An Entrepreneur report explains how the global payments landscape has remarkably evolved over the past ten years. The instant rise and equally accelerated evolution of online and mobile commerce has led to the emergence of various new payment methods.
The report points out that e-wallets, in-app purchasing, and peer to peer payments are all products of customers’ increasing satisfaction with digital commerce. In several developed markets, payment methods which have been used for a long time, such as checks and payment-on-delivery, are being replaced by other payment solutions that make online and mobile transactions smooth, thereby further pulling consumers into the world of online shopping.
It is forecast that by 2020, the digital segment of global retail sales will double from $1.9 trillion to $4 trillion. As eCommerce continues to become more global, ignited by the rise in countries who have internet coverage around the world, and more people using smartphones, the systems consumers use to pay for their digital and physical goods will continue to evolve as well, according to Entrepreneur.
Different payment methods
The report highlights that leading technology companies, such as Google, Facebook and Apple, which are engaging in cross-border business and providing global services, have to find new ways of delivering their services “on top of old and fragmented payment infrastructures”. This is not an easy task in emerging markets, as each country has its own legal framework, processors and gateways, resulting in payment solutions that may appear very similar but are in actual fact very different.
Furthermore, consumers in emerging markets still depend on alternative payment methods like bank transfers, installments, and voucher-based systems involving cash. Their payment preferences may differ from one country to another. This challenge has led to the emergence of increasingly important technologies and companies influencing the payment industry in markets across the world, the report explains.
Due to the fact that emerging markets are so intricate and so different from each other, eCommerce and digital goods companies are also starting to collaborate with payments technology companies with strong foundations in these markets. When choosing a payments technology partner for emerging markets, it’s important for merchants to check that their prospective associate has:
thorough understanding of local nuances and banking infrastructure
proven, robust and flexible technology stack baked into one platform
a firm grasp on local laws and risks, as well as operational capacity to assure compliance and avoid fraud
What this implies for the future of payments and global eCommerce
While transformation is taking place in digital banking and technology to encompass payments, the needs and expectations of consumers are also changing, though not at the same pace and with different preferences, depending on the location, the report explains. Merchants and payment providers are expected to rise to the occasion to address these challenges and gain a stronger global foothold. The governments of countries will also need to play their role in welcoming cross-border eCommerce and encouraging digital payment innovation.
The report concludes by highlighting that we can expect even more growth in mobile checkouts, “increased availability of branded payment apps that marry transactions with loyalty programs,” as well as more availability of multi-currency cards. “As the world’s biggest tech companies work to secure customer loyalty in the payment arena, they will begin by integrating features into the desktop and mobile interfaces. Google, Apple and Microsoft will begin deploying in-browser payments, while Facebook, along with other social media and social messaging entities, will likely introduce commerce platforms and cross-border money transfers in-app”.