Digital commerce is all the rage these days. Terms like e-commerce and social media marketing have become quite commonplace. So, what’s one thing that connects business transactions online? Online payment. It’s a component that seems to be growing even more complex by the day.
As younger generations become older generations, there may be a need to redefine online payment processes, as well as clean up some of the intricacies involved.
As merchants, payment companies and tech giants scramble to innovate and meet the needs and expectations of consumers, several online payment trends are probably going to become visible in 2020. Here are a few to look out for.
Superspeed tech could impact transactions
Technologies (including the likes of 5G) that feature lightning-fast connectivity for instant and more efficient digital payments are already being implemented. Outside of the traditional retail environment, businesses could possibly capitalise on these developments by offering products and services that are delivered in a practically instantaneous manner. With distance becoming less and less of an issue, they could also present their offerings to (and from) anywhere on Earth. Business owners that are looking to invest in AI, big data and 5G could enable simultaneous transactions and processes that are automated, quick and safe. The Internet of Things (IoT) is also expected to optimise micro-payments, turning connected devices into effective payment channels.
Integration leads the way
Integrated payments have given way to integrated banking, something that’s expected to become even more prominent this year. Many consumers are making the switch from traditional forms of payment to integrated methods, meaning that businesses are beginning to utilise integrated payments as well. Uber has announced plans to start operating as a bank in the near future, while fintech and traditional financial institutions are collaborating more often to adapt to this trend and offer better, fully integrated solutions as a means of surviving the disruption brought about by technology. To read more about digital integration and banking, here’s our previous article.
The rise of voice commerce
It may have taken some time, but voice commerce in the form of speech or audio search is finally making waves in e-commerce. It is a fairly recent trend, and it’s expected that in the next 10 years, about 50% of computer interactions could be carried out via voice. This is probably why voice-enabled assistant systems, most notably from giants like Amazon, Apple and Google, are more popular than they previously were. There’s a 29.4% compound annual growth rate of consumers using voice assistants to get their shopping and payment transactions done. It’s expected that the number of users who actively use voice-enabled devices is expected to grow to about 1.83 billion by 2021.
Virtual cards taking centre stage
The benefit to fraud-reduction and reconciliation that virtual cards bring has been a point of discussion for some time now. While virtual cards still represent just a fraction of how payments are made, the transition into 2020 and beyond is likely to lead to this payment method rapidly growing in popularity. Ever since trends like SCA and NDC-adoption have begun to point people towards the data-driven capabilities of virtual payments, corporations, agencies, travellers, suppliers, tech companies and even banks are getting on board the virtual card bandwagon.
Prepare for a barrage of payment options
We are already seeing a massive explosion in the digital payments arena, with over 300 ways for travellers to conduct their transactions. The surge of options in mobile payments likely had a part in making digital payments as a whole more popular.
With online payment solutions, convenience, speed and accessibility are all factors. Now, consumers are spoilt for choice, and payment players are probably going to have to differentiate themselves from the competition by offering more enhanced features, better functionality and more immersive experiences.
Going narrow (focusing on a distinct group of users) as opposed to going broad (ie: general) may be something to consider if you’re a player in the fintech space. These days, there are more opportunities out there than by simply building payment gateway options.
From better customer experiences to mobile payments and voice commerce, the online payments space is growing at a substantial rate. There are plenty of trends that point towards even more game-changing innovation.
Businesses and consumers alike should be prepared for a whole host of new opportunities in 2020.