Following on from our ecommerce trends blog post last week, let’s continue our journey into exploring the relevant trends impacting the payments and eCommerce industry this year and beyond.

Increasing role of payment gateways

Industry experts have been vocal about the growing popularity of alternative payments to the detriment of credit cards. And truth be told, every payment option has its own pros and cons. While, indeed, this might translate into market fragmentation for some, having multiple payment options available provides merchants with flexibility, builds brand trust, and lowers the likelihood of shopping cart abandonment.

Selecting a payment gateway has long been the logical approach for merchants seeking to extend their business across borders. Since those aiming for global expansion want to move more quickly than ever – the first thing they want or need in a highly competitive space is a gateway provider whose approach and thinking are as global and as ambitious as they are.

By 2024, the global payment gateway industry is set to grow to USD 28.7 billion, according to Goldstein Research. As the move towards a cashless society is supported and amplified by innovations in the fintech space, the role of the payment gateways in the online payment ecosystem will grow even further.

Whether to boost conversions on the local market, or achieve geographical expansion, businesses’ ability to adapt the payment options available to customers at checkout to their own preferences will remain key in 2018 and beyond. And payment gateways will assist them in achieving just that.

The art of multi-channel eCommerce

Imagine this scenario: Susan is an average consumer. She might scroll through Pinterest and see an eBook that piques her interest. Later, an ad for the very same eBook pops up on Facebook and she clicks the buy button, marking a full two touchpoints before Susan hit purchase.

Susan’s story isn’t unique. In fact, 73% of people use multiple channels before they make a purchase. That might be a website, social media, in a store or through a recommendation from a friend. All of these act as points of contact with the consumer and the product and all represent an opportunity for the consumer to buy. This is good news for digital sellers. Why? Because shoppers who switch from one touchpoint to another are likely to spend more, as they increase the amount of contact they have with a product.

But having to have so many fingers in so many different pies can get tiring. Does this sound familiar already? Well, this is where effectively managing each platform can seriously skyrocket digital sales. It is all about creating a balance between amplifying the sales message and holding back on different channels depending on who is buying what from which platform and when. Basically, it is about finding opportunities in data and creating a strategy that optimizes a message on different channels to tap into consumer needs at any given moment.

Rapid developments in technology are set to continue bringing more customer-interaction channels into the mix, thus driving the need for multi- or omni-channel capabilities that allow customers like Susan to enjoy a shopping experience tailored to their needs.

The war on fraud and cyber-attacks will continue

We can all agree that nowadays, even if there are hundreds more ways to connect to the Internet and make payments, this comes with hundreds more ways for hackers to get their wicked way.

To counteract the many new ways to pay that are likely to crop up for the rest of 2018, we can also expect the payment industry to become more focused and hard-hitting on cyber-threats.

Today, open banking, collaboration between companies and their customers, and the prediction that there will be a whopping 30 billion connected devices by 2021 means it is becoming more and more vital for companies to pay attention to their security systems.

So what kind of systems might we see?

Well, authentication technologies are already on the rise, including biometrics (which we talk more about in our previous blog post), digital identity recognition, geo-location, and interoperable cryptographic keys. If that sounds like a load of jargon to you, you are not alone.

Essentially, these authentication technologies rely less and less on passwords which can be hacked and stolen, and instead focus on retaining identification of individuals through their eye patterns, fingerprints, and coordinates.

Conclusion: stay on top of 2018 trends 

With so many trends set to hit, this year will continue to be a rollercoaster for the payment and eCommerce industry. And, as always, there will be plenty of competition cropping up along the way.

Huge brands like Amazon, Google, PayPal, and Facebook plan to expand their offering, while new start-up solutions will be making tracks in the personalization side of the process. This means there will be new partnerships forged both inside and outside of traditional banks, with a hefty need for a redefinition of the banking ecosystem. To put it bluntly, if payment solutions don’t check and re-work their approach to make it more customer friendly and aligned with the latest technologies, they will suffer.

Staying on top of the key trends doesn’t have to be difficult, though. As with anything in the payment industry, it’s all about watching what is working, evaluating processes, and crafting something bigger and better with the information at hand. So tell us, are you ready to take on these trends for the rest of the year and beyond?

In case you missed it, here you can find the first part of this blog post series. Stay tuned for more!