The payments industry moves at a fast and furious pace. Particularly in 2019, and now into the first few months of 2020, we’ve witnessed the ongoing consolidation of the payments industry as mega-mergers caught everyone’s attention.
Payment processing is a critical function for merchants, because it helps deliver the desired experience consumers want when buying products and services. As we continue to see disruption in the payments world, there are technology trends that are making payments ubiquitous – and this presents large opportunities for businesses and platforms.
What’s on the horizon for payments in 2020? Here are some payment trends to watch for this year:
Many businesses are operating at vendor overload. One vendor might handle payment capabilities, while a second is helping with employee scheduling, and a third could be fulfilling inventory management for the business. As the saying goes, too many cooks can spoil the broth. The consolidation, or simplification, of the solutions can save time and create a more efficient business.
Moreover, the contemporary merchant needs more than one payment channel, and they haven’t always been able to cover these needs through a single vendor. For example, some merchants use a different ecommerce payments provider from the vendor who processes their over-the-counter payments. Still, others need a great mobile solution for on-the-go or in-store purchase kiosk transactions.
Simplification of the payment solution is a trend that is gaining traction – and it has been needed. There are now all-in-one payment solutions that provide the comprehensive payment experience a merchant wants to offer.
Furthermore, the payments solution can, oftentimes, offer additional functionalities like employee management tools, inventory tracking capabilities, and real-time reporting on the business to track daily sales performance. With the right payments stack, a merchant can actually reduce the number of vendors they have to work with, and ensure the programs they do use can easily transfer data back and forth.
More seamless and safe experiences.
The customer experience has become a key driver when it comes to payments. For years, merchants have been tasking ISVs with producing a frictionless payment experience. Before, customers either went to a store and paid at the checkout, or they shopped online and entered payment information at the checkout page.
Now, with embedded payments, the payment experience is becoming nearly invisible in the check-out process, and far more secure. In fact, a trend of making the “buy” button or checkout process disappear is currently evolving as a universal software feature. Also, by removing the need for entering credit card information every time a return customer makes a purchase, a merchant is offering an added level of security that protects sensitive personal data.
Mobile payments will also continue to lead in the seamless payment arena as mobile application program interfaces (APIs) continue to spur new unified payment experiences that are not only simple, but safer, as well.
Payments emerge in places you’d least expect them.
Payments have become easier to integrate, so merchants are searching and embracing new opportunities to include payment technologies in channels that will help them diversify revenue streams. Payment acceptance options have now become more of an area of focus for many business owners, because they are recognizing how helpful they can be to creating streamlined customer experiences, which saves the merchant time, and even money.
As connected experiences continue to weave themselves into our daily life activities, payments play a prominent role. Emerging payment methods have helped to speed up toll booths, drive-throughs, gas stations, grocery pickup, and many more instances of life. Intelligent cars are also beginning to incorporate payments as a way to further streamline the in-car commerce experience and wearable devices have been moving the contactless payments needle forward.
And, this is just the tip of the iceberg. The trend of incorporating payment capabilities into everything around us is only going to continue as easy purchasing options continue to permeate the fabric of our lives.
SMB invoicing transitions to digital.
Not only are payments themselves evolving, but all activities associated with the payment experience are changing. As the digitalization movement has swept across nearly all functions of business, invoicing still represents one of the last holdouts that is yet to fully transition.
Payment partners can bridge this gap and help businesses to modernize their experiences so the next generation of professionals are able to seamlessly and quickly pay for goods and services. A significant step will be made in switching to digital invoicing for 2020, and payments partners can drive fuel to this transition by building this capability into the seamless, digital platforms no emerging into the marketplace.
These, and other trends, will be worth keeping informed about as the year plays out. There will no doubt also be additional innovations in payments as the year progresses.
In summary, payments will continue to play a leading role in technology trends, and partners that are able to seamlessly leverage the business solutions an integrated payments system can offer their customers, will be in the driver’s seat for growth.
Merchants will surely be looking to take advantage of these trends, so aligning with a payments partner that has a ready finger on the pulse of innovation is a valuable step. This is the kind of partner to have in your corner when more technology trends come to fruition.