Six Payments Trends to Watch in 2020

Posted by Peggy Olson on 08 Jan 2020

1. Payments Change is in Unbridled Overdrive

From digital disruption and pushing the envelope with rampant innovation to new regulatory compliance requirements and ongoing customer demands, businesses are being squeezed from all sides. Companies accepting and processing payments must anticipate what’s next and act boldly as the market rewards agility and punishes inaction.

2. The Rise of Cloud Computing and Amazon Web Services (AWS) 

Cloud computing using a network of remote servers hosted on the Internet to store, manage, and process payments data, rather than a local server or a personal computer can be a real game-changer. AWS is the most successful cloud infrastructure company on the planet today. Key to AWS and cloud computing success in payments is innovation agility, on-demand scalability, and variable pay-as-you-go cost-effectiveness.  

3. Multichannel and Omnichannel are Evolving into Unified Commerce 

First came multichannel, then omnichannel and now unified commerce. No matter where payments happen (brick-and-mortar, mobile, online or unattended) or payment form used (check, ACH, debit, credit and more), the new business reality is to provide consistent, integrated customer experiences across the board. By aligning products and services, systems and customer interactions, deploying unified commerce provides superior payments experiences that satisfy today’s growing consumer expectations, while enabling companies to leverage data analytics to drive valuable customer behavior insights. 

4. Frictionless, Data-Rich Payment Experiences are Becoming a Consumer Expectation

Consumers want payments experiences that align not just with how they pay, but with moments of influence in their lives that revolve around real needs. They want Uber-like scenarios which make the process of paying almost completely disappear. And, as Accenture notes, Millennials and GenZers are especially interested in digital payments advisory and expense management services that provide better understanding and control of personal spending. Next-level customer experiences infused with rich and meaningful data, like delivering amount due and due date, previous amounts and dates paid, account balances and more while transacting, matter more than ever before. 

5. Real-Time Payments (RTP®) Finally Arrive

The advent of faster payments promises to transform commerce for both consumers and businesses. RTP serves as an alternative to batch or delayed payment options such as checks, credit card, debit card, and ACH transactions, with instant, 24/7 business-to-business (B2B), peer-to-peer (P2P), business-to-consumer (B2C) and consumer-to-business (C2B) transfers. Besides moving money swiftly and expediently, RTP makes ordinary financial tasks such as paying bills, issuing invoices, making payroll or settling claims to be easier, faster, safer and more satisfying. RTP enables businesses to manage cash flow on a second-to-second basis which frees up working capital, plus with access to extensive, tightly integrated data delivery capabilities, back-office processes can be streamlined saving time and money. RTP also helps make life less stressful for consumers on tight budgets.

6. Data Security & Privacy Regulation on the Rise

With the accelerating digital revolution, business use of personal information has exploded. And with the continuous onslaught of major data security breaches, consumers no longer fully trust companies to protect their personal data. Both consumers and governments are demanding greater transparency, accountability, protection, and control. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Europe’s tough new data privacy and security law came online mid-2018. Companies serving consumers in the European Union must now comply or face hefty fines. January 1, 2020 marks a significant milestone in the U.S. data privacy and security landscape. It’s the date in which the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) goes into effect. All companies serving California residents with at least $25 million in annual revenue must comply with CCPA requirements or face substantial fines. And if that isn’t enough, other states are lining up quickly with their own privacy legislation as so far, the federal government has failed to enact a nationwide data privacy law. 

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Peggy Olson Blog Contributor Peggy Bekavac Olson is the payments industry’s go-to marketing expert. She is president and CEO of Strategic Marketing, providing fractional CMO and marketing department services for financial services and electronic payments companies. Previously, Olson was Vice President of Marketing and Communications for TSYS (now Global Payments).

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