Shortly after e-wallet solutions reached mainstream adoption in the early 2000s and smartphones became increasingly ubiquitous, interest in mobile payments soared to new heights. But as new players flooded the alternative payments industry, the influx of payment options became too much to bear for consumers and merchants alike. Unable to differentiate one payment solution from another, consumers and merchants simply refrained from adopting alternative payments of any kind.
In recent years, however, concerns commonly associated with alternative payments have started to dissipate. 2015 marked the first time digital wallets were used more widely than traditional card payments. According to the 2015 Global Payments Report from e-commerce acquirer and processor Worldpay, the U.S. is expected to experience the largest shift toward alternative payments of any country. In fact, U.S. e-commerce turnover will grow from $312 billion to $536 billion by 2019—a 14 percent increase. Merchant-owned apps, tech players, bank-owned apps and general mobile wallets are leading the payments app race.
Needless to say, consumer knowledge of and confidence in alternative payments has never been higher. Still though, there is room for growth. In an effort to bolster the momentum behind alternative payments, key players in the ecosystem have set their sights on exploring the payments frontier. From biometrics and virtual reality to mobile devices and wearable technology, advancements across these mediums are impacting the consumer experience.
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