Do you ever take a step back and consider how technology and online services have transformed day-to-day life?
So many fresh innovations have had a big impact on both businesses and consumers, from live chat and online retail services to other elements such as digital marketing techniques. Technology has even had an impact on our leisure time, as we can turn to streaming platforms to listen to our favorite songs or watch the latest top shows.
However, one area that has experienced particularly significant change in recent years has been the world of payments. While physical currency, cards and cheques were once essential, it seems that mobile wallets are set to dominate this space across the coming years.
On the rise
Earlier this month, fintech organization Boku teamed up with Juniper Research to release its 2021 Mobile Wallets Report. The study found that mobile wallets became the most widely used payment type across the world in 2019, while it also emphasised that the future is looking bright for the concept as well.
By the end of 2020, around 2.8 billion mobile wallets were being used, but the research suggested that the figure could reach 4.8 billion by 2025. This would equate to an increase of around 74 percent, with the fastest growing markets including South-East Asia, Africa and the Middle East and Latin America. The latter’s mobile wallet use is thought to have been affected by the region’s eCommerce growth.
Boku’s research also stated that the amount of mobile wallets transacting around $1 billion a year is expected to grow, while some consumers even use multiple mobile wallets. For instance, the study revealed that consumers in markets like India and Indonesia use 2.74 wallets on average.
The findings from the research are undoubtedly intriguing and they certainly highlight how phone-based payment solutions have become a major issue. In a way though, it could be argued that we knew this already. Why? Because many businesses and sectors have already embraced them.
For example, the Apple Pay website highlights how UK consumers can use the service in a range of different businesses. Retailers like Boots, Waitrose and Lidl are listed, while food and drink brands such as McDonald’s, Pizza Express and Starbucks are also included. Transport services like Transport for London get a mention too.
Phone-based payment methods are also having an impact in the world of online casinos. As VegasSlotsOnline’s guide to legal online casinos in the US explains, the sector has embraced a wide range of payment methods. Credit and debit cards are often accepted, while some have even taken the leap into cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. However, another increasingly popular concept in the sector is the Pay by Phone deposit. The site explains how users simply need a mobile number to fund an account instantly.
‘Pay later’ options
But, while mobile wallets and phone-based payments are seemingly becoming the norm, what could be next for the area? Well, there are plenty of suggestions that the concept of ‘buy now, pay later’ is becoming a big issue for payment providers to consider.
For example, Bloomberg recently revealed how the aforementioned Apple Pay could soon offer such options. Apple is thought to be working with Goldman Sachs on a ‘buy now, pay later’ service that would allow customers to pay off purchases in instalments. It is thought that the move could encourage more people to use Apple Pay for certain transactions rather than credit cards.
Bloomberg adds that the plans would reportedly include the introduction of an option to pay using four interest-free payments. It explains that this would be similar to approaches already used by other payment providers, including Klarna and PayPal.
Digital services and technology have had an impact on so many parts of life through the years, but the developments seen in relation to payments look like a real game-changer.
The notion of using coins and cards for purchases seems to be on the way out, with mobile payments and other solutions on the rise. But, is the general public truly ready to let go of more traditional forms of payment? It will be fascinating to see how things play out across the months and years ahead.