Preparing for a new year means taking stock of what happened in the past 365 days. 2017 brought a lot of updates within the payments industry, and it is important to note the most significant payments moments and consider how they will affect businesses going into the new year. Learning from the past as we go into the future is a great way to stay ahead of accepting credit card payments in the new year — by knowing where we’ve been and where we’re headed.

Countless new innovations and updates came to the payments industry this year (and will keep coming!). However, as vigilant as we strive to be when it comes to things like data security or providing a great customer experience, that vigilance is much more difficult when you aren’t up to speed on what innovations and updates are happening.

Why Keeping Up With Trends Is Important

Stagnation is not a term you’ll hear when it comes to business or payment processing because both the business and payments landscapes are constantly changing. If you’re not keeping a close eye on the latest trends for accepting credit cards on a regular basis, it will be hard for your business to keep thriving.

Because of this, it is imperative for the continuing and future success of your business that you make a conscious effort to stay informed about changes that may affect your business. We make it easy by bringing the top trends of 2017 to you in one convenient place

The Top 3 Trends of 2017: A Closer Look

Mobile Payments

Mobile is becoming mainstream for accepting credit card payments. Although there is still lingering hesitation from some about the security and reliability of mobile payments for accepting credit card payments, 2017 has made it clear that those hesitations are on their way out. There is a lot about mobile payments that are driving their adoption, the largest of which is convenience. Mobile payments and ordering capabilities have become extremely important for businesses who want to compete in today’s market as a top contender and provider of a convenient experience. In fact, research has shown that consumers are willing to pay up to 11% more for additional layers of convenience. That kind of motivation to adopt mobile payments has not been ignored.

The world of Fintech placed a large focus on the smartphone in 2017, and a variety of mobile wallet options and new launches of “pays” kept growing. Juniper Research has actually predicted that the number of Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Android Pay users would surpass 150 million by the end of 2017, and the way that accepting credit card payments via mobile has been expanding makes this a very likely scenario.  As you may have read in some of our recent payments news roundup blogs, businesses and banks alike have been working hard to meet the mobile demand and take advantage of all that mobile commerce has to offer.

JPMorgan has been making great efforts to join the mobile payments arena by focusing on their Chase Pay feature. Meanwhile, Walmart also launched their own Walmart Pay digital wallet after declining to adopt Apple Pay within their mobile app. The mobile payments arena is bursting with new players and has made its mark in 2017.

Instant and Real-Time Payments

Today’s consumers are all about instant gratification, especially when it comes to payments. In 2017, several new launches covered that customer need in the form of instant and real-time payments. Despite the fact that this fall only 12% of financial institutions were reported to have peer-to-peer payments in their mobile apps and businesses, this year there was substantial growth in P2P payment offerings.

Zelle, a mobile-phone based P2P payment network, was launched in June 2017 and is used by several of the nation’s largest banks. As of a report in early September, more than 4 million people have enrolled in Zelle, which can be used as a feature within banking apps and as its own stand-alone app who do not have deposit accounts at any of the participating banks. Apple Pay Cash also made its debut in the P2P space, going head to head with Zelle, Venmo, and other Fintech players.

Same-day ACH was also introduced as part of Phase 2 on September 15, which made ACH payments available for debit entries. This launch now allows for virtually any ACH payment to be processed same-day. Between ACH and mobile P2P, instant and real-time payments made a splash this year.

Omnicommerce

In keeping with the spirit of the mobile payments and instant payments popularity, another big 2017 trend for accepting credit card payments has been omnicommerce. Omnicommerce has made a significant impact this year because it has become indisputable fact that a single presence for your business will not be enough. In the digital age, it is essential for brick-and-mortar businesses to have a mobile or online presence (or both!), and now it is equally as important for e-commerce businesses to consider expanding to a physical location. In addition to convenience and speed, the other major want from consumers is choice.

Amazon made headlines several times over 2017 with their various updates and innovations, but one of the most talked about was their continued moves to break into the brick-and-mortar business scene. Already a significant e-commerce entity in the retail space, Amazon continued to expand their options for accepting credit card payments with their own physical bookstore locations as well as a presence through their newly acquired Whole Foods locations.

Although Amazon’s most popular game is still primarily e-commerce sales, they managed to take home nearly $1.3 billion in physical store sales for their third quarter. On the other side and as noted above, many retailers and banks are also expanding from brick-and-mortar into the digital payments world. It’s not enough to just have one great business presence anymore as consumers will frequent businesses that provide them a variety of ways in which to shop.

What’s Coming Next For Accepting Credit Card Payments?

2017 has brought a great many changes to how we accept credit cards, and there’s no doubt that payments will continue to evolve and benefit businesses even more in 2018. As we head into the new year, we have to ask ourselves: “What should we be watching for with payments in 2018?” Here are just a couple trends to keep an eye on.

AI, Voice Assistance, and Machine Learning
Businesses should be prepared for more digital transformation in the new year. The latest Global Fintech 2017 Report issued by PWC stated that 30% of large companies are investing in artificial intelligence, and there are currently about 61 million voice assistant users in the U.S. Automated processes help to cut down on human error and create more efficiency and convenience for both businesses and customers. The implementation of voice assistance and the increased presence of chatbots as a part of AI will help to enhance the customer experience when accepting credit card payments.

Continued Increase of P2P Payments
P2P and mobile payments had a great 2017, and they will likely have a great 2018 as well. Consumers in the U.S. can expect to see mobile P2P rise substantially more in 2018, nearly doubling from 2017 results to reach 13% of all P2P transactions and taking nearly half of all P2P transactions within the next three years.

There will be a lot of continued and new success in the payments industry as we enter the new year. The best way to stay on top of it all? Work with a great payment processor for accepting credit card payments.

The Payline Effect

As important as it is for you to stay informed, it is equally as important for the resources that you work with to do the same. Payline takes pride in giving you the best payment processing experience so that you are able to provide the best customer experience at your business. Your payment processor should be more than just a payment processor, they should be an asset to the whole of your business, and staying knowledgeable about the industry makes an impact.

When you’re looking for the latest news and trends about business and the payments industry, you want to know that what you’re finding is reliable. Payline prioritizes being a reliable resource for everything from the latest payments news to the ease of handling payment processing at your business. You want your business to be able to surge ahead into the new year prepared and thriving, and a reliable payment processor like Payline is one of the essentials partners in helping you reach that goal.

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This piece was written by Lauren Minning, Content Specialist for Payline.