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Four Payment Trends of 2020—And What’s to Come

As technology rapidly evolves, so does the payments industry. Understanding and following emerging consumer payment trends will keep your business ahead of the curve and ready to adapt to new processes. Beyond is committed to innovating our payment technology to keep our customer’s businesses secure and nimble—and keeping you informed on the latest trends.

Not only are transactions becoming more and more seamless, but evolving platforms and technologies have allowed for payments to occur even more behind the scenes. If you’re not sure how payment processing actually works, make sure to check out our Payment Processing 101 to get up-to-speed.

One thing 2020 has shown us is that even without physical storefronts and in-person business, consumers have still found a way to shop and dine. The overwhelming payment trend of 2020 is that payments are omnipresent—with so many ways to take payments, business owners can accept payments virtually anywhere. Read on for four other payment trends.

1. Contactless Payments

Even before COVID-19, contactless payments were on the rise. However, with the need for social distancing and increased health and safety protocols, contactless payments have emerged as a vital way for businesses to safely interact with customers. According to a recent Visa survey, 78 percent of global consumers have adjusted the way they pay because of COVID-19 risks. 30 percent of consumers have started using contactless payments since the pandemic began, and 70 percent plan to continue using them after. If your point-of-sale doesn’t have contactless technology—it’s time to upgrade your payment acceptance.

2. Less Cash

Like contactless payments, COVID-19 has served as a catalyst to move towards cashless checkout. Due to the risk of contamination spread, even more businesses have moved away from cash transactions and now rely totally on credit and debit cards. 33 percent of small businesses globally have either banned cash purchases outright or have accepted cash less in the wake of coronavirus. Since it’s difficult to exchange cash without coming within six feet of the customer, many small businesses have shifted to only accepting cash for small transactions—if at all. Millennial small business owners lead the charge in moving away from cash, with 41 percent being significantly more likely to have accepted less or stopped accepting cash this year.

3. Mobile Payments

The shift to digital first commerce and technologies is evident in the increased demand for mobile payments. Prior to COVID-19, demand for accessible mobile payments was already increasing—in the US alone, mobile payments are projected to reach $161 billion in 2021, compared to $98.88 million in 2019. With so much of business-as-usual interrupted, consumers expect their checkout experience to be flawless. If your business doesn’t have the capabilities to accept digital wallet and card-not-present solutions, make sure to adopt those in 2021 to evolve your business.

4. Pay Later

Millennials and Gen Z continue to gravitate towards alternate payment methods, like Buy Now and Pay Later (BNPL). This service allows for consumers to own a product immediately before final payment has been completed, usually over a set of installments. Demand for Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) has been seen across all categories of merchants—from large enterprises to mom-and-pop shops. BNPL is a good option for your business if you have trouble turning over inventory of more expensive products, but it’s also key in attracting new demographics to your business.

If these trends teach us anything, it’s that your business needs to offer flexible payment options. A recent survey showed that the primary factor motivating consumers to shop with one merchant over another is “the availability and acceptance of their preferred payment methods.” From contactless to mobile payments, giving your customers a seamless and safe checkout experience should be top-of-mind in 2021. Offer your customers the flexible payment methods they want by working with a trustworthy partner like Beyond.

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