Artificial intelligence, greater adoption of mobile devices, and the Internet of Things have changed customers’ demands. Modern shoppers are tech-savvy. They expect brands to provide them with greater convenience, personalization, and connectivity. And, payments are no exception. 

In 2020, we will keep switching from cash payments to digital payment options. With these trends, merchants will continue to search for new ways and technologies to meet customers’ needs and provide them with flexible and convenient payment methods.

Here is how the tech revolution has changed the way we make payments.

Digital Wallets 

The US Census Bureau says that there were 327.16 million people in the U.S. in 2018. Did you know that 77% of those customers own a smartphone? Given these statistics, it’s not surprising at all that the number of mobile payments has skyrocketed over the past few years. 

Driven by IT leaders like Samsung, Google, and Apple, mobile wallets have gained immense popularity as one of the easiest ways to make purchases both in-person and online. What customers love about them is greater security, sophisticated authentication features, and the overall convenience. Most importantly, they don’t need to enter their credit card data when shopping online or give their credit cards to cashiers during in-store purchases.

Businesses need to adapt to these changes, as well. Namely, many retailers have not yet invested in technologies that accept mobile payments. However, this is expected to change in 2020 and beyond. Statistics say that mobile wallet payments could reach $500 billion by 2020. Visa already claims that 29% of Americans don’t use cash while making purchases, while the number of customers using cash has plummeted from 24% to only 18% in 2015.

On the other hand, the use of credit cards is growing. Stats say that 67% of people in the U.S. own a credit card, while an average American has roughly 3.1 credit cards. With so many credit card options, choosing the one that meets one’s needs has never been simpler. There are even many credit card compare platforms that let you find the best option for you, based on your balance, needs, or bank. The use of credit cards and mobile payments has served as a solid base for the implementation of mobile wallets.

Artificial intelligence uses machine learning, big data, and neural nets that resemble a human neural network. These sophisticated technologies can benefit the financial ecosystem in multiple ways. Namely, artificial intelligence plays an important role in fraud prevention, transaction monitoring, authorization of payments, and defense against cyberattacks. This is immensely important, given that the number of online payments is expected to keep growing in 2020. The greatest benefit of artificial intelligence and machine learning lies in the fact that they’re fast and accurate, helping institutions in the fintech industry detect abnormalities in the system and fix them faster. They let you get the most of the big data, using it to improve customer experiences, reduce costs, and allocate resources wisely.

Social Commerce

Customers use social networks to connect with relevant brands and stay on top of their offers and sales. Logically, the number of brands investing in a detailed social strategy is rising. However, apart from building relationships with customers and expanding their following, businesses can now allow customers to purchase items directly from their social channels. This is exactly the level of convenience customers expect from brands. Namely, 30% of online buyers say they would make a purchase directly from a social platform, while 60% of Instagram users say they use these channels to find new products (and logically, that’s an opportunity to increase sales).

This is where chatbots can help a lot. First, they can personalize user experiences by providing relevant recommendations. For example, Sephora’s bot on Facebook asks customers about their needs, preferences, and makeup rituals so it can recommend the right products. Second, you can enable customers to make purchases directly from the bot. Namely, 74% of shoppers say they are now open to make a purchase via a chatbot. That’s exactly what Marvel does. Namely, the company uses the chatbot to sell tickets directly from their social accounts. 

Over to You

Technology is revolutionizing the fintech industry. And, to meet your customers’ needs and stay competitive, you need to keep pace with these trends. In 2020, the focus will definitely be on mobile apps, digital wallets, social commerce and, above all, the implementation of AI into the fintech industry. 

This content was written by Jacob Wilson, a business consultant, and an organizational psychologist. Wilson writes about new business strategies and digital marketing for Bizzmark blog.