How people pay for goods and services, whether in the physical stores or online stores, have been continuously changing, and multiple cash-less innovations have been consistently gaining popularity in recent years even before a pandemic unexpectedly hit the world. It is also no secret that this pandemic has forced multiple businesses and companies to change how they conduct their transactions to cope with the restrictions implemented.
2020 has forced companies to shift their focus on digital payments as contactless transactions have become mandatory in almost all parts of the globe. It is no wonder then that this rapid and mandatory change from physical payments to digital payments has brought numerous innovations that will undoubtedly have long-lasting impacts on how we pay for products even after the pandemic ends.
Virtual Payment Cards
Since real hard cash can be easily transferred when money changes hands, virtual payments are one of the best ways of paying for bills, goods, and services without coming into contact with others through money. With everything being digitalized these days, you won’t necessarily need to bring a debit or credit card with you when you can easily pay with a virtual payment card. Fortunately, there are virtual prepaid cards that you can use for your transactions.
Mobile wallets have been rising in popularity even before the pandemic hit. However, a study conducted has shown that 51% of Americans now use mobile wallets such as Apple Pay, Venmo, and CashApp to pay for goods and services both in-store, online, and each other for goods and services. This increase in usage has forced mobile wallet companies to re-evaluate how they approach their services and have been in a tight race to dominate the market.
These innovations range from a change in their payment policies, conversion rates, and security.
Tap-to-pay cards have seen a significant rise in popularity compared to pre-pandemic times. This payment method is considered one of the most innovative ways banking institutions and businesses have adapted to this pandemic since this payment method doesn’t require a PIN to use. Financial institutions all over the world have put in a limit per transaction to protect its users.
However, since contactless payments have gained so much traction over the pandemic, numerous banking institutions have opted to increase the transaction limit to accommodate its popularity in use.
Biometric Payment Authentication
It’s no secret that biometric payment authentication has been around since before the pandemic. This method of authentication involves the biological characteristics of the user, such as their facial features and unique fingerprint pattern, has increased banking security.
However, since the rapid and mandatory change has forced users to use this feature more often, companies have since been looking into new ways to further improve the security that this payment method provides its user base.
Smart Assistant Payments
Big companies such as Google and Apple have been looking into multiple ways to allow home assistant speakers to enable their users to pay via voice commands and voice authentications. While this technology is still relatively young, it has gained some traction and will most likely be used more as the technology is researched and developed further.
Digital Gift Cards
The idea of gift cards has been around even before digital payments were an option to the daily consumer. However, this payment method has been on the rise during this pandemic and has had an estimated increase of 30% in usage among Americans.
Companies have also been handing out gift-cards to encourage customers to engage in contactless transactions to curb the spread of the virus while still maintaining sales figures and increasing brand loyalty.
Banks have also been reported to have been looking into this method of payment in the form of point-based rewards. This trend among banking institutions is only expected to gain more popularity as time progresses.
Given the rise of the popularity of digital payments, it is no wonder then that companies worldwide are trying to find new and innovative ways to improve their services. Not only do they adjust to the current situation, but they also meet the customers’ expectations. Even after this pandemic ends, financial experts have predicted that the popularity of digital payments will only continue to rise in the coming years.
However, only time will tell how far digital payments will take over our day to day payment methods. As digital payment technology improves, it looks like the future of online payments will become more personalized and tailored to each user to cater to customer needs and wants.