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Six trends to keep an eye on: Our forecast for the payments of tomorrow

This is how we pay in 2019: The next 12 months look set to deliver rapid change in the world of payments, particularly when it comes to paying online. Paysafe Group – including its Vienna-based subsidiaries, paysafecard and Paysafe Pay LaterTM, sees six decisive trends to look out for during the coming year:

Nothing beats cash, even online

Consumer appetite for new payment methods will lead to the increasing significance of cash-based payment options in eCommerce. Because Europeans are convinced of the security of cash (59% stated this in a survey by ING), enormous potential exists here for intelligent and convenient offers, such as Paysafecash, to gain a significant market share of online payments as more and more consumers shy away from sharing their financial details.

People with no access or insufficient access to basic financial services are also groups that must not be underestimated in terms of size, even in highly developed countries. In the EU alone, there are 30 million adults without a bank account and rely heavily on cash; solutions such as Paysafecash make it possible for these consumers to engage with eCommerce

A recent IMAS study shows that 10% of all consumers and even 15% of those with higher education would be prepared to spend more online if they could pay with cash.

Increased customer demand for payment delay

More and more consumers want to settle a transaction some period after taking possession of a purchase, but often without using a credit card for this: either because of security concerns, or because they do not have a credit card. When surveyed in May 2018, consumers in Germany and Austria had paid by invoice more than debit card when shopping online in the past month. 55% in Austria did so because they feel it is safer to do so, compared to 49% in Germany. While numbers for payment by invoice are still low elsewhere, they are nonetheless on the radar – 5% in the UK and 4% in the US – a sign that merchants in these countries are beginning to offer this additional layer of reassurance.

This trend will grow in 2019. That is why services such as installment purchases and buying on account, which are reinforced by Paysafe Pay LaterTM, are booming. "Buy now, pay later" helps customers to distribute and manage their expenditures over a longer period of time, without losing an overview of the process.

Security is the main consideration for online merchants

Every online business relies on payment service providers, and unsurprisingly security has always been an important factor when selecting a PSP. However, in 2019, security is actually the number one consideration for online businesses when selecting their PSP, ahead of reliability and cost. In our Lost in Transaction: The future of payments for SMBs study, 59% of the 600 online businesses surveyed from five countries* stated that security was a key priority when selecting a PSP.

The Paysafecash payment option offers merchants a 100% payment guarantee, as the delivery is only triggered with the cash payment in the point of sale.

*Webshops in Austria, Germany, UK, Canada, USA

Stablecoins as a new opportunity for cryptocurrencies

Following the concerns about the flaws in Bitcoin, new forms of cryptocurrency will establish themselves. Specialist "stablecoins" will gain trust, due to the fact that they are backed by gold, fiat currencies or a combination of various "hard assets". In this way stablecoins will harness the benefits of both traditional finance and future technology.

New localized mobile marketplaces will come to the fore

The now customary in-app marketplaces will be developed further and Paysafe anticipates a widespread increase in digital shopping environments in 2019, going beyond single-service apps. Localized and editorially supervised marketplaces, for locations such as a university campus, an airport, or the surroundings of a hotel, will bundle local traders and offer a completely new, convenient shopping experience.

Contactless function is booming

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the forces driving cash usage models vary considerably across territories, depending greatly on cultural and infrastructural trends. Contactless payments, in particular, are probably the force exerting greatest pressure on cash usage in the UK, where 54% of respondents when surveyed by Paysafe said they had used contactless in the previous month. That’s in stark contrast to the US, where just 3% of consumers had done so; this is especially surprising given the fact that 40% of Americans reported having tried contactless in 2017.

The same trend is visible in Canada, where 58% of consumers had tried contactless in 2017 but only 19% reported using it in the last month. Indeed, only Austria demonstrates anything close to the UK’s contactless commitment, with 32% of consumers using it compared to just 9% in neighbouring Germany.

Commenting on the payments landscape in 2019, Udo Müller, CEO of paysafecard says: "As a 'truly global player', paysafecard sees 2019 as a turning point in e-commerce. The wish of millions of consumers to bring the advantages of cash onto the internet will lead to a broad basis of entirely new methods for the authorisation and processing of online purchases. Many millions of people, who do not want to, or cannot, use other forms of payment on the internet, will be brought into the 'digital boat'. This inclusion is becoming a key concern of our society."

And Claire Gates, CEO of Paysafe Pay LaterTM, adds: "Online traders are constantly being requested to develop the customers journey in accordance with customer expectations. As the interaction between technology and consumers is changing at an unprecedented speed, the expectations for technical solutions are also increasing. The traders need to ensure that these demands are met. The innovative solutions of Paysafe Pay LaterTM are driving this change forward in the interest of the merchants and consumers."