Trends Shaping Payments in 2020
Benny Silberstein, Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer, Payrix
On the heels of Money 20/20 USA in Las Vegas, I sat down to process all of the conversations I had throughout the week. There’s only 50 days left in the decade - having been to this event countless times, this was the most customer-centric and innovation focused I’ve seen the FinTech, payments and banking arena. The industry’s vision for the future and my own observations inspired me to take a look at some of the trends shaping payments in 2020.
#1 Rise of Gen Z – by 2020, Gen Z-ers will account for approximately 40% of U.S. consumers. The generation following Millennials into adulthood, Gen Z is defined as people born between 1995-2010. This group is considered true digital natives: since birth they’ve been exposed to the internet, social networks, and mobile devices. According to the Business Insider Intelligence report Banking and Payments for Gen Z:
“Gen Z is more interested in digital payments products and services than any other generation. While adoption of mobile wallets has been tepid among the general population and P2P apps, like Venmo and Zelle, are just now gaining traction among older users, Gen-Zers are diving in head first: Over half use digital wallets monthly, and over three-quarters use other digital payment apps or P2P apps in the same time frame.”
As Gen-Z buying power increases their consumer preferences will bubble up and become business expectations, meaning payment methods that align with digitization and a seamless, on-demand experience will proliferate.
#2 IoT Intersects with Payments – According to Google Cloud, the definition of IoT is: a sprawling network-connected devices, embedded in the physical environment, to improve some existing process or to enable a new scenario not previously possible. These devices, or things are given unique identifiers (UIDs), can connect to the network and convert the real world into digital data.
IoT bridges the gap between the physical and digital world, shrinking friction often experienced with human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction. More and more devices like wearable payments, the Apple watch, Amazon Echo, Nest for temperature control, iRing doorbell and home monitoring, and more are becoming part of our day-to-day.
On top of continued momentum behind the IoT movement, both startups and established companies (including credit card networks) are developing new business models and technologies, disrupting the status quo in payments. The direction IoT is heading will ultimately increase the speed and efficiency of consumers' purchasing. Of course with speed comes risk and regulatory concerns that mimic eCommerce or in store, card-not-present fraud. This is where biometrics and anything that streamlines the customer experience will join forces with IoT.
Could 2020 be the year that IoT breaks the inefficient payment-card model and eliminates the need for physical cards? I believe massive strides will be made.
#3 Invisible Payments – In 2009 Uber basically made the payment disappear. We all know the story. If you are like most people you entered your card into the Uber app – at some point over the last 10 years and probably haven’t thought that much about since then. And payments aren’t just disappearing when we need a ride from the airport. Starbucks, Amazon Go and in some respects modern food delivery apps (Uber Eats, DoorDash, etc.) have made payments (act of pulling a card out and entering card number or swiping) go away.
In 2019, it was reported that 41% of US households own a smart speaker - up over the 32% reported in 2018. And increasingly these voice-assisted devices are being used to make one-time and recurring purchases.
As an increasing number of devices come to market and services continue to evolve to streamline daily activities like transportation and eating out, I believe the power dynamics in financial services will shift and the big card brands will need to innovate more than ever for a card-not-present world.
#4 How will the big changes in 2019 affect 2020 – 2019 was a BIG year of M&A and consolidation in the payments space. How will things shake out in 2020? That’s a big question. Here’s a quick summary:
In January 2019, Fiserv announced its purchase of First Data for $22 billion, completing the acquisition on July 29th.
In March 2019, Fidelity National Information Services Inc. (FIS) announced their agreement to acquire global payments company Worldpay in a deal valued at $35 billion in cash and stock. At the end of July FIS announced the merger closed.
In May 2019, Global Payments and TSYS entered into an agreement to combine in a $21.5 billion deal. The deal is expected to close by the end of 2019.
In 2020 will these large entities be distracted by the work of integrating massive organization or will they quickly go-to-market with new value-added services? Will they be able to take advantage of their size and scale? I predict a few meaningful disruptions will emerge from the SMB segment.
#5 Software and Payments – We are beginning to see the large swell of a wave of convergence between software and payments. In 2019, the number of companies becoming payment facilitators and/or offering payment facilitator tools, products and services proliferated. Large investments by VCs and private equity firms in payment facilitator platforms solidified what everyone believed – the payment facilitator model is here to stay.
What’s in store for the payment facilitator space in 2020? Could it be the start of consolidation in the space? Will one or two payment facilitator platform providers jump out and lead the market?
We’ll continue to track these trends, newsworthy events and more as they impact payments, FinTech, and our technology partners.
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As you get more comfortable with payments, Payrix Pro is our hybrid solution that provides more branding options and a payment facilitation-like experience without you holding the risk. Whether you’re looking to grow beyond Launch, or working toward payment facilitation but wanting to monetize payments more immediately, this model provides a sweet spot between revenue and risk.
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