The way that we pay for things is changing. Cash is on the way out – albeit slowly – and digital payment processing solutions are beginning to be adopted. During the Covid-19 pandemic, this trend has accelerated, thanks to the contactless transfer of wealth that’s possible through debit cards and services like Apple Pay. But even once this danger has gone away, customers are likely to want to hold onto the convenience that comes with digital alternatives.
Of course, we’re only at the start of this transition, and new methods of payment are likely to be continually developed. So what does the future hold for digital payment? Let’s take a look.
Make it Simple
One of the easiest ways for retailers to increase their conversion rate, and to boost customer spending, is to remove barriers. The most well-known example is Amazon’s one-click ordering system, which was critical in establishing the retailing giant in its current position of dominance.
A similar principle should see the gradual erasure of chip-and-pin payment. Contactless is so much easier – and the raising of the limits during the pandemic has largely proven successful.
Make it Standardised
Consumers need the confidence that they’re going to be able to spend their currency digitally, wherever they might be in the country (or the world). If we can’t take for granted that we’ll be able to spend money in this way, then it’s unlikely that we’ll come to rely on it. Conversely, if it’s inconceivable that a given business won’t accept a given digital payment method, we should expect adoption rates to rise.
Make it Secure
Obviously, if digital payment is vulnerable to fraud, then customers will shy away from it. There are a number of ways in which the current system might be improved. For example, rather than using a PIN, a payment system might use biometric authentication to confirm your identity. This poses ethical questions – but the purely technical advantages are clear.
Make it Safe
As we’re already established, the arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic has brought about more digitization for our payment methods. This is because going contactless is safer than the alternatives. In the future, payment methods might continue this trend, which means that future dangers of contagion might be avoided.
Make it Cross-Compatible
The market for smartphones is diverse and incredibly competitive. This creates a problem for sending messages between different sorts of the phone. And when those messages involve payment, any glitches and bugs will become more significant. At the moment, Apple and Google offer their own payment systems – but the real game-changer will come when we can reliably send payment from one system to the other.