What trends are you seeing?
2012 was an eventful year for the payment industry, as technology and finance converged to create an ever-changing landscape that affects the way consumers buy, businesses sell, and providers cater to their numerous clienteles. Marketers, businesspeople, financial officers and technology personnel are not the only ones who will be affected, but it’s worth paying attention to these upcoming trends now to see how you can tailor your business execution towards the inevitable. This three-part post illustrates the primary trends in business and technology that will impact payment processing in 2013:
10. Prepaid Credit Cards Gain Market Share
Credit card spending has become conservative over the years, as customers consider credit card debt to remain their biggest concern. Gift cards and their equivalent in smartphone apps are becoming a new force, alongside standard debit cards and their prepaid version. Customers prefer to manage their spending this way, while still having the ease of use of a simple piece of plastic or smartphone.
In 2013, look for credit management to continue in this trend, as customers adopt automatic payment methods using gift cards and smart phones, without taking on the risk and the debt of a traditional credit card.
9. Ease of Foreign Transaction Management
The world continues to grow smaller, and in 2013, business across oceans won’t just be for big businesses: Startup cultures are growing in Europe, South America and Australia, and entrepreneurs are seeking ways to make transactions easy from one country – and currency – to the next. Online solutions to help detect fraud and verify checks or payments from Americans are growing in popularity, as well as banking solutions that enable even small businesses and individual consumers to make international banking transfers at a low cost and a short lead time.
In 2013, look for the length of time for money to transfer across the wires to shorten – just as flight time did for so many years.
8. Security remains a concern.
In 2012, several major hacking incidents exposed the passwords of millions, including networks as important as LinkedIn or as safe as universities or governments. People are increasingly storing sensitive and vital information online, from medical records to payment information, and security is paramount. Savvy customers will be checking to ensure that businesses taking credit card or checking account information online are safe and secure, including on their mobile applications or sites.
PCI compliance will be key: if a site is not built on a secure foundation, it’s imperative that at the bare minimum, the payment component is hosted on a secure and encrypted platform. Look for security to become the top issue when it comes to payment processing in 2013.
7. The move to cloud storage
Natural disasters like 2012’s infamous Hurricane Sandy showed the heightened need for businesses to back up their important files and data, and move to cloud storage. When it comes to payment processing, businesses still toting old-school ledgers, and server-based payment record systems are at risk of information loss when it comes to server outages or unfortunate natural events.
Using cloud-based payment processing software, Customer Relationship Management tools and file storage are on the radar for 2013 more than ever before.
6. Mobile Sites are a Necessity, Not an Option
Mobile devices have become the place where customers browse instore, “showrooming” to view competitor prices, or purchasing from the couch while watching advertising on TV. Nevertheless, the statistics show that smartphone and tablet use is still growing and is nowhere near reaching its peak.
According to Comscore, 10% of online retail dollars spent in Q3 2012 were spent on mobile devices, and increased further in Q4. The projection for 2013 will be even higher. Retail e-commerce dollars have grown exponentially, from just 2% in early 2010 to over 10% projected for the final quarter of 2012.
In 2013, the numbers will continue to rise and tablet integration is a must for any e-commerce or transaction based website.