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What's in Store for Payments in 2021?

BAMBORA OPINION

04 November 2020

6 minute read

2020 was a year full of challenges that nobody could've predicted. As you continue to contemplate what's next for your business, a major consideration is probably how your customers interact with your business online, which should include evaluating the checkout and payment experience you provide to existing and new customers.

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WHAT 2020 TAUGHT US

The global pandemic caused a boom in online spending this year. Due to health concerns and global shutdowns, people needed a way to be able to easily access goods and services from home.

According to Australia Post, August 2020 was the biggest month for online shopping in Australia to date. In fact, Australia Post delivered roughly $2.4 billion in eCommerce transactions during the height of the pandemic. And the number of parcel deliveries increased by 26 million from 2019.

Globally, eCommerce transactions continue to rise year-on-year, too. In 2019, eCommerce transactions surpassed $3.5 trillion. By 2023, that figure is expected to exceed $6.54 trillion.

If there’s one thing we can take away from 2020, it’s that online payments will be even more important in the coming years. And the growth in online payment transactions means this will continue to be a source of fierce competition among retailers.

5 PAYMENT TRENDS TO WATCH IN 2021

As the year begins drawing to a close, you’re likely wondering what the upcoming year will have in store for your eCommerce business. Here are five payment trends that will shape 2021:

1. The eCommerce Boom Will Continue

Regardless of what happens with the pandemic, the boom in eCommerce will continue. Consumers are planning to continue making online purchases in the future and many people believe that limited in-store shopping is the new reality. In depth reporting in the news recently highlights that spending more time in our home offices has also changed our attitudes towards online shopping. It's no secret that Australian's are more comfortable than ever when it comes to buying online. Digital penetration - the percentage of total retail sales attributed to online - is expected to double by 2025 to 20 percent, rapidly accelerating the pace of change in the sector.

Also, as noted in the 2020 McKinsey Global Payments Report, the acceleration of online payments is not limited to mainstream verticals, such as fashion and groceries, but also in merchant segments like healthcare, professional services, and education, which historically have not received a material portion of payments through B2C digital channels.

Mobile Commerce, or mCommerce, will continue its rise as well. This means it will be important for businesses to deliver a seamless payment experience across all channels.

Small to medium-sized businesses need to be aware of these trends and cognisant of the new reality they’re facing. Building a strong online presence, reducing friction, and providing a customer-centric experience is critical to compete now, and in a pandemic-free world.

2. Data Security Will be a Top Priority

One of the biggest changes happening right now is that consumers who previously preferred in-store shopping are now embracing eCommerce payments. They’ll continue to do so throughout the remainder of 2020 and into 2021.

This means businesses need to guarantee a safe, secure, and frictionless payment experience for their customers. Advances in technology, changes to devices and payment methods mean that data security will be a key aspect of converting sales and generating repeat business.

The increased growth in eCommerce transactions means that retailers will need to give additional attention to mitigating Card-Not-Present (CNP) fraud. The payment industry provides a variety of tools and processes that help businesses minimise their fraud exposure.

Custom payment processors can safeguard sensitive customer data and store it securely. Plus, the anti-fraud measures provided by these services will give consumers the peace of mind they’re looking for.

3. A Trusted Payments Partner

PWC's Future of Payments in Australia reports that the advent of digital, mobile and social media has integrated finance into the daily life of the individual in a way it never was before. The traditional payments customer persona is fast being replaced by one that expects a personalised experience from banks similar that of other industry players, like Apple, Vend of Level Up.

Personalising your payment process, and the customer experience, is a key aspect of creating customer loyalty. It can be challenging though for companies to remain true to the core of their business, focus on personalisation, and a superior customer and payment experience while navigating the intricacies of accepting payments, too.

With a variety of regulations and compliance standards to adhere to when taking payments, businesses can own less of the payment process and the associated complexities, by using a trusted payments partner to facilitate payments and meet the requirements the industry demands.

By using the right checkout integration, businesses can simplify their operations, offer the preferred payment options their customers want, while still being in control of the customer experience.

4. Real-Time Payments Continue to Improve

Real-time payments continue their rise, though the technology has yet to reach its full potential. However, it will experience significant improvements over the year ahead.

Real-time payments, or instant payments, enable businesses and consumers to make and receive payments in - that's right! - real time.

For businesses, this allows more effective cash flow management oand access to funds sooner. Plus, these types of immediate insights allow businesses to gain greater visibility into their organisation.

The New Payments Platform (NPP) is now processing an average of 1.7 million NPP payments worth an average of more than $5 billion each day. Transaction volume has grown 99% year-on-year in terms of transaction volume and 142% in transaction value (since August 2019).

In 2021, we'll continue to see further work on infrastructure, leading to improvements and wider use of real-time payments. A targeted launch in 2022 has been set for the Mandated Payments Service (MPS) - a better alternative to current direct debit payments, merchant-initiated eCommerce payments and in-app payments, for example.

5. Consumer Expectations Have Changed

And finally, it’s unclear whether the in-store shopping experience will truly be a thing of the past, but it’s definitely changed. Some consumers may return to in-person shopping, but their expectations will be different.

Customers will likely expect an experience that’s as seamless as that available to them online. This means no long queues, no need for a physical wallet, and easy and efficient payment at checkout.

So, in order to stay competitive, businesses and retailers will need to focus on providing a seamless omnichannel experience meeting the customer experience that shoppers desire, and have come to expect.

Final Thoughts

As businesses continue to adapt, or reinvent themselves as we look towards 2021 and prepare for what a 'new normal' could look like, your eCommerce customer experience remains central to the success of your business. With that in mind, consumer expectations, the path to purchase, payment process, the above key trends, priorities and the ever-evolving payments landscape, are all important to understand.

Your customers, and their online experience are understandably your priority, and a trusted payments provider can assist in delivering a smoother checkout experience, while reducing time and effort on your end, too.

For more information, or to discuss enhanced payments for your online business, get in touch with us today.