The Future of Payments: Trends and Technologies to Watch in 2023
With the rapid evolution of technology came advancements across various fields, one being the payments industry. And with the ever-changing consumer behavior, the payments sector had to adjust accordingly. Here’s how the payments industry is changing this 2023:
If you haven’t noticed yet, many customers haven’t been using their wallets – well, the physical ones, at least. That’s one of the biggest signs that the future is going cashless and wallets are now going digital. In fact, the whole world of finance is going digital from digital wallets, to personal finance management applications.
Some of the notable digital wallets include Apple Pay, Google Pay, Cash App, and PayPal. It’s frequently used because it’s a convenient way to pay. All you need is your smartphone. And with other tech trends on the rise, like the metaverse, there’s even less of a need for physical wallets. It’s safe to expect that mobile payments via digital wallets will become more a popular mode of payment because of their convenience.
It’s all about convenience these days. And the latest trend to bring this to the table is embedded finance. Also known as embedded payments, embedded finance refers to the incorporation of payment processing functions into non-financial applications. You might be already familiar with this feature which was popularized by Amazon. By adding the “Buy Now” feature on their website, customers don’t necessarily have to go through the lengthy check-out process.
Embedded payments come in many forms. Another one of them is how an e-commerce platform can successfully integrate stored payment methods on its website. This allows for less friction on the customer’s end, therefore increasing sales for merchants – it’s a win-win situation. Contactless Payments
Another type of payment that’s been gaining traction, particularly in the tourism sector is contactless payments. As implied by its name, contactless payments refer to tapping a card or smartphone above a payment reader without the need of swiping your card or passing it on to someone else. Its primary advantage is speed. Contactless payments are twice as fast to process compared to swiping physical cards, shortening long queues in the process.
For some, contactless payments may appear to be a less secure option than using physical cards. However, that isn’t always true. For instance, contactless payment doesn’t require the same information as physical cards. And to have a successful transaction, the customer must input a one-time code sent from the card to their device to verify the transaction. This ensures a secure credit card transaction.
We see it everywhere. Increasing global temperatures, changing weather conditions, and rising sea levels – are all consequences of climate change. Realizing that they are agents of positive change, corporations have grappled against the climate crisis, which led to the birth of sustainability. It’s everything green – reducing your carbon footprint, using alternative sources of energy, and even going as far as boycotting products that harm our environment. This led to the transition towards sustainable finance. With more people acknowledging the gravity of this environmental issue, sustainability will surely be here to stay.
The payment industry practices sustainability in various ways. One was previously mentioned: digital payments. Unlike traditional payments such as cash and checks, digital payments reduce the carbon footprint of the payments industry.
Cards are also expected to go green. Most credit cards are made of plastic. And when these cards expire, they’re no longer usable. The costs of recycling them are high, but the rewards are often little. Hence, there isn’t much incentive to work on them. These then end up as plastic waste floating around in the ocean. The better way to get around this is by using other biodegradable materials for physical cards such as wood and biodegradable plastic.
Digital currencies, such as cryptocurrencies have become increasingly popular over the last few years thanks to the bull market. While the markets may have been down, don’t count this currency out as one of the latest trends in the payments industry. This digital currency is expected to get even more mainstream. Think of paying employees in crypto or shopping using crypto. The advantage of cryptocurrencies, which are based on blockchain technology, is that it enables fast and low-cost transactions – these can arguably be even faster than credit card payments.
Buy Now, Pay Later
The name speaks for itself – buy now, pay later allows customers to purchase without fully paying for the product. Instead, the payment can be spread over a period of time, typically in installments. This payment option has become more popular because of its flexibility. It’s wise to note the interest rates of each payment provider. And more importantly, understanding terms and conditions is crucial in some situations. For instance, there could be added fees for missed payments.
Because the payments industry has kept up with changing consumer behaviors and advancements in technology, one can expect nothing but great developments from this field. From cryptocurrencies to sustainability, the payments sector is poised to grow at rates never seen before.