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An exciting year ahead of the payment industry

An exciting year ahead of the payment industry

An exciting year ahead of the payment industryBy Tim Annis, UK Managing Director at Bluechain 

Payment innovation accelerated globally in the past 12 months, and this year will be no different. The social and economic challenges of the coming year mean businesses will need to adapt to navigate an increasingly complex economic climate. From the competitive market and tightening regulations to changing investment and continued transition to digital goods and services, innovation in payments will help businesses succeed in 2023.

Businesses and consumers expect two things; a positive and enriching customer experience, and a secure way to pay that feels safe. To achieve this, businesses must harness the power of tech, build trust with their consumers and make their user experience as simple and seamless as possible.

With blockchain, embedded finance solutions and open banking impacting the way people pay and get paid, how will the payments landscape evolve in the next 12 months? We expect to see the following trends lead the payments industry in 2023.

Give customers flexibility and get loyalty in return

The financial pressures from the cost of living crisis have highlighted the importance of the customer experience to businesses. As inflation is at an all-time high, customers are looking for businesses that understand their economic hardships, offer flexible billing options and address their challenges. This highlights the importance of listening to what customers want and incorporating their feedback into the buyer journey.

Brand loyalty is at an all-time low, with people quick to jump ship from one brand to another if they feel that their customer experience or payment journey doesn’t meet their expectations. For this reason, businesses will increase their focus on improving the customer experience as a competitive differentiator and to drive long-term brand loyalty. And those that do, will thrive.

The power of mobile payments

The number of smartphone users increases annually, and by 2024, mobile payments expect to hold 43% of the e-commerce market. The past year has seen a continued usage of mobile payments since the sector boomed during the COVID-19 pandemic. We predict a continued rise in the popularity of mobile wallets, QR codes, and tap-to-pay solutions in the coming year as the demand for seamless and convenient payments continues to grow.

AI assets

AI can save businesses time and effort by automating processes and leveraging its vast learning capabilities with data. Customer data can help understand payment behaviour and intent to pay and create personalised collection activities suited to customers’ needs.

Collating insights from multiple data streams within an organisation provides a more holistic view of customer needs, allowing for the creation of more accurate and personalised payment functions. This added visibility in a business that artificial intelligence brings will be an asset in the coming year.

Data will be essential

Businesses have become aware of the importance of digital payment options and associated data. This is because storing customer data provides valuable marketing and research insights for companies looking to understand customer wants and needs better.

As we move into the new year, we expect to see an increasing number of data security specialists dealing with sensitive information. Customer expectations over the type of service have risen, meaning businesses will have to predict what customers need with greater accuracy.

Flexible billing

Personalised payments have become a key differentiator amongst competitors in the tech sphere. Consumers want to feel valued and supported, especially during financial hardship. Flexible billing dates that align with payday for consumers nurture the relationship between the two parties as customer preferences are considered.

From a business standpoint, aligning bills to their cash flow will decrease any added financial strains. People are always looking for greater control over their finances, even more so when money is tight. With demand for greater financial autonomy rising, we’ll expect to see a shift from rigid, outdated pay methods like direct debits, especially as cash pressures intensify during the cost of living crisis.

The year of sector-innovation

Retailers have advanced payment technologies and top-tier customer experience journeys due to the nature of their industry being heavily customer focused. Retailers can see what customers engage with in real-time and on a larger scale due to the volume of customers they work with.

These technology advancements are not retail-specific, and the execution mirrors that in other industries. Innovation in payment technology in one sector is expected to spill out into other sectors in 2023 because mostly these solutions are neither company nor industry-specific.

Payments will help businesses succeed in 2023

The following year promises to bring challenges and opportunities to businesses and their customers in 2023 From new payment technologies to shifting business strategies and disruptors entering the market, businesses need to get creative and most importantly, listen to their customers and how they need support during difficult economic times.

Consumers will need flexible billing options to pay in a way that suits them and on time. Businesses will need to take advantage of the pools of data available to them to get essential insights to offer customers what they need and when they need it. Finally and excitingly, innovation in payment technology will no longer be executed and led by retail. More verticals will take advantage of the digital innovation happening in payments, and we look forward to seeing how that materialises in 2023.

Global Banking & Finance Review


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