The global COVID-19 pandemic certainly set the tone for emerging shifts in payment trends. Consumers started to prefer digital and contactless payment options as the disease spread and social distancing measures were put in place. Then, add quarantine on top of it and payment trends continued to shift. Suddenly, credit card machines, payment gateways, and interac machines looked much better than exchanging cash. We’ll cover four payment trends here to stay for the foreseeable future.
1. Deferred payments or Buy-Now-Pay-Later (BNPL)
Consumers have long had the option to purchase items online but pay later. When finances were tight, especially with increasing layoffs in 2020, people turned to this option, also known as BNPL, more than ever before. Retailers also began to understand that if they wanted their loyal customers to stick around, they’d have to offer this as an option. This trend is here to stay with people more financially conscious than ever, and no signs of the pandemic slowing down.
2. Digital payments
Digital payments using payment gateways have become increasingly popular as consumers don’t want to take a chance of contracting the COVID-19 disease from exchanging money. They also want to be able to make purchases from home, avoiding the need to venture out altogether. Tap-to-pay and digital wallet payments stored on phones have become some of the most popular payment methods as they eliminate the need for contact with others.
3. E-commerce payments
E-commerce sales drastically picked up speed during the lockdown from those who weren’t afraid to spend, as more people shopped online from the comfort of their home. This eliminated the need for using credit card machines and allowed for an online credit and debit card payment processing system. Retailers soon learned they had to have more of a presence online vs the traditional brick and mortar store. This trend is here to stay, especially entering the upcoming holiday season.
4. Real-time payments
When consumers across the globe found it harder to stay on top of their finances, the need for real-time payments became increasingly important. People wanted immediate access to their money and started using apps like PayPal, Venmo, and CashApp for instant access. This eliminated the need for credit card machines to access funds. These apps have started to add more options for withdrawing higher amounts of money or getting quicker access for smaller fees as they haven’t noticed a slowdown of use. Consumers find they don’t have to wait as long as traditional methods of obtaining their money. Expect to see more of this payment trend going forward.
Summary – Four payment trends here to stay for the foreseeable future
As you can see, the global pandemic had a significant impact on payment trends over the last year and a half. While these four payment trends certainly increased, they aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. If your business is missing any one of these, now is the time to add them!