Maybe you already think the latest payment technology being put to work in your business is pretty cool. There are digital wallets, tap and pay, contactless pay, and mobile payments, just to name a few.
Now, some very innovative minds had to go and introduce what could be the next-gen payment technology for 2018 and beyond. Here are some of the things to look forward to in payment technology this year.
More Mobile Wallet App Development
Mobile wallet technology has already been in use with specific mobile wallets like Apple Pay, Android Pay, and Samsung Pay. Using technology that allows for contactless payments through near field communication, the technology is now being extended to retailer and brand-specific wallet apps similar to Walmart Pay and the Starbucks wallet app.
These and other apps, such as KeyRing, are arriving on the scene to help extend what's possible with this mobile payment technology. Apps, like KeyRing and eWallet, provide a way for users to put everything in one place beyond their payment cards. That means storing account numbers, passport information, loyalty cards, and memberships.
Person to Person (P2P) Electronic Payments
You may have already heard of this online payment technology where users can opt to pay someone else via the Internet or mobile phone. The funds go from their bank account or credit card to the recipient's email. A third party, an online interface, or a mobile app handles the P2P transfer. This technology is helping to replace cash and paper checks when it comes to paying friends, family members, or colleagues.
Numerous P2P apps and services are currently in development or just launching. Many don't even require that the user download anything in order to send money. Others allow users to send money even if the recipient does not have the P2P app.
eWallet to eWallet Transactions
Another emerging technology trend is to have one eWallet directly interact with another eWallet to complete transactions without the user even having to get involved in the process. This technology takes it beyond the mobile wallet and combines it with the idea of P2P payments. This may become especially useful with the rise of more connected cars in which the vehicle's eWallet takes care of the payment for fuel or anything else along the journey.
Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain
Blockchain and the cryptocurrencies that come from this technology are definitely not new. However, there are next-gen payment applications that will emerge this year to encourage wider adoption by merchants and consumers. The key will be to solve issues like tax reporting, volatile pricing, and liquidity. Once that happens, more consumers and businesses will be open to this payment technology.
In terms of next-gen payments, there are new hardware and software options, like Bitcoin wallets, that are making cryptocurrency more acceptable. Also, the use of blockchain for online payment technology is offering a proven way to beat hackers and lower online fraud and data breaches. Also known as distributed ledger technology, blockchain may prove especially valuable for cross border payments, removing the need for currency exchange. It may help to standardize the international payment process.
Wearable Payment Options
Apply Pay for the Apple Watch is a prime example of more next-gen payment options that involve wearable devices. In this case, you can make a payment from your wrist. Although we aren't quite there with chip implants in our bodies, it's not too far off in the future. Until then, more wearable options will allow us to free ourselves from physical wallets, purses, and checkbooks.
IoT and Smart Home Devices
More consumers like the idea of smart home devices and digital virtual assistants. They like that devices do the shopping and can place orders. Additionally, they handle payments and eventually will handle all these time-consuming tasks. The devices will also cover other payments for office space rental, payroll, and other expenses.
This capability is due, in large part, to the continued development of Artificial Intelligence (AI). The data collected and the ability to understand transactional processes can improve the payment experience and payment security, driving greater usage of smart home devices as payment portals.
Open Application Program Interfaces (APIs)
More flexible technology is also available to address customer expectations for personalization. In a Forbes article, Kiki Del Valle, Mastercard’s senior vice-president of commerce noted that the company now has a "suite of APIs for card issuers that will provide consumers with a single view of where their cards are stored across all digital devices. Consumers are able to more easily control how, when and where their cards are used when accessing their card issuer’s mobile banking app. Consumers also can remotely deactivate cards or set spending controls at the device level."
Behind the Next-Generation Payment Technology
Millennials have been leading the payment technology trend for some time. They want to shop and pay from wherever they are at that moment. This technology delivers payment flexibility. It's an exciting time to be in business, as the world continues to move to digital preferences, creating new opportunities and challenges for fintech startups and companies.