Enterprise retail is rapidly evolving in response to seismic shifts in technology and consumer behavior. Providing the right product at the right time and the right place was difficult enough before technology made commerce possible virtually everywhere. Satisfying the individual needs of consumers today—wherever and whenever they arise—represents an endlessly complex challenge.
Yet today retailers are empowered with equally powerful technologies that deliver elegant and exceptional customer experiences. Take payments. The ability to offer fast, secure and smooth payments is a cornerstone of customer experiences that keep your brand shining in a positive light.
Payments are essential for retailers of every size. Like seemingly everything else, payments are also changing fast. That makes keeping up with payment processing industry trends an important part of a well-rounded information diet for retailers.
Here are four of the most important trends in payments in 2019:
Digital wallets are enhancing customer experiences
Smartphones are transforming industries and payments are no exception. Digital wallets—also known as mobile wallets or eWallets—are changing the ways consumers pay. Consumers are using digital wallets to make more retail purchases than ever before, online, in-store or on-the-go.
Consumers love consistent, secure, and frictionless checkout experiences no matter where they take place. Online and in-app, digital wallets help reduce friction by eliminating the need to enter payment and other personal information. In-store, retailers everywhere are finding that enabling mobile payments at the point of sale makes checkout fast and easy.
Buy now, pay later and the war on cart abandonment
Extending credit to consumers is nothing new in the retail world. Retailers have partnered with financial institutions to offer credit to their customers for years, and there remains no shortage of other consumer credit options. But a new twist on consumer credit is gaining steam.
“Buy now pay later” services are helping retailers reduce friction at checkout. Buy now pay later allows consumers to defer payment for a defined period at no cost to them. For the retailer, buy now pay later services help reduce cart abandonment. The success of companies like Affirm, Afterpay and Klarna suggest this is a trend retailers need to understand.
Payments so seamless that they’re virtually invisible
When we think of payments in the physical world we naturally think of the physical tools of payments: cash, credit and debit cards, credit card terminals, POS systems, and increasingly smartphones. Among the next wave of payment innovation are payments that transcend the physical world altogether.
Connected cars, smart speakers, and checkout-free stores are often making the act of payment so frictionless that it becomes invisible. Voice-activation technologies are maturing aided by rapid advances in machine learning and artificial intelligence. Some friction—like authentication—remains important, yet the act of payment is one that will take place more and more virtually.
Opening a welcoming door to Chinese consumers
The world’s largest consumer market continues to reshape the contours of global commerce. Mobile-first development in China helped define the way consumers pay. Led by rapid adoption in China, eWallets now account for more than half of eCommerce spend in the Asia Pacific region and are fast on their way to becoming the leading payment method at the point of sale.
Serving Chinese tourists means speaking their payment language. US retailers seeking to earn a slice of that massive tourist spend should familiar payment methods like Alipay, WeChat Pay, and the UnionPay card brand.
To dig deeper into these and other payment processing industry trends download Worldpay’s 2018 Global Payments Report. Today’s payments landscape reveals a kaleidoscope of diversity that reflects local economic, technological, historical and cultural conditions around the world. The Global Payments Report details how we pay today—and projects how we’ll pay in the future.
Interested in taking a deeper dive into any of these payment processing industry trends? Connect with one of our payments experts to learn more about how Worldpay can help simply and flexibly connect your enterprise to the future of commerce.