5 Payment Trends You Need to Watch in 2017

In 2015 contactless payments took off, whilst for the first time in 2016, we began to truly take notice of mobile payments. So as these technologies continue to evolve, what’s on the horizon for 2017?

We take a look at the five hottest trends shaping how consumers pay for goods and services, both online and in-store.

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1. Artificial intelligence

Voiceless, Faceless, Native and Simple. Chat and SMS payments are attractive for merchants and customers alike. The crazy growth of Chinese messaging app WeChat bears testament to the potential for chat payments across the globe.

AI has the potential to transform the way we buy and sell online. Smart assistants promote engagement and customer retention, whilst gathering meaningful insights into consumer preferences. Here’s an overview of companies leading in this space and some thoughts on the implications for retail.

If you’re serious about tapping into this growing trend for your business then check out Conversable, which enables you to create conversational chatbots on a variety of platforms, including Facebook, Google and Amazon.

2. Point of sale finance

Giving customers the option to pay for purchases later or over time can significantly boost sales and order sizes. In 2017 more online and bricks and mortar merchants will get wise to this approach and begin offering POS finance options to customers.

Divido’s unique multi-country and multi-lender approach sets it apart. You can find out more and request a live demo here.

3. Mobile

Mobile is here to stay. And grow. According to Snap Retail, 70% of online sales take place on a mobile device. And yet, many merchants still fail to prioritise mobile user experience and payments in a way that goes beyond responsive web design. Expect this to change in 2017.

Convenience is the key factor here, and it will drive more consumers towards mobile. Merchants should also consider mobile payment types like Apple Pay which allows users to buy with a thumbprint, tapping into the power of impulse purchases.

4. Blockchain

Recent research found that 1% of online shoppers surveyed in the US and China already use Bitcoin or other online currencies. Will 2017 be the year crypto-currencies enter the mainstream?

Digital currencies and the Blockchain technology that underpins have been heralded as bringers of lower transaction costs, higher security, anonymity and cross border payments. Increased adoption will draw the attention of regulators, and progressive oversight could promote trust and accelerate user acceptance. To get up to speed on Blockchain, check out this handy primer.

5. Instant

The days of paying for items and having to wait days for transactions to clear are almost over. There are now over 20 established instant payment systems across the world with several more soon to be released.

In the not too distant future, payments will even happen in real time, giving consumers greater visibility and merchants quicker payment. To better understand the benefits of instant payments for your business, check out this comprehensive presentation.

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Perhaps the most important trend for 2017 however will be the effect of these trends on your competitors. Expect an increased focus from merchants on meeting the omni-channel payment needs of customers and providing people with the accessibility and choice that has been missing for so long. Paying for products online and in-store is about to get a whole lot easier, and forward-thinking merchants stand to benefit. Is your business ready?

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This article was created in association with Divido who provide revolutionary technology that lets customers spread the cost of any purchase over several months while the merchant gets paid in full right away. 

Edward Playfair