The world of shopping has changed significantly over the years, and most recently, to include a range of consumer preferences we’d never deem relevant mere years ago. Once upon a time, a much simpler time in a manner, buying something online as well as in stores was all about “cash or card”, and this choice has multiplied beyond our wildest dreams. Brands are now looking for more ways to include variety into their online shopping platforms, all for the sake of not getting another abandoned cart when your shopper sees you only accept Visa and no PayPal.
However, today we have a slew of payment methods that have become as safe and omnipresent as cash and credit cards, if not even more so. They have come to life as a result of our love for mobile phones, apps, personalized gift cards, and many others. So, let’s see what we can expect in 2019 in terms of the latest payment trends and how you can utilize them to keep your customers happy and their carts full ‘til checkout.
Marketing experts have probably started shifting in their chairs at the mention of this voice-activated trend, considering the fact that AI has enabled us to transform online content into a voice search-friendly format. On an entirely new level, this very same principle enables brands to allow customers to pay with vocal commands, and it’s growing in popularity since more households now boast a brand-new voice-activated device such as Alexa. As a result, we see giants such as Amazon and Google pair up with Mastercard to integrate these technologies for a seamless shopping experience.
The goal is to create an interconnected panel that enables customers to make purchases whenever and wherever. Since we already have smart, voice-activated devices such as tablets, assistants, and speakers among others, it’s no wonder experts expect this trend to rise in the months as well as years to come.
Digital wallets on your phone
Yet another way in which users are trying to simplify their lives is by using mobile wallets such as Apple Pay that eliminate the need for carrying your wallet and cards with you at all times. Add to that the high levels of security that come with the process, such as fingerprint authentication or facial ID software, and you have a winning payment method for the lover of this particular brand.
The beauty of this method is that it can be used both in physical stores, restaurants, and vending machines, as well as in online stores of all sorts that enable this payment method. You also have access to your transaction history only a few clicks away, so these mobile wallets have become a one-stop shop for mobile users who like to keep things simple.
Contactless goes mainstream
Mobile payments are not the only ones that are doing their best to use contactless methods, on the contrary. Every major bank today has the ability to offer contactless cards that simplify transactions up to a certain monetary value. Cutting the shopping time significantly without the usage of pin codes and other verification methods, contactless has naturally become a go-to method for the modern consumer.
Introducing these systems to more complex transactions such as subways and other public transportation methods enables more time-saving and cost-cutting solutions that both the end user and the organizations involved will benefit from. They have been present among the more developed countries around the world, but contactless payment methods are slowly being introduced on a global scale.
Increased data security
More payment options also mean more opportunities for legal issues in case of security threats and privacy issues. Cybersecurity is a number-one priority in the eyes of the modern consumer in 2019, but brands and payment providers are equally concerned and interested in finding the most optimal security solutions to keep their transactions as safe as possible. Today, with the use of biometric authentication through fingerprints, facial IDs, voice recognition and the like, this has become more possible than ever.
On one hand, the pressure to keep purchases simple and made of as few steps as possible is increased, but on the other, the need to make each step safer than the previous one grows with each passing day. To that end, we will likely see more providers invest in searching for new, simpler, yet more secure methods of money transfers and other financial transactions for individuals as well as businesses.
Cryptocurrencies gaining traction
Finally, while still a sore topic for many investors, the Bitcoin seems to have decided to stay, at least for the time being, and more cryptocurrencies are gaining more relevance as we speak. In such a world, it’s no wonder more companies are choosing to accept crypto-payments as yet another payment option for their users.
However, the usage of the Blockchain technology prevails in this process to keep it safe and secure for all parties involved, and we have yet to see the extent of impact of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in the world of modern payments.
It seems that advancing tech and digitalization have had their fair share of input when it comes to our changing shopping and paying habits. We have yet to see how 2019 will unfold, although based on these forecasts, it will be an exciting year both for consumers and innovators eager to make a difference.