In 2024, payments will evolve to broaden accessibility

Attributed to Roy Aston, COO at Paysafe.

 

As we look to 2024 and beyond, businesses will need to adapt experiences to changing consumer needs and demands, working with payments providers to increase accessibility, offer broader choice, and more.

We break down some the forces driving evolution in payments over the coming years.

Payments need to be available to everyone, everywhere

Regardless of their location or situation, consumers do not want to wait when it comes to payments. The proliferation of smart devices has given users access to everything, all at once, and this is also expected when making transactions.

In 2024, banks and financial institutions will continue to push ahead with this journey to offer smooth, secure payments to everyone, everywhere, delivering services at the lowest possible barrier to entry. This also means ensuring consumers, even those that are unbanked or underbanked, have access to remittances and cross-border payments.

The first step in achieving this goal will be to improve reliability, security and availability, which may see traditional payment methods like debit and credit cards – still the most popular payment methods – become less dominant, while alternative payment methods (APM) like eCash and digital wallets will grow.

This is because, with the right payment provider, merchants can ensure these APMs are available anywhere in the world – eCash, for example, does not require a bank account to use. In addition, digital wallets and online cash can offer swift, secure transactions, helping users overcome security issues by not requiring them to enter their financial details.

Financial companies will embrace collaboration in 2024

While businesses can address consumer payment concerns using APMs, they must also look to bolster their own defences as the threat landscape changes. Increasingly advanced technology, like AI models, are now accessible to far more people, including threat actors.

To combat this escalating threat, it’ll be no surprise to see more financial companies collaborate in 2024 as they seek to improve cyber risk mitigation. This makes perfect sense – and would be a positive step for the industry – though it is easier said than done.

Businesses must share data legally, while aimed toward a positive purpose, rather than for pure profit. For example, if a financial organisation gains intelligence on a cyber group, they could share this with other companies to protect against bad money movement.

Ideally, collaboration could help improve anti-fraud, anti-money laundering, and cyber security measures, and more broadly reduce risk for businesses and consumers alike. But first, thinking around data governance may need to change.

Existing trends will evolve

While exciting new trends will emerge in 2024, we’ll also see the evolution of some that have yet to reach their full potential.

Embedded payments, for example, will continue to develop, with more businesses bringing together financial products with features like loyalty schemes to offer more added value to consumers.

Decentralised finance, too, should continue to build momentum in 2024. While decentralised finance, and specifically NFTs, have faced challenges this past year, it will be no surprise to see companies get to grips with changing regulatory requirements and continue to build in this area.

Open banking could also see a big 2024, with more APIs becoming available, and companies starting to develop new solutions to enhance customer experience and reduce friction in the payment ecosystem.

And while evolution rather than revolution is a necessity in technology, it’s always exciting to look ahead to the big trends that could shape the future – perhaps not in the year ahead, but beyond.

The future is quantum

Quantum computing is a trend that is as exciting as it is potentially frightening. Able to perform computations that are exponentially faster than ever before, quantum computing represents a new frontier and it will be thrilling to see how it is used in the years ahead.

Combined with AI, for example, quantum computing could optimise processes at a speed and scale never seen before – with serious benefits passed onto consumers.

In the nearer term, however, ensuring payments are available and accessible for everyone must remain the focus in 2024.

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