The Payment Technologies of the Future
2013 was another fascinating year in the landscape of payment processing as we saw the rise of prepaid credit cards, move toward cloud storage, and decline of paper finances we predicted last year. With the increasing ease of on-the-go payments and single-click transactions, the business models we’ve come to know are being displaced in an ever-changing payment environment. As these changes affect not only businesses but also consumers, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the payment technologies of the future.
So here are our first two 2014 payment processing predictions below in this two-part post.
Mobile Payment 2.0
Smartphones are rapidly ushering in the era of a cashless future. With services like Square, mobile payment has never been easier or more convenient. While Square simply acts as a middleman, processing payments for whoever utilizes their app, other big-name companies such as Starbucks offer apps to their customers specifically for payment in their stores. The Starbucks app links directly to your card, so you can pay anytime with your Smartphone. Expect to see more of these brand-specific apps as companies build consumer loyalty by adding extra convenience and special points programs into their services.
At E-complish, we’ve seen a meteoric rise in inquiries for mobile payment processing, with a 215% increase this year alone. In a single year, our clients’ mobile payments have increased from 10,000 payments processed in 2012 to over 30,000 in 2013. Expect this number to continue to rise as consumers take advantage of mobile payment’s intrinsic organization and ease.
Another major change we’re anticipating is the rise of the virtual wallet. Companies such as Google and PNC Bank offer total control over your finances through an easy-to-use Smartphone app. Most virtual wallets also include a spending card, which you can transfer money to and from, as well as person-to-person payment and a wide range of virtual shopping options. Store coupons, loyalty cards, and all credit card information in your app and never worry about losing anything again.
Virtual wallets also take advantage of near-field communication technology, working much like a Bluetooth handset, enabling a user to make a payment at American Airlines, Barnes & Noble and dozens of other businesses partnering with MasterCard’s PayPass services. Just tap your phone onto the PayPass device and go.
We increasingly rely on our cell phones for every manner of interaction, simplifying the number of items we carry. Expect virtual wallets to remove physical wallets from the back pockets of early adopters, as younger generations embrace this new and game-changing technology.
Check back soon to see a few more payment trends we’re predicting. Let us know if you see any others looming on the horizon!