The year 2020 was one of the toughest times in history for economies worldwide. After the coronavirus outbreak, things took a drastic turn affecting everything and everyone globally. But interestingly, few good things did come out of it. While most businesses were recording large amounts of loss, for businesses with a strong digital presence, this was the perfect opportunity to grow and expand.
Online banking and payment systems are the two areas that took off big time during the pandemic. The need to minimise contact and maintain social distance resulted in physical businesses losing customers while others had to close down. And that's how online shopping and purchases became inevitable to stimulate rapid growth, which resulted in the current trends we see in the digital payment machine systems.
At the rate at which things are going, this phase is far from over.
Below are five trending digital payment methods every small business should use to ensure faster, easy and safer transactions:
1. Contactless Payment
Contactless payments are, as the name suggests, making payments without contact. They allow customers to pay for their purchases by simply waving their phones in front of the reader. Contactless payments are a more convenient, faster, and easy payment option than the card swipe machine system.
2. Mobile Wallets
In 2019 the number of mobile wallet users was approximately 2.1 billion. And since then, this number has been increasing rapidly, so you can imagine how many there are right now. A mobile wallet payment is simply a mobile app that is more like an android pos terminal. With it, you can save, send or receive money from other users. And that's not all; a mobile wallet can also perform other tasks such as buying tickets, paying bills, and many more.
3. Cloud Technology
According to experts, running a business, now and in the future, calls for systems that use cloud-based technology. A cloud-based POS device allows you to eliminate outdated and complicated business processes and taut technologies in your system. It's a more reliable way to facilitate faster delivery of services, economies of scale, and customer relationship management. That comes with a lot more benefits which can go a long way to secure a successful business.
4. Voice-activated Payments
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been around for a while now and has had numerous roles in making life easier. But it was not until recently that we started seeing it in the payment systems.
So far, voice-activated payments can help activate transactions in a few apps, but it's just a matter of time before we see them everywhere.
Some merchants have already integrated their payment models with voice commands, and their number keeps growing by the day.
It's also worth noting that Chatbots now have text-to-speech and speech-to-text functions to transform payment processes in ways that we never imagined before. Signs indicate that voice-activated payments will soon become crucial to the POS system to drive sales.
5. Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) Payments
In the recent past, BNPL payments have become so popular among customers due to the high living standards and the ever-deteriorating economy. BNPL allows customers to buy products then pay later in equal monthly instalments and no interest. Is that not what any customer needs under those circumstances?
The situation became much worse after the COVID-19 outbreak, so you can understand why BNPL is so crucial right now.
These are some of the payment options the whole world is talking about right now. Businesses (small and large) need to pay close attention to these emerging trends and ensure that their payment systems are up to date to maximise their benefits at the point of sales.
- New Hampshires state adage "Carry on with total freedom or bite the dust" is, for some occupants, a mixing inspiration - Andrew Napolitano