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10 Retail Payment Trends To Keep Your Eyes On In 2015

02/09/2015

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Payment technology has come on leaps and bounds over recent years and is continuing to get more impressive as more and more tech giants come on board. But what’s going to stand out in 2015 and what trends should retailers be keeping an eye on?

1. Contactless payments

So, most people will already have experienced some form of contactless payment, especially since most UK banks have been rolling out their contactless cards. Even those that haven’t yet used contactless, you will surely at the very least heard of it.

Contactless really started taking off amongst consumers in 2014 but with many retailers not yet able to process contactless payments, it will only be this year that contactless really picks up. Especially considering that by the end of this year, retailers will be under an obligation to ensure that their payment terminals feature contactless, as well as NFC capabilities.

2. Mobile payments

Payments by mobile technology has been around for a few years now, however, with Apple launching its own mobile wallets feature, it could well be the gear shift that other providers need to start pushing the technology more. The mobile wallet has not yet taken off in the UK but with US trials of Apple’s mobile wallet going so well, perhaps the UK will follow in the US’ steps and 2015 will be the year we see mobile wallets become mainstream.

3. Social payments

Countries in Asia have been using social payments for quite some time already. For instance in countries such as Korea and China, it is now quite common to transfer money and conduct transactions via a range of social media apps.

As a result, more and more social payment features are being developed and there is no doubt it is just a matter of time before UK inhabitants start to use their messaging apps to complete their monetary transactions.

4. Wearable technology

The release of the Apple Watch and large number of tech bracelets and bands has certainly stepped up the wearable technology market. This is only set to continue growing in 2015, especially with the incorporation of contactless payments, something which Barclays is encouraging with the launch of its contactless wristband.

5. E-money 

The use of cards to make payments has been increasing year on year but 2015 is expected to see a huge increase in the number of people using pre-paid cards, which are linked to e-money accounts. With Facebook set to launch its very own e-money transfer service, this trend will no doubt catch on with other companies, all of whom will be looking to capitalise.

6. Digital currencies

The potential of digital (or virtual) currencies is still very much being debated, with there having been many arguments for and against Bitcoin throughout the year 2014. However, whilst Bitcoin may not have blown people away, there have been a number of other digital currency successes, such as Auroracoin, which is Iceland’s alternative and something that will give hope to all the digital currency enthusiasts out there.

7. Omni-channel retail 

Retailers now have to consider the omni-shopper (a shopper who uses a variety of channels to buy from a store) and build this knowledge and insight into their business strategies. With this in mind a lot of retailers have been making use of the latest ERP technology to join up all their channels.

Now, however, they are now focusing their sights on doing the same to all their payment channels. It’s expected that Tokenisation will play a large role in the success of this, especially if the same token can be had no matter the channel being used.

 8. Biometrics

With payments technology getting ever more elaborate, many people are finding themselves growing more concerned about customer security. With this in mind, tech companies, such as Apple, Visa, Samsung and Mastercard are partnering up with financial organisations in order to try and incorporate biometrics into their transactional processes.

9. Data encryption

Payment security has always been a priority but with cyber criminals getting ever more devious, retailers are looking for new and better ways to counteract payment system attacks. Data encryption technologies are being seen as one of the solutions, for instance Vodat’s Unified Payment Service. This system is designed to safeguard sensitive and private customer data being during card transactions.

10. Payments cybercrime

Unfortunately cyber criminals are becoming ever more adventurous in their exploits to gain access to sensitive payment data and as a result a number of large retailers fell foul to such breaches last year. It seems no company is safe, especially when companies such as Facebook, Staples and Uber fall victim.

Companies must take the issue of payment security very seriously, not just to protect their customers but to protect their reputation too. Simply put, customers will not continue to use a service if they feel their data is unsafe.  

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