Electronic payment methods are becoming increasingly popular and more widely used around the world. In fact, digital payments are expected to hit 726 billion transactions by 2020. Following are eight of the top electronic payment trends that you can expect to see in 2019.
Seamless Payment Processing
Omnichannel payment processing is when payments and interactions made over different channels are combined to provide users with one seamless experience. An example would be paying for an item online and then picking it up inside a store. In order for this to work, the backend data must be updated instantly and all channels must reflect those updates in real time.
B2B All Electronic
Expect to see business to business payments almost completely deviate from checks and paper payments. You can expect small companies to be using Quickbooks or Ariba and large companies to be using iPayables or Kofax. Businesses expect an electronic payment through these channels to keep their cost low and transactions constant.
In-Store Mobile Payments
More and more stores are allowing customers to make electronic payments for in-store purchases. This is done on a mobile device or an app. In fact, this has become so popular in China that China’s Central Bank had to issue a warning to stores that refusing to accept physical cash as a form of payment is illegal. Popular apps to make mobile payments in China include WeChat and Alipay.
Digital and Mobile Wallets
Digital and mobile wallets are becoming increasingly popular, especially among millennials. An example of a digital wallet would be Paypal. However, mobile wallets go one step further and allow customers to make not only online payments but also in-store purchases with their mobile account. Popular mobile wallets other than the ones mentioned in the previous section include Android Pay, Samsung Pay, Amazon Pay, and Apple Pay. Gyft lets you make electronic payments with digital gift cards. Chains such as Walmart and Starbucks have their own wallets as well. In 2019, expect to see more and more retail stores accept mobile wallets as a form of payment.
Consumers are now choosing electronic payment methods that offer some sort of reward program. Examples of rewards include cash back or points that can be redeemed for free items. As a business, you can tap into this trend by supporting payment methods that have reward programs (such as American Express) or setting up a loyalty program yourself.
When someone mentions blockchain technology, most people will think of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. While cryptocurrencies are definitely becoming more accepted as payment methods, blockchain technology is catching on in many other areas, including traditional payment processors.
News of recent data breaches, such as the Facebook data breach, have caused consumers to be cautious about who they trust with their personal information. Payment processing systems are introducing new security features to keep their customers happy. Some payment processing systems are starting to use biometric security features.
Chatbots for Payments
Artificial intelligence is another growing industry, and it’s especially useful in the customer service sector. In fact, AI chatbots are expected to power 85 percent of customer interactions by next year, according to Gartner. Chatbots can be used to help customers discover products they are looking for and find solutions to problems. They can also be used to help customers make a purchase.
P2P Digital Wallets
Peer to peer (P2P) digital wallets are becoming more popular as well. They can be used to send money instantly to family and friends, whether they are nearby or across the country. Paypal lets you do this, and they also own Venmo, a P2P payment service that is free to use and can be connected to your Paypal account. Venmo is now extending services to merchants as well. Circle, Google Wallet, and clearXchange are other popular P2P wallets. Social network messaging apps such as Facebook Messenger and Snapchat (SnapCash) also let you send money to your friends.
The payment methods of the past are changing rapidly. In 2019 we expect some big changes coming with everything from better mobile payments to AI guiding your purchases.