This is the age of technology. Innovative technologies continue to evolve and affect communication, education, medicine, transportation, and basically all aspects of human life.
The technology progress has also influenced and changed the way we pay for goods and services, and it continues to change, affected by technological and operational innovations.
For many centuries, cash has been the main payment method. Even now in the modern digital-trending world, many people continue to use and value cash due to the simplicity and convenience of physical currency, especially in times of political or economic instability.
While cash still remains the preferred payment method in many countries, the Philippines and India, for example, other countries such as Norway and Sweden, have taken direct action to remove cash from the financial system. Local banks encourage digital transfers, heavy investment in card payment systems and collaborative initiatives to launch non-cash payment instruments.
Credit cards became widespread during the 20th century making a revolution in the way people used to pay. Credit cards brought the necessary convenience, making payments easy and safe and helping out people when they do not have any cash at hand.
The beginning and the development of the internet combined with the commercial technology called credit cards gave rise to e-commerce. Online stores and e-services started to operate and became popular in the 90s. Thanks to the internet and credit cards people now could easily purchase goods and pay for services online without leaving their house.
In developed markets, like the US and Europe, according to the latest statistics, cards still dominate the ecommerce market, while in emerging economies, it is easier for consumers to link their cards with their e-wallet account due to growing concern around card fraud and insufficient card infrastructure.
Credit cards continue to evolve following new technologies, banks ambition to find new ways to encourage more card usage and the need to meet higher security standards. For example, various Rewards cards, Apple card, Biometric identification and token services for cards.
E-wallets and mobile wallets
E-wallets are continuously expanding worldwide, especially Asian e-wallets such as Alipay and WeChat Pay, who have initially started in China. Recent statistics show that more than half of the global supermarket transactions, with mobile payments being made mostly via Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay globally. Another example is Swish, Sweden’s mobile payments app which became the most popular local method with over 70% of the Swedish population using it.
Digital wallets provide convenience and safety to consumers and therefore are gaining popularity along with other innovative payment methods.
Online Banking ePayments (OBeP)
Online banking payments have become very popular especially within the European market. Online banking ePayments are a good option for both consumers and online companies, since OBeP systems protect consumer personal information by not requiring the disclosure of account numbers or other sensitive personal data to third parties. iDeal, for example, is an online banking method used in the Netherlands which remains by far the most popular method for online payments in the Netherlands with more than 50 million iDEAL payments made per month.
A cryptocurrency is a digital currency that does not exist in a physical form of coins or bills, only as book money. Today, cryptocurrencies are taking big steps into becoming a trusted and common currency for both consumers and businesses. While cryptocurrency has certainly become more popular and widely accepted (especially Bitcoin), there are still a few obstacles preventing cryptocurrency from becoming a major payment method such as various countries government regulations and price unpredictability.
Despite some obstacles, cryptocurrency is taking the world by storm. Cryptocurrency supporters believe
that we are heading into a new age in which blockchain technology is going to significantly increase the use of cryptocurrency as a payment method.
Modern payments options are changing fast and it’s driven by new technologies.
Definitely the future of online payments is bright and it depends on the technological development. Payment options continue to evolve and become more secure, convenient and faster.
Head of Global Payments Department