2019 was a milestone year for many in the payments industry, with contactless payments making up more than 50 percent of debit card transactions, and the good news doesn’t end there.
The consumer drive for seamless experiences is continuing to push the industry toward new innovations that will change the face of payments. So, what will 2020 hold for e-commerce and m-commerce?
The verdict is in, and it looks like convenience is high on the agenda for consumers. In fact, more than 50 percent of UK consumers are now shopping online, and online spending is forecast to increase 29.6 percent between 2019 and 2024.
Consumers want to be able to make purchases at the click of a button. However, they also want to be assured that their purchase is secure and their details are safe. So, merchants should ensure that their checkout experience is in safe hands when customers are paying online.
However, security isn’t the only thing on consumers’ minds. Frictionless payments are also on the agenda. As customers are constantly on the go, they want to be able to make purchases quickly, with as little effort on their part as possible.
In response, invisible payments are on the rise, eradicating the need for inputting card details as apps already store relevant consumer information.
We are likely to see an increase in scan-and-go systems. Such systems are seeing a resurgence on consumers’ own mobile devices. They have been used in supermarkets previously, but they required the use of an external device. Now, interest is increasing in enabling consumers to scan, pay and go on their own devices.
As some stores make use of systems that significantly speed up the shopping process, retailers should be aware of the need to provide a payment system that appeals to consumers to avoid driving them toward competitors.
Another consideration is that the environment will be a clear concern for all sectors moving forward — in 2020 and beyond. Consumers have made it clear they increasingly are paying more attention to the impact their purchases are having on the natural world.
Recent research found that 29 percent of UK shoppers chose to shop with retailers that adopted more ethical or sustainable practices. Retailers should be aware that the drive toward environmentalism will result in many customers choosing to shop with stores that implement ethical practices, such as sustainable packaging and delivery methods.
On this note, retailers should consider the best way to communicate that they are taking their environmental responsibilities seriously. For example, setting up micro-donation technology — which gives card users the option to make a small donation at the point of sale — allows customers to have a positive social impact as they spend.
This preference for environmental consciousness is spreading across the retail sector. Many shops encourage coffee drinkers to bring their own reusable containers, for example, and at one retailer recently offered discounts to customers who bring their own containers for to-go lunches.
Clearly, the shift toward more responsible practices in 2019 was only the beginning, and retailers should prepare for the environment to become a top priority in 2020.
The adoption of immediate delivery services also will be key to providing convenience. Making it ethical by establishing localized delivery hubs, using pedal power to complete the last mile, and limiting or eliminating packaging will tick a lot of boxes for consumers.
New Payments Sector Developments
First up are subscription services. Three in every four organizations selling direct to consumers will offer subscription services by 2023. As a result, the competition is fierce. Convincing customers to subscribe to a service likely will be a harder sell but ultimately more rewarding.
However, this means the pressure for a seamless checkout experience is higher, as there’s even more riding on a single purchase. Thanks to the continuing rise in contactless payments, there will be a greater swing toward the use of mobile payments in 2020, with the adoption of P2P payments via both cards and mobile devices.
As all these factors culminate, consumers will begin to expect an increasingly seamless checkout experience, meaning merchants must move with the times.
There will be further advancements this year in voice commerce technology, which is moving into the mainstream. In 2018, the voice commerce market reached $2 billion in the U.S., and by 2022, that number is forecast to reach a massive $40 billion.
Voice commerce has been encumbered by the need for advancements in technology to aid its further adoption, but in 2020 there likely will be an improvement in services, and the method’s instantaneous results make it an attractive feature for shoppers.
Of course, it is increasingly important that consumers feel their payment methods are secure, no matter the payment type. Make sure you seek an expert’s guidance if you hope to reap the benefits of this trend.
Security and regulation will continue to take up space in the conversation in 2020. As we close in on the final SCA compliance deadline (Dec. 31, 2020), merchants will need to update their systems and ensure they are fully in line with the new rules in order to strike the right balance between a secure yet frictionless customer experience.
How to Prepare for a Prosperous 2020
In 2020, we expect to see an even greater shift toward a cashless society, making the retail experience quicker and more convenient overall. As a result, merchants must make the consumer experience their top priority as trends shift toward simplicity and convenience, ensuring online and mobile payment processes are as secure as possible.
Ultimately, the retailers that don’t stay up to date will lose customers to those who do. This is true across all businesses and sectors — hospitality, parking, vending, and retail — whether large or small. Embracing the seamless payment experience is crucial to excelling in 2020.