The payments industry is a delicate balancing act between businesses and consumers, and navigating how the payments experience evolves. Consumers’ preferences and demands can shift quickly. While some big box merchants can evolve quickly to meet the changing needs of a consumer, smaller businesses might not have the same ability to rapidly adopt the latest in payment types that consumers are using.
As we head into 2024, Card Network has identified some payment trends we expect to see play out during the year. Check out our top 5 payments trends that we think will happen, or continue, in 2024!
Contactless Continues and Evolves
We all know the move towards cashless commerce has accelerated, but the trend of contactless payments continues to advance and be a consumer preference, but it is moving to the next level of accessibility. SoftPOS, also known as tap-to-mobile or tap-to-phone, gives merchants the ability to use their smartphones to accept contactless payments. Not only is it secure, but it also is PCI compliant for mobile devices.
This solution is helpful for businesses of all sizes and lets you use mobile devices to complement existing POS systems, or to accept payments at food truck counters, pop-up shops, event concession stands and other mobile scenarios.
Customer Experience Remains a Focus
Businesses need to remain aware of meeting the demand and preferences of consumers at each step in the customer journey. Businesses will want to pay close attention to how customers shop and what they expect from businesses so they can craft a journey that blends digital experiences with personal attention and interaction.
A focus will need to be also on retaining customers. The multitude of options for consumers demands that businesses can provide a multitude of payment options and even consider loyalty or rewards programs that help target specific customer segments and retain their interest.
Flexible Payment Options
Buy now, pay later (BNPL) is growing in popularity, especially because inflation remains higher than usual. BNPL is particularly popular among the millennial and Gen Z consumers as the offering has expanded spending options within the retail market. Customers are consistently seeking frictionless experiences, particularly when it comes to payments, so businesses are wise to keep an eye on BNPL. It might be worth considering adding it to your omnichannel experience.
The growth of the biometric payments trend will continue to gain in popularity. Using consumers physical characteristics to validate transactions like fingerprint authentication and facial recognition helps provide a level of confidence in consumers. Businesses benefit from this payment type as well because of the reduced instances of fraud that are attributed to it.
The ability to securely link scans to account information and being able to make payments without physically carrying cards, a wallet, or a purse is ideal for many consumers in the age range of 18-40, with more than 50% of the consumer set having used biometric payments – according to a recently published article.
Customized Payment Experiences and Open Banking
Creating unique, customized and personal payment experiences remains a key differentiator that if businesses are able to deliver it, will leave a lasting impression on the consumer. With greater control over how they pay, consumers have more power today than ever before – which is a good thing because this increases their buying satisfaction.
Consumers are also very interested in payment options ranging from BNPL to paying with cryptocurrency, but many fintech’s see open banking as the greatest area of opportunity for businesses. With about 45% of consumers being uncomfortable in securely sharing their account and personal information, there is still a great opportunity to provide additional consumer education around which emerging payment solutions can best create the seamless experience that so many consumers crave.
As the year plays out, it will be interesting to monitor each of these trends as they each play out. Technology doesn’t always make momentous leaps, but as these trends go, they can become influential drivers of value and growth for businesses. Trends are always worth monitoring, but the decision lies in determining whether you believe in the trends, and the experienced professionals offering them, to invest in your growth with them now.