22/01/2021

Payment Technology Future Trends

It’s safe to say there have been a lot of technological advancements in the past 5 years alone. While we may not have flying cars and sci-fi inspired gadgets, many technical innovations have changed modern-day life. 

Payment technology is no different, in fact, it’s been evolving since the existence of payments to develop more efficient and secure methods. Payments are a trusted way to exchange money for goods, so regardless of the alternating technology, this is the simple goal they aim to achieve. The payments industry is constantly evolving to accommodate cutting edge technologies, and the digitisation of payments has revolutionised the way we manage our money and do business for easier, faster, and more secure payment methods. 

2020 has been, in many ways, a chaotic year for everyone. In the midst of a global pandemic, we saw dramatic changes for all industries and people all over the world. In the payments industry at the end of 2019, we saw a few fintech mega-deals as a result of “changing client demands, competition from start-ups, increased pricing pressures, and low margins in the space” according to BI. As the Fintech industry sees more and more investment into payment technology, and we have already widely adopted innovations such as virtual banking and electronic payments, what could be next?

Biometric Authentication

This is a verification method that uses biological and structural characteristics of a person, including:

 

  • Fingerprinting scanners
  • Facial recognition
  • Iris recognition
  • Heartbeat analysis
  • Vein mapping

In an attempt to combat the downsides to quickly advancing payment technology, biometric authentication provides a solution to increasing fraud and identity theft. This is a unique, yet highly secure payment technology and is considered a trusted payment method for customers. Industry data anticipates more than 18 billion biometric annual transactions by the year 2021. This is no surprise as many have embraced the use of biometric authentication to unlock their smart mobile devices.

Mobile Point of Sale

mPOS has changed the payment industry and provides vendors with much more freedom when collecting payments. For many businesses, this payment technology has led to more streamlined business operations as it is more flexible for customers. According to BI, by 2021 there is estimated to be 27.7 million mPOS US devices, which has drastically increased in the past few years. This upwards trend is only expected to continue in years to come.

Smart Speakers

Smart speakers and home assistants like the Amazon Alexa (2014) or Google Home (2016) can be controlled by voice commands. This is not only a fun new technology, but it is also revolutionary in the sense that it makes using the internet widely accessible. This impact on online payments is clear, according to Statista 35% of users use smart speakers to buy products such as home care, groceries, and clothing. However, TNS discovered 74% have security concerns that would prevent them from making payments via voice assistants. Since the use of smart speakers is estimated to increase, so is the quality and popularity of the payment technology.

AI & Machine Learning

Payment technology can often be measured by one primary feature; security. No payment method will thrive if it doesn’t have high security as customers will often use the safest payment method available. In fact, AI is predominantly used for detecting and preventing security breaches. To keep up with this constantly evolving field, to process the sheer amount of data received, and to instantly detect possible threats, banks have turned to machine learning. This is the first step towards AI (artificial intelligence), as with each transaction, the machine gets better at identifying fraud transactions. An example of this is when you receive an automated text message from your bank to confirm if a payment was completed by you to confirm if it was fraudulent. AI will also improve blockchain technology to improve trading functions and payment processing.

Contactless Payments

We are moving towards a cashless society. EMV technology, Europay, Mastercard, and Visa, have all evolved from basic digits on a card to now offer secure, computerised payment methods. EMV payment technology is known for using codes that vary with each transaction, which is a much more secure way of completing payments. In an age where payments have never been easier, plastic cards are likely to be redundant to many as the less convenient option. In light of the pandemic, a cardless payment option is also a far more hygienic option. 

 

This payment technology is safer and faster than PIN technology, as it transfers the encrypted data to the point-of-sale device instantly. Samsung, Apple and Google all have a contactless payment system in place which makes the technology easily accessible for the customer. This is all due to NFC technology (near-field communication), and it’s increasingly used all over the world.

 

Mobile Wallets

RetailDive predicted that around 2.1 billion customers in 2019 would use mobile wallets. This is simply a mobile app (application) that works as a digital wallet. Various components enable easy, quick, cashless payments, so users can transfer money to other users, store money inside the wallet, and make payments. While many current mobile wallets are brand specific, such as Samsung, Apple, and Google, it’s expected that alternative companies will develop their own, competitive mobile wallets.

 

Bluetooth Low Energy Technology

Produced by Apple, this payment technology identifies signals from beacons to react accordingly. While not permitted due to regulatory requirements, iBeacon technology aims to improve, or rather transform, the retail experience. Imagine you could select your items and walk out of the shop with your final selection with no thought to money or the hassle of queueing? iBeacon’s system would follow you around the shop and automatically process your payment as you leave.

 

A Customer Focused Service

As payment industries all over the world look to encourage transparency, innovation and competition, banks have taken a step back in their role with the customer. Targeted, value-added insights and services now operate as the go-to between customers and banks. The future of payments is sure to focus on one key aspect, making payments easier and safer for customers. Many businesses are running at vendor overload, so payment technology works to simplify the payments process to be more efficient. For example, to use multiple payment channels through one vendor, or digital invoicing. This is a trend we have already seen in the payments industry during 2020, particularly as payment integration has become easier. This is why more businesses are turning to payments as a service for innovative payment solutions.

 

When looking to the future of payment technology we need to consider the customer it will be serving. Generation Z is roughly born between 1997-2012 and are a digital generation. As they shift into adulthood, with the eldest of Gen Z turning 24, a large proportion of the population will be ‘technologically savvy’. They will have a higher demand and dependence for immediate, and efficient technology.

 

As payment technology looks to improve all aspects of the payments industry, and how customers, suppliers and banks relate to it, we are sure to see a lot more investment and market competition in upcoming years. Digital payment solutions can transform your financial services, enabling an easier, more secure way to provide multiple payment methods that work in a global market. Imburse Payments provide an effective, integration-free, payments as a service. Get in touch with us for a bespoke payment system that works for your business and customers.

 

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