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New Year, New Technology

3 Payment Trends That Will Shape 2018

In the payments space, innovation occurs quickly. And with the emergence of biometrics, fundamental shifts in consumer behavior, and advancements in the payments landscape, 2018 is poised to be a year of growth and evolution for payments. Merchants and consumers can expect to see the three payment trends described below transform the way payments are taken – and how business is done.

  1. Biometrics And Security
    For payments innovators, there’s no rest for the bold. Improving payment security technologies and employing new, more convenient consumer-facing authentication methods brings not only convenience to consumers, but a powerful form of security and identity verification to merchants and consumers alike. With biometric technology, like fingerprint scanning and facial recognition, the days of having to remember passwords and PINs with sticky note scribbles may become a thing of the past.

    “People are relieved of the responsibility of designing and remembering a strong password – you don’t have to remember your fingerprint, it’s a part of who you are,” says Mikhail Gofman, Professor at California State University, Fullerton, and an expert on multimodal biometrics. With biometrics helping make transactions more secure, the risk of fraudulent transactions decreases – something both merchants and consumers will be pleased to hear.

  2. New Payment Forms
    In the age of digital commerce, there are now a multitude of connected devices, appliances, fashion accessories, and sensors that help empower consumers to make a purchase. Consumers expect a frictionless checkout experience and they are shifting, in small but growing numbers, from type to voice interfaces. With personal assistants like Siri and Alexa, ordering, and now paying, for goods and services has never been easier.

    Last month, Amazon announced new functions that Alexa, Amazon’s internet-connected voice-command system, can perform with payments. For example, a consumer can now purchase movie tickets through Alexa. “Alexa customers can easily use payment information already in their Amazon account when they want to purchase physical goods or services through Alexa,” an Amazon spokesperson tells Digital Transactions News. “It’s a seamless experience for customers. No need to grab a credit card.”

    The rise of “Merchant Pay” is another trend from 2017 that will carry into the new year. Though adoption of mobile wallets was initially slow, 51% of consumers now want to use a retailer’s app for faster purchases in-store. Merchants can also benefit from these digital wallets, as they can offer merchants insight into their customers. “With a digital wallet offering…, it is [merchants] who are in prime position to collate and leverage consumer data and trends to provide personalized experiences.” Personalized experiences can boost consumer loyalty, drive sales, and put merchants ahead of the competition.

  1. Real-Time Payments
    We’ll also see a rise in “instant,” or real-time, payments in the U.S. Real-time payments reflect accelerated transaction settlement times, meaning merchants and consumers will see transactions clear their financial institutions in seconds, not days. “Account-to-account transactions, such as salaries, … can still take several days to clear and settle. In today’s on-demand world, this is something of a throwback.”

    It’s not just consumers looking for a faster, better payment experience – in 2016, 53% of merchants surveyed believed faster payments implementation would have a positive impact on their business. Overall, real-time payments can benefit consumers by offering greater visibility into payments and empowering better cash management, while merchants can benefit from the immediacy of real-time payments that help them better manage day-to-day operations by improving liquidity.

At MiCamp, we’re excited to see what the new year holds and are always evolving our product offering to better serve our merchants. To learn more about our current products and services, visit micamp.com.

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