What is the strongest current trend in payment processing?

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The payment processing industry has experienced a significant transformation in recent years, driven by technological advancements, shifting consumer preferences, and the rise of digital-savvy generations.

Recent forecasts predict that more than half of the world’s population will actively use smartphones and the Internet by 2025, with China and Africa leading the charge in adoption rates. As these trends continue to gain traction, it’s becoming clear that the payment processing industry is undergoing a rapid transformation, with innovation and adaptation being the key to success in this ever-changing landscape.

Here, we explore some of the most powerful trends shaping the future of digital payment processing. These tendencies include the growing popularity of mobile wallets, the impact of Generation Z’s preference for peer-to-peer payment options, the influence of blockchain technology, the rise of Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) services, and the emergence of account-to-account (A2A) payments.

Let’s take a closer look at the strongest current trends in payment processing:

The Rise of Mobile Wallets

Using mobile wallets, people can easily make payments by simply tapping their phone or scanning a QR code, without the need to have cash or cards.

These days, the use of these wallets is expanding beyond traditional eCommerce payment transactions to new use cases such as remittances, bill payments, and peer-to-peer (P2P) transfers. This trend is particularly evident in emerging markets, where mobile wallets are being used to provide financial merchant services to people who don’t have access to traditional banking services.

A report by eMarketer suggests that mobile wallet users are estimated to grow to 2.4 billion by 2025. China is already leading the mobile payment adaption as 81% of smartphone users in the country used a mobile wallet in 2022. Similarly, in Africa, mobile wallets have become a popular way to pay for goods and services, with over 50% of adults in Sub-Saharan Africa having a mobile money account, according to the GSMA.

To stay competitive, payment providers should continue to innovate and develop new features and services for mobile wallets. Blockchain integration, contactless features, and enhanced payment security measures are just some of the innovative technologies that businesses should focus on.

Innovation is not enough! Besides innovation, mobile wallets should be user-friendly, easy to use, and offer a seamless payment experience for customers. This includes integrating the software development services with loyalty programs and coupons, to provide a more comprehensive solution.

In the future, expect to see a steady rise in digital wallets, particularly in remote areas and emerging markets where mobile phones are more prevalent than traditional banking infrastructure.

GEN-Z Focused P2P Payment Options

The financial landscape has seen a dramatic shift, driven largely by the digital-savvy Generation Z. Gen-Z is typically defined as individuals who were born between the mid-to-late 1990s and the early 2010s. As the first generation to grow up entirely in the digital age, these individuals have rapidly adopted new technologies transforming the way we manage and spend our money.

Besides using mobile and contactless wallets, Gen-Z is responsible for the rise of peer-to-peer (P2P) payment apps, which facilitate instant money transfers between individuals.

Gen-Z is quick to embrace platforms like Venmo, Zelle, and Cash App, as these platforms enable users to send and receive money with just a few taps on their smartphones. The social aspect of these apps, which often include features like transaction history feeds and the ability to add emojis or messages to digital payments, has made them particularly appealing to the Gen-Z demographic.

Amid these trends, P2P payment platforms have become an integral part of the way this generation splits bills, shares expenses, and manages their finances with friends and family.

Due to a potential increase in the population of Gen-Z, the rise of digital payments is imminent. Talking about the demographic shift, it’s important to realize that Gen-Z constitutes approximately 26% of the global population or around 2.2 billion individuals. Likewise, 98% of Gen-Z individuals in the United States own a smartphone. In other regions, smartphone ownership rates among Gen-Z are also high, with 94% in the United Kingdom, 91% in Germany, and 92% in China.

As this generation’s purchasing power and numbers continue to grow, their preferences will continue to shape the future of the financial services industry.


Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) Services

Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) allow consumers to make purchases and pay for them in installments over a specific period, typically interest-free or with minimal fees. It’s transforming the payment processing landscape by offering consumers a flexible alternative to credit cards. This can be particularly appealing to younger generations like Gen-Z and millennials, who may be wary of high-interest rates and accumulating debt.

Affirm, Klarna, and AfterPay are examples of successful use of BNPL services for software development and product creation. Affirm allows customers to finance their purchases over several installments, with transparent terms and no hidden fees. The company has partnered with thousands of merchants, including well-known brands and top fintech companies like Peloton, Expedia, and Walmart.

Klarna, a Swedish BNPL company, allows customers to split their purchases into four interest-free installments or pay for the item within 30 days without any interest. Similarly, Afterpay, an Australian BNPL service, has adapted another sustainable model that enables consumers to pay for their purchases in four interest-free installments over six weeks. The company has partnered with various fashion and lifestyle brands that cater to the Gen-Z and millennial markets. Its customers include Urban Outfitters, ASOS, and Nike.

For payment processors, the Buy Now, Pay Later feature, can lead to increased sales and conversion rates because it enables customers to make larger purchases and provide a convenient invoice payment option that encourages them to complete transactions. Additionally, BNPL services can enhance customer loyalty by offering personalized and user-friendly financing options, ultimately improving the overall customer experience.

In recent years, the BNPL service has successfully resonated with younger generations by providing a more accessible, transparent, and flexible alternative to traditional credit options. The popularity of these services among younger audiences demonstrates a shift in how these demographics approach financing their purchases while showcasing the growing demand for innovative payment solutions that cater to their needs.

Account-to-Account (A2A) Payment Processing

Account-to-account (A2A) payments refer to transactions made directly between bank accounts, bypassing the need for traditional intermediaries like credit card networks or payment processors. This form of payment relies on real-time or near-real-time bank transfers, often facilitated by open banking initiatives and instant payment schemes.

A2A payments are known to reduce transaction costs for both consumers and merchants, as they eliminate the fees typically associated with card-based transactions. This makes A2A app development an attractive option for businesses looking to cut costs and for consumers seeking more affordable payment methods.

The innovative payment method also offers faster transaction processing compared to traditional methods. As these payments are made directly between bank accounts, settlement times can be significantly reduced, allowing for quicker access to funds for both payers and payees.

An example of an Account-to-Account (A2A) payment system is the United Kingdom’s Faster Payments Service (FPS). Launched in 2008, FPS enables instant bank transfers between participating financial institutions in the UK. The service operates 24/7 and allows customers to make real-time or near-real-time payments directly from their bank account to another bank account.

FPS has been widely adopted in the UK for various types of transactions, including bill payments, person-to-person (P2P) transfers, and business transactions. Users can initiate A2A payments through their bank’s mobile app, online banking platform, or other authorized third-party SaaS applications.

The Faster Payments Service has significantly transformed the UK’s payment processing landscape by providing a more efficient, cost-effective, and secure alternative to traditional payment methods like checks, credit card payments, or BACS transfers, which typically take longer to settle. As a result, FPS has become an essential part of the UK’s financial infrastructure and a prime example of the benefits and potential of A2A payments.

Without a doubt, A2A payments promote financial inclusion by enabling more people to participate in the digital economy, particularly those without access to traditional merchant services or credit cards.

Into the Future of Payment Processing

The future of the payment processing industry is poised for significant transformation, driven by technological advancements, evolving consumer preferences, and growing demand for seamless as well as convenient payment solutions.

In the future, the industry will focus on enhancing the overall user experience by incorporating innovative features such as biometric authentication, AI-driven fraud detection, and personalized services.

As this new financial landscape evolves, businesses that successfully adapt and innovate in response to these trends will be well-positioned to thrive in the rapidly changing payment processing industry.