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Will 2024 Bring a Truly Cashless Society? Payment Trends to Watch Out For

November 28, 2023

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Cashless Payment Trends 2024

Cashless payments volumes soared in 2023. Which digital payments trends are likely to dominate in 2024? Read on to learn more.

“The payments industry advanced in an irreversible quantum leap during Covid-19, which will have massive consequences for years to come,” says Marc-Henri Desportes, Deputy CEO of payments provider Worldline. Perhaps he foresaw how positively new modes of transaction, which foster convenience and speed, would be received by users worldwide.

The Current State of Cashless-ness

As of September 2023, Turkish people pay for a bus ticket through text, Indians and Chinese buy groceries with QR code-based payment models, and Americans simply tap a sales terminal with their mobile phones. While a cashless economy could have not been imagined in the early 2000s, almost a quarter into the century, it has seeped into the lifestyle of tech-savvy generations. While the shift was evident even before the pandemic in 2020, it has become more pronounced since.

Data SourcePwC

According to the 2023 edition of McKinsey’s Global Payments Report, revenue from global payments exhibited double-digit growth for the second consecutive year in 2022. Here’s a look at the top trends that are likely to fuel the transformation of the payments industry in 2024.

SoftPOS

Did you know that over 50% of Americans have already adopted contactless payments? The trend is set to intensify in the years to come and make way for SoftPOS systems that boost the adoption and accessibility of cashless transaction mechanisms. This will enable merchants to accept payments through the tap-to-mobile-device facility. Studies show that the SoftPOS market could grow at a CAGR of 20.4% from 2023 to 2030 to reach $1.07 billion.

Alternative Payment Methods

High inflation and stagnating wages will promote the adoption of Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) payment models. Splitting large payments into smaller installments over a longer period of time helps consumers to make aspirational purchases while also managing their budgets. According to eMarketer, the BNPL market is forecasted to reach $124.82 billion by 2027.

Source: Oberlo

Biometric Authorization

Increased emphasis on security and fraud prevention is driving the use of biometrics as an authentication mode for making payments. Increased adoption of payment mechanisms where individuals can make payments just by scanning their fingerprints or retina, without having to access their wallets, cards, or mobile phones, could be a leading trend in 2024. In fact, the global biometric payments market is expected to grow at a whopping CAGR of 62.50% from 2022 to 2030.

Instant Payments

Cross-border money flows hit $150 trillion in 2022, increasing 13% from the 2021 level. Today, consumers want their money transferred in real-time. This is why banks, FinTechs, and credit unions are prioritizing empowering clients with instant payments. Plus, increased speed and transparency are being facilitated via evolving technology, infrastructure, and payment methods. There is also a greater focus on ensuring cross-border connectivity to facilitate seamless instant payments anytime, anywhere.

Digital Currencies

The banking sector has fallen behind in enabling digital payments while FinTechs and NBFCs dominate the alternative payments markets. More than 60 central banks were already working on developing their own CBDCs in 2021 to bridge the gap between trustless and transparent cryptocurrencies and traditional money and to facilitate payment infrastructures across the world to interact effortlessly. Therefore, the large-scale introduction of distributed ledgers and blockchain-based solutions is set to be a major trend in 2024. This could also be a major step forward in introducing a 24×7 infrastructure for the financial markets, redefining the clearing, settlement, and recording of transactions.

Mobile Wallets

Mobile wallets (fiat or crypto) are expected to remain the leading transaction method for e-commerce and PoS payments. Notably, wallet providers are not just neobanks and Fintechs, Big Techs, device manufacturers, and super apps are increasingly exploring digital wallets, leveraging their superiority in technology management. Further, digital payment acceptance has become non-negotiable for all customer-facing businesses to remain relevant in the rapidly digitizing financial landscape.

Hyper-Personalization

AI adoption will facilitate personalized offerings, streamlined payment processing, and improved protection against fraud and cyberthreats. AI has already penetrated the marketing and customer support processes of a major section of financial institutions. A wealth of consumer data, which remains unused for now, will be used to gain insights into market sentiment, spending patterns, cross-selling opportunities, and predicting future requirements tailored to individual needs.

Are You Ready to Ride the Top Trends?

The focus of the financial services industry is expanding from safety, soundness, and customer protection to enabling high-speed transactions with lower costs and greater transparency. The industry is working to facilitate increased collaboration with regulators for improved risk management while truly incorporating 24×7 digital facilities within the ecosystem.

In the decoupled era, payments are likely to become increasingly disconnected from accounts or any other fixed repositories of value. With an open and decentralized economy taking shape, the finance industry will become even more reliant on technology.

The first step in this direction is rather small, in the form of PaaS. Payments-as-a-service or PaaS will gain traction as the mode to attract more customers by offering flexibility of choice while reducing risk. All this, without overhauling the existing technology stack. PaaS is set to become the key to eliminating intermediaries and associated transaction costs and delays.

While a completely cashless economy is still a far dream for 2024, deepening Internet penetration, smartphone adoption, and investments in digital infrastructure are fuelling the growth of instant digital payments. The next goals driving the payments revolution are enhanced inclusion and accessibility.

With highly efficient and multi-channel payment solutions, Opus Technologies has empowered multiple banks and payment processors to embark on the journey to next-generation payments. Our experts leverage the versatility of the digital payment infrastructure and the latest technology innovations to enable our partners to expand their offerings in value and volume. Speak to our experts to stay ahead of the curve in 2024 and beyond.

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