these consumers to use contactless mobile wallet payments — and to want their mobile wallets to help them decide which cards to use for the best rewards or savings. They also embrace shopping via social media and mobile banking. They’re also analytical and pragmatic — they’ll demand authenticity and sincerity from the companies they do business with.

US Contactless Payment Adoption Begins an Upward Trajectory

Gen Z won’t be the only consumers opting to make contactless payments in 2020 and beyond. When the ball drops on New Year’s Eve, more than 100 million consumers will have contactless payment cards in their wallets. And there will be numerous high-traffic places where they can use them. For example, the NYC Metropolitan Transit Authority has upgraded technology to accept contactless payment systems to accept them as commuters pass through turnstiles. Consumers who discover the ease and convenience of tap-and-go payments may also be more prone to use their mobile wallets and take note of which stores and restaurants accept them.

Person-to-person Payment Growth

Person-to-person transactions allow anyone to transfer money from their accounts to another person’s account. Person-to-person payments, in effect, turn any device — including a PC, smartphone, or tablet — into a payment device. Consumers will continue to choose these services for quick, secure transactions that digitally transfer funds. Advanced Market Analytics (AMA) projects the global person-to-person payments market will grow at a rate of 9.76 percent to reach $3,217 million by 2024.

Heightened Emphasis on Experience

Retailers and restaurateurs understand that delighting customers with exceptional experiences pay off with loyalty, greater lifetime value of customers, and shoppers who evolve into brand ambassadors. Next year, expect payments to play a larger role in shaping those experiences. Merchants will demand omnichannel payment solutions that not only make managing a business on multiple channels easier but also enable better cross-channel customer experiences.

Tokenizing payment data allows a shopper to purchase online with a click and makes buy online, pickup in-store processes and in-store returns of online merchandise easier for the customer. Moreover, payments will continue to become more seamless — in some cases, even invisible — as advanced technology, including artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and Internet of Things (IoT), automate payments and streamlines processes.

Payments Industry Disruption

In addition to changes in the types of payments consumers prefer and how merchants use them to enhance customer experiences, there will also be changes to the payments industry itself in 2020.

Deloitte says to expect payments companies to expand into new markets by acquisitions or partnerships with software developers or diversifying their offerings that will deliver greater profits and sticky customer relationships that will reduce churn. 

The Challenge for Software Developers

Payment trends can create both opportunities and potential challenges for software developers. It’s essential that you speak with your payments partners about their technology roadmaps and the directions they expect to take in the future.

Help position your clients — and your own business — for the best of what payments in 2020 and beyond will offer.


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Datacap’s industry-standard integrated payments solutions empower any Point of Sale, regardless of architecture, with the payments flexibility to accommodate any merchant. Via one simple interface, POS developers can keep pace with evolving trends and payment industry standards, so they can spend development dollars on POS innovation rather than payments.