The Future Of Payments Is Invisible
Over the last 20 years there have been huge changes in one of the most fundamental processes in society: the way in which value is exchanged, or to put it more simply, payments. These changes have happened globally, exemplified by the widespread emergence of mobile-based payment methods, infrastructure that allows electronic payments to be made in real time, and the decline in importance and usage of cash.
The global payments landscape will continue to change, with technology, regulation and changing consumer behaviour remaining key components surrounding innovation.
Payments are integral to everyday life, and service providers should continually be aware of changing consumer demands to ensure their offerings are tailored to market patterns. As technology continues to evolve, it will enable providers to more easily do this through innovation. As a result, traditional infrastructure will become more and more displaced and legacy payment methods will either have to adapt or become obsolete.
Customers’ main requirements globally are now security, speed, efficiency, transparency and global reach. Though these are starting to appear in some payment systems, they are not yet firmly rooted in the entire value chain and this is where the future focus should be.
Providers need to:
Have a mindset of variational evolution as opposed to transformational evolution.
Find the right fit for each market by looking not solely at what new technologies are being implemented and working well in other parts of the world, but rather at consumer needs and which solutions will seamlessly address these needs. That means paying attention to cultural differences.
It’s very important to understand the cultural forces that has driven how people have historically paid in order to innovate on top of that.
B2C payments have seen plenty of disruption and innovation. This area is easier to focus on as it affects a higher number of consumers – we all must make payments in life, but not all of us have to make business payments. The next phase of innovation, which has already started in the background, is more examples of B2B payment. Key pain points to be solved here, as with consumer payments, are removing friction and speeding up payments.
Overall, we will continue to see innovation in payments that will likely take the form of:
I expect that payments will increasingly be linked with other 'intelligent' service offerings, like having wallets link to an automatic credit facility should there not be sufficient funds added to the wallet.
Speed, Transparency and Efficiency
Customers will continue to require speed, security and transparency, and these will remain key drivers in innovating payments. Demand for ubiquity and openness will grow, and as providers rush to meet that demand, more regulatory bodies around the globe will intensify focus on payments security.
Payments will increasingly become invisible. This will mean a move towards smarter payment methods that utilise artificial intelligence, as is the case in Amazon Go shops and China’s BingoBox stores, where the checkout process is obsolete.
As legacy infrastructure continues to be displaced, real-time payments available 24/7 will become the standard, including for corporate and cross-border transactions as well.
Increase in B2B service providers
The number of alternative service providers using technology to innovate and create flexible payments solutions will increase in the B2B space as players strive to reduce friction in the payment processes.