By 2020 many things will be different: London’s Crossrail will be in full service, England will be hosting the first international football tournament since 1992 and Britain may well be voting in the next general election.
The UK payments landscape will also have changed, with many of the major developments already taking shape. As a retail technology and multi-channel payments business serving over 10m people every day, and with a track record of tech-led innovation, at PayPoint we know how important it is to keep pace with innovation in the payments landscape, so we can ensure that retailers have the latest offering that consumers want.
Innovations and behavioural shifts will have a very real impact on how the UK conducts payments, and below are four central trends to this shift that will shape our payments future more than any others.
Mobile payment solutions
Between now and 2020 we will see an increasing emphasis on the mobile phone as the primary point of contact for payment and financial management. With smartphone penetration highest in younger generations, PSPs and retailers will have to adapt their offering to suit millennials as these age groups enter the marketplace. We are responding to this need with the launch of our new retail platform, PayPoint One, which empowers retailers with a robust payment solution.
Near Field Communication (NFC)
The most obvious application for NFC technology is in the use of contactless cards. As of 2016, only 10% of UK card transactions are “contactless”, but we are seeing this becoming more prevalent every month. Increasing priority placed on customer experience will be at the heart of contactless adoption, with time spent at point of sale drastically cut through the use of NFC, either through contactless card or mobile apps like Apple Pay.
NFC could also be used between devices to send bank transfers from mobile to mobile and there is every chance that NFC will underpin our payments culture in the near future. NFC also feeds into the wider trend often labelled “the internet of things”, which could result in payments innovation such as the self-stocking fridge, as well as sensors in the home to be activated to confirm a purchase.
Digital currencies such as Bitcoin and other blockchain technologies will play a fundamental part of the payments landscape of 2020, potentially becoming a staple method for in-store payments as we see an increase in the use in mobile wallets. Already a popular traded asset, Bitcoin’s exposure to mainstream UK consumers is currently limited, but there are a number of benefits to be derived from the platform. Blockchain technology allows for instantaneous transfers from anywhere in the world to any other location, removing a lot of barriers to international payments. This lowers cost of transactions, as do zero or near-zero processing fees.
A platform organised through blockchain technology is transparent and neutral, with information about transactions readily available for any user to access. This of course has strong implications for the struggle to eliminate fraud and increase payment security.
As payments systems diversify and become more integrated with technology, the question of security becomes more and more important. Advances in technology produce a greater variety of security protocols, from biometrics to encryption to anti-fraud, and this range of systems will be central to the development of payments by 2020. Developments are being made into fingerprint authentication, with retina scanning and voice recognition being implemented to reinforce security and identification around payments.
Encryption goes hand in hand with the rise of digital currencies, and this will only support security initiatives in the payments ecosystem of the future. Beyond this, even the use of contactless payments is eliminating fraud from the payments landscape – of every £100 of contactless payment only 1p is attributable to fraudulent transactions. As we near 2020, retailers should be aware of the developments around the security of payments to ensure that their customers are adequately protected.
These emerging trends will continue to shape the way the UK pays for the foreseeable future, and will have had a significant impact on how our economy functions in 2020 and beyond.
For more information, visit http://paypoint.co.uk
(A Retail Times’ sponsored article)