Payment Technology

Emerging Payment Technology Trends for 2020

The future of emerging payment technology is on the precipice of a significant shift. 

As we near the end of 2019 and enter 2020, those in the financial and merchant industries should be prepared for changes in automation, security, and AI technology. With company’s such as Apple entering the world of payment technology, the lines between payment and technology companies have blurred. 

Consumers and businesses have a continued desire for payment methods that are simple, secure, and intuitive. These needs will speed up the evolution of payment technology in 2020.  Let’s take a look at the Top 5 emerging trends. 

Contactless Payments 

The UK has been adopting contactless payments since 2018, but the US has been slower to adopt the trend.  2019 saw Visa start to issue all new and replaced cards with contactless chips. With Visa on board, expect more financial companies to issue updated cards and more merchants to accept. 

This year already saw the implementation of contactless technology on both the New York and Chicago subway systems.  

Biometric Payments 

In 2019, Apple updated its iPhone X facial recognition feature to allow payments using Apple Wallet. The next push of biometric authorization will also focus on reducing fraud.  

According to Accenture’s Manager Director of Global Payments, Gareth Wilson, biometric technology is “now robust enough for mass use, will be adopted by banks and Fintechs as a weapon in the consumer experience battle.

Going forward into 2020, merchants should be prepared for people paying by selfies and voice clips.

Cryptocurrency 

With companies like Facebook, coming on board with their own cryptocurrency, it stands to assume there will be a massive culture shift to normalize digital assets. Over 20 large companies now accept Bitcoin, including travel giant Expedia and home furnishing company Overstock.  According to Overstock chairman Jonathan Johnson, the decision to accept Bitcoin was an easy one to make. “The cost of accepting bitcoin is very low. It’s actually cheaper for us to complete a bitcoin transaction than it is to complete a credit card.

Currently, Bitcoin, the most popular cryptocurrency, is only accepted by .06% of online retailers. Expect that number to rise if a retailer with a significant online presence like Target or Walmart decides to embrace cryptocurrency. 

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Artificial Intelligence is already playing an emerging role in the technology sector, be prepared for AI to crossover into the payments sector.  

There has been an increased push to on using AI to customize the user experiences within retail. So far,  it’s only been large multinational companies who’ve been able to offer these personalized experiences. 

In the future,  AI will be able to allow even smaller merchants to get on board. Retailers, large and small, will be able to offer tailored offers and payment options. 

Security 

With data breaches increasing, security is everything. According to Paysafe, “we have reached the tipping point by which the ability to maintain a secure payments system is now the most significant factor when partnering with a PSP.” 

Improving security will be focused on two areas: Biometrics and mobile wallets. With the use of mobile wallets that are locked with biometrics, customer’s will begin to ditch physical cards.   

Conclusion 

These five emergent payment technologies will be a crucial part of the changing financial landscape. 2020 will see a world that is more reliant on AI and biometrics to keep their data safe. It will also see alternative payment methods rising, from contactless cards to bitcoin becoming more mainstream.  

It’s important to remember that we live in an ever-evolving world of technology. It only takes one new invention or disruptive idea to wipe out these trends for something even more unusual.  Merchants, Payment Companies, and Fintech must be continually watching for more modern and bolder trends.