Long reads

2021 Predictions for the Payments Industry

Predictions for 2021 must consider the general trends from previous years, but with COVID-19 playing a major role in customer behaviour as well as restrictive measures for purchasing, the predictions for the payments industries and online merchant accounts must be viewed and studied with a more focused degree of scrutiny.

From my experience in both acquiring new merchant accounts as well as managing existing accounts, especially for high-risk industries, I have seen particular changes in both the methods of consumer spend as well as the nature of the “new merchant” in today’s digital age.

Here is what I believe will have a chief impact with regard to the payments industry in 2021 and beyond: —

  • KYC and AML to become stricter

With the world becoming more digital, and with businesses utilising the immense opportunities the internet has for profit, the increase for cybercrime will grow steadily on with the increase of businesses trading online.

It is clear to me that this industry will become stricter respecting KYC and AML, ensuring these systems are in place to satisfy the customer as well as the merchant. For example, there’s a great lesson learned from FINRA in which it fined $1.1. Million to J.P. Morgan Securities for failing to report 89 potential high-risk profiles, which is something companies ought not to dismiss.

  • 3DS to be implemented rapidly, everywhere

Digital solutions should be in place for merchant accounts to retain their clients. With the rise in Fintech, the opportunities for fraud have become greater. It is through having a stronger 3D anti-fraud system set up, which can safeguard users and merchants alike from potential security risks.

The way forward, I believe, is for payment solution companies to have an in-built 3D anti-fraud system that can be easily integrated with a merchant’s website, offering peace of mind and safety during a phase in our payments history that has become unprecedented.

This, I foresee, will become a norm across the board from this year and onwards.

  • More alternative methods of payment to be available worldwide

It’s not only in Britain that we have seen an increase in the need to have alternative payment methods. Indeed, even as far as South Africa, it has been recently noted that the pandemic introduced a substantially higher demand for online shopping than ever before, according to a respected journal.

Furthermore, recent statistics have shown that 74% of people are more than likely to switch brands if they find the purchasing process difficult.

This year we will see superior payment gateways, preferably designed in-house, with all the necessary anti-fraud systems in place to give customers a better user experience when purchasing goods online.

  • Crypto payments will increase

Considering the effects of the pandemic and the necessity to use online payment solutions, people are in the same way beginning to trust and realise that cryptocurrencies may be a safer and better option.

According to Forbes and its research, “… customers prefer to make their purchases from their mobile phones or tablets.” In addition, a massive 72% of E-commerce sales will take place on a mobile device by 2021. — In the same article, it showed that by 2022, the global e-commerce will rise to $5.69 trillion. This shows a growth of 61% from 2020 to 2022.

To add, data released, showed that four of the five main Irish retail banks have plans for an app-based payment system to enable consumers to transfer money with ease.

To me, the digital marketplace is truly growing, and the future belongs to the businesses that can stay ahead. For this reason, choosing the right payment solution company is vital for growth in this sphere.

  • Cross-border payments will become easier due to rising FinTech

In Britain especially, what with the Treasury announcing its releasing of its review into the “listings rules” for tech companies to move to IPO, it is only an encouraging stance from government to show that Fintech companies are fast becoming a norm for consumers.

This means that cross-border transactions will indubitably take place. A flexible and stringent payment solutions company to help this transition run smoothly is therefore vital.

In addition to this, Stephen Kelly, head of Tech Nation, said earlier this month that the UK alone already has 136 potential unicorns and around 80 unicorns, and avers that “… 2021 promises to be an IPO bonanza…”.
With this view of 2021, I would strongly advise merchants and potential merchants to take heed of what is expected to occur in the payments industry, urging them to join a global company to maximise profitability and ensure steady growth.

  • Crypto-Fiat conversions will become easier

The laws surrounding Crypto-Fiat conversions involved great measures to prevent fraudulent activity. Governments viewed this sort of transaction as illicit; but with governments coming on board in recent years, such as the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) in which new regulations were introduced for blockchain firms operating in the country, these new CAC guidelines have now required blockchain start-ups to allow authorities access to data as well as to include registry procedures to insist on ID card or mobile numbers from its users.

It is becoming a safer environment, and with the methods and systems of stronger anti-fraud systems in place, 2021 may be the year we start to see such conversions occur easier and more often.
I see merchants across the globe taking advantage of the new processes and systems in place that payment companies will have to adopt in order to compete with the new age of digital payments. It’s a great time for merchants and a challenging one for the companies supporting such merchants, especially high-risk merchants.

  • Small businesses will increase investments for cybersecurity as customers shift to digital

According to leading Fintech and investment advisor, Marcel van Oost, this pandemic has clearly accelerated the rapidly evolving market “with an estimated 13 million people who have started investing for the first time during the Covid-19 pandemic, using just one app”. Furthermore, surveys from Optima Consultancy published its findings, showing that 40% of respondents discovered digital channels to be more useful, and 44% said they have been using mobile banking apps more frequently—all this since the COVID outbreak. Peace of mind is what I have always wanted to offer my merchants, and I believe this is what the payments industry will want to offer also.

In a word, there are great benefits in using cryptocurrencies, which influence customer decisions. The main benefits include lower fees and zero political risk, among others. Taking this into account, merchants in 2021 ought to consider using a payment solutions company to help transact using cryptocurrencies.
Finally, with the acceleration of digital payments, more and more businesses will require merchant accounts.

It is during this time I would encourage all businesses to find a suitable, reliable and secure payment solutions company to manage all their needs and match their customers’ needs perfectly and seamlessly. — Trust in a payment solutions company that has the years of experience and expertise to help your business grow stronger during this new era of digital payments.

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