2021 Outlook: Top Payment Processing Trends

December 28, 2020
payment successful with iphone 7 plus image and car in background

There’s no way to understate it: 2020 has upended many things, including how consumers are spending. As consumers became more health-conscious in the wake of the pandemic, contactless spending emerged as one of the strongest consumer tech winners.

As businesses grow, they have to become familiar with credit processing basics. They need to understand the differences between front-end processing, which authorizes transactions directly with banks and card companies, and back-end processing, which accepts transaction payments and then transfers the funds to the proper bank.

So, what’s on deck for 2021? Expect a focus on enhanced security without sacrificing ease of use. Here’s a look at the emerging payment trends for the coming year. 

Mobile Payments

Mobile payment options, such as Apple Pay, were available before the pandemic. But with a public averse to carrying cash or letting other people handle their credit cards, mobile payments, made via phones and smartwatches, finally stepped into the mainstream. 

Given the widespread adoption of mobile wallets, consumers have learned to expect contactless options even at the smallest local stores and purchases as small as a single cup of coffee.  

BNPL: Buy Now, Pay Later

There’s a new alternative to using credit cards. The “Buy Now, Pay Later” option is popping up on online stores across industries, from beauty to tech, from big-ticket items to individual tubes of lipstick. Rather than pay at once with a credit card, the “Pay Later” option allows consumers to own the product right away but pay the merchant, via a third party, in small monthly increments.

bank card and cell phone graphic

Payment Security

With the rise of mobile banking, expect an increase in the attention paid to security. With the sophistication of new payment technologies, there is often a link to sensitive personal data, such as biometric information, spending habits, and other identifying details. Businesses should anticipate consumer questions about how data is aggregated and kept, and remain vigilant against hacking or other fraud attempts. 

NFC – One Tap Transactions

The technology that powers transactions like Apple Pay or Google Pay is called Near Field Communication (or NFC). NFC allows a transaction to be completed within very short distances, using phones or cards with chips. Because the transaction is encrypted, and credit cards are not swiped at a card reader, NFC is considered a more secure form of payment over traditional swipe credit card terminals. 

Technology and consumer spending are moving faster than ever into the virtual realm, As the work from home movement continues to grow, it will place additional importance on the ability of business owners and leaders to utilize tools and technology to remain productive in times of remote accessibility. Any business handling money will also need a strong cybersecurity program to protect themselves and their consumers. The days of the simple cash register are long over. 

PayTech Trust offers secure merchant accounts and web-based solutions for businesses of all sizes to use for online credit card processing. With our collaborative suite of services and best practices to serve your business needs, PayTech Trust has the experience and the expertise to help your business with expertly crafted merchant service solutions.

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