3 min read
The Covid-19 pandemic increased demand for fast, contactless digital payments. As a result, the past few years have given us insight into what the future of digital payments might look like. Expect rapid, cashless payments using the latest digital technologies. Whether you’re looking at ways to streamline transactions or improve security, consider this year’s top digital payments trends.
What is digital payment?
Digital transactions are completed without the physical, in-person use of cash or paper cheques. This includes payment methods such as the following examples:
Online card payments
There are numerous benefits to digital payments for businesses and consumers alike. They’re fast, convenient, and secure when compared to traditional cash transactions.
Top digital payment market trends
With the rise of technology including open banking and money transfer apps, there are more ways to make a digital payment than ever. Here are seven digital payments trends to keep an eye on if you want to remain competitive.
1. Cross-border payments
One of the top trends to watch is the breakdown of lengthy international transfer times. Services like the Nordic region’s P27 initiative and the UK’s Faster Payments network mean funds can be transferred in near real-time between countries, all at competitive market rates.
2. Payment with QR code
Digital mobile payments are more popular than ever, with shoppers using digital wallets and peer-to-peer apps to transfer funds. QR code payments are on the rise as well in a variety of settings. For example, diners can scan a QR code to view a restaurant’s menu, place their order, and make a final payment including tip. According to Juniper Research, nearly one-third of mobile phone users are expected to use this technology by 2025.
3. Digital currencies
Another digital payment trend to watch is the growth of digital currencies. Aside from private sector forms of cryptocurrency, this includes CBDCs, a digital form of national currency. In fact, a report published by the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) predicts that as many as 60% of central banks are considering the release of CBDC. This includes the Bank of England, which is looking into issuing a UK-wide digital currency in pounds sterling.
4. Growth of Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL)
If you own an ecommerce business, you’re probably already aware of Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) services like Afterpay and Klarna. These are offered as an option at checkout, allowing shoppers to split the cost of their purchase into a series of affordable instalments with low or no interest. For example, GoCardless partners with Klarna to offer a recurring payments solution using Direct Debit to collect instalments. It’s estimated that nearly one quarter of ecommerce transactions will be paid for with BNPL by 2026 as it grows year-on-year.
5. Digital payment with home assistants
You might already use Google Assistant, Apple Siri, or Amazon Alexa to control your home temperature and play music. Home assistants like these can also be used to place orders online or via a connected app. By connecting your smart speaker to an associated account, users can make convenient, hands-free payments.
6. AI-aided security
Whether it’s smart speakers or mobile wallets, all these forms of digital payment require the transfer of sensitive financial data. This is a weakness that scammers are continually trying to exploit, which leads to an increase in security. Many banks and card networks are already using artificial intelligence and machine learning to help ensure financial details are watertight. Automated systems are becoming better than ever at spotting unusual transactions with the help of machine learning.
7. Wider use of biometrics
Along with AI, biometric authentication is another digital payment security trend to watch. Smartphones already have built-in biometric features like fingerprint scans and facial recognition. Expect to see a wider spectrum of these features in new, smart devices from iris scanners to heartbeat analysis.
The future of digital payments
Whether it’s through high-tech security features or increased convenience, digital payments are due to continue improving. If you’re a business owner, it’s important to stay on top of these digital payments trends to ensure smart, seamless checkout experiences.
GoCardless can help you offer your customers fully frictionless digital payments. Collect recurring and one-off payments directly from customers’ bank accounts using Direct Debit. This puts your business in full control over the timing and amount of payments, saving time and money while improving cash flow. GoCardless also integrates with over 300 partners including major invoicing software for a streamlined workflow. It’s quick and easy to set up for both you and your customers – all without the hassle of cash and cards.
We can help
GoCardless is a global payments solution that helps you automate payment collection, cutting down on the amount of financial admin your team needs to deal with. Find out how GoCardless can help you with one-off or recurring payments.