In a year in which PYMNTS readers have been stuffed with information about the digital change taking place, while also enjoying some good help with the advancement of the connected economy, it seems entirely appropriate. take this opportunity to honor the many pieces and pieces of the payments puzzle that keep it all going well (at least most of the time!) and thank the possibilities they’ve opened up.
1. Mobile banking apps and services
At this point, it is almost impossible for most of us to remember what life was like in the ‘British Columbia era’ (before COVID), given the scale and scale of the developments. digital technologies that have permeated so many facets of our lives and daily routines.
Nowhere is this perhaps more visible than in the growth of mobile banking and payment apps that have become permanent – and important – features on the homescreens of our personal devices.
Fast, flexible, personalized and secure, the ability to pay and get paid has never been better, and things will only get better as FinTechs, big banks, local credit unions and more yet are constantly pushing back the innovation envelope to make the payments improve a bit.
And yet, we take everything for granted and grumble when it doesn’t work – or even works quickly.
“Now all of a sudden consumers can receive an SMS on their cell phone and make a payment from there,” said Dushyant Sharma, President and CEO of Paymentus, in a recent interview with PYMNTS. “Or if I put my kids to bed late at night and find I have to pay, I can do it right away. I have several options and I don’t have to wait to call the next day or go to the bank, make a payment, then call the billing company and say, “Don’t charge me late fees. “
The holiday season is the ultimate period of personal payments field testing – for the next six weeks, it will be stress tested to a degree unimaginable just a few years ago, while seamlessly facilitating what will certainly be another year of record volume and transactions. .
2. Buy now, pay later
Speaking of volume, BNPL’s huge and far-reaching story has generated a huge volume of coverage that has not only been a giveaway of sorts for PYMNTS, but has also provided an endless stream of fascinating twists and turns involving the consumers, retailers, regulators and, of course, a range of BNPL providers offering payment plans in unprecedented numbers.
During the year, the adoption and availability of BNPL plans have been in a neck-and-neck race, fueled by dual demand from consumers and merchants. The result saw more than 200% growth in the category, with PYMNTS data showing that 11% of total U.S. consumers have used BNPL at least once this year, with a 62% increase in younger consumers aged 18 to 24 years old and a huge 98% spike in BNPL plan adoption by clients aged 55 and over.
To meet this booming demand – and capture their share of it – a mix of outright vendors, traditional lenders and global payment processors have entered the market to make plans available to more people. people in more places than ever, including online, in-store, and at the point of sale. The product has also grown far beyond its retail origins and is now used to pay for larger items with durations greater than 3-6 months, including things like vacations, elective surgery and event caterers.
Admittedly, this level of growth has not gone unnoticed by regulators, who are still actively trying to assess the situation and defuse the risk that rising BNPL balances could pose to the system.
That said, any effort to slow things down will surely meet resistance, as this new payment method has almost on its own kept some traders afloat, and in turn provided much needed economic growth.
People also read: Debit Cards Seek to Expand BNPL Ecosystems
3. Social commerce
Just days ago, the nation’s largest retailer announced that after a year of testing, Walmart was literally doubling its social commerce experience and adding twice as many live shopping events across all media platforms. social media, including its latest edition, Twitter.
In unveiling his expanded plans, which will begin Sunday (November 28) ahead of Cyber Week of an equivalent size, Walmart U.S. Marketing Director William White has been outspoken in his affection for this new retail channel in vogue.
“We believe the future of retail lies in social commerce,” White said. “The success of these live events and the growth of our business tells us that we are on the right track,” he added – a path clearly mapped out by the young people of the world who live, learn, laugh and also shop. on their phones.
At this point, data from PYMNTS has shown that there are still miles of growth room for streaming commerce, as only a tiny fraction of the billion plus active users on TikTok each month actually buy any. what’s on the platform itself – a massive disconnect that marketers and marketers around the world are eager to change, both in the United States and overseas.
As much as social commerce on existing social platforms is still in its infancy, so much of the digital diehards of the world have already moved on to the next big thing, even though the current big thing is still relatively small.
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, for example, is so convinced of the potential of the Metaverse that he renamed his company.
“The creative economy and the tools of commerce are still nascent, and there should be an opportunity for millions more people to make a living doing the jobs they love,” Zuckerberg said with a look on the eyes. ‘to come up.
In the meantime, the expansion and standardization of live social shopping is expected to expand, largely thanks to the seamless shopping and payment experience that is built into the process, keeping the experience fun and frictionless.
4. Consumerization of B2B
In keeping with the deeply scientific principle of ‘ape sees, ape does’, the consumer ripple effect – spoiled for choice in the world of digital payments – demanding the same level of speed, connectivity and convenience in the place. work has been an undeniable trend this year.
This so-called “B2B consumption” is not only growing remarkably, but it is changing entire workflows and improving the lives (and productivity) of finance teams who have been suffering for a long time and getting rid of tons of manual tasks and costs. tedious paperwork.
“The digitization of operations and payment options and more flexible choices for customers has been a huge innovation for SMEs,” TreviPay CEO Brandon Spear said in a September interview with PYMNTS on exactly this topic. . “It helped them get more business and a bigger share of the wallet. “
Read the entire article: As SMEs invest in digitization, consumerization of B2B commerce is taking shape
This series of back office upgrades not only mimics the user experience that consumers have become accustomed to on their personal devices and are increasingly demanding at work, but they have also been proven to be as good for business as for the spirits.
For example, a PYMNTS study, ‘The Digital Transformation of Main Street SMEs’, showed how these investments were paying off, with nearly 70% of respondents making innovations in digital and contactless payments. expecting their earnings to be higher this year than they were. in 2019.
5. Crypto everywhere
It would be hard to overstate the growth and impact that the advancement of digital currencies is having on the payments space, both for consumers and businesses, dealing with each other and with each other.
While the use of crypto is still only a tiny fraction of the overall payments stratum, its growth trajectory and dominant part of everyday discourse gives it disproportionate influence.
In the past week alone, PYMNTS has chronicled the expansion of bitcoin and crypto as a way to purchase goods and services in new industries, including private jets, vintage car auctions. and even an unsuccessful offer to buy a rare copy of the US Constitution.
While there is still plenty of room, crypto’s irrefutable entry into the mainstream has even caused some skeptics to change their minds, at least when it comes to bitcoin, and reverse their stance.
“Crypto obviously means a lot of different things to a lot of different people,” Stripe co-founder and chairman John Collison said at FinTech Abu Dhabi festival this week, three years after his company dropped support for bitcoin due to the volatility and inefficiency of carrying out ordinary transactions.
On the other end of the spectrum, Square and its co-founder / CEO Jack Dorsey continue to be steadfast supporters of bitcoin, not only enabling its use for peer-to-peer payments through its CashApp platform, but also moving towards acceptance. at its point-of-sale terminals.
Before that, bitcoin-linked debit and credit cards have already bridged the spending gap, although purists would argue that these aren’t actually digital dollar transactions, as much as digital dollars securing a transaction. underlying.
Either way, it’s a safe bet that a year from now by this time cryptocurrency payments will have grown exponentially and spread to new industries and locations, as sure as we return. in Turkey at the end of November.