We have seen that speed and ease of use are driving technological advancements across many industries, and the payment industry is no different. Contactless payments in the UK have been the main reason that cards have overtaken cash for the first time.
Some places are even prioritising card over cash now, like in the Netherlands where in some towns if you want to use cash to buy your groceries you have to wait in long cash-only lines, while you watch those with a debit card or an NFC device pay quickly and move on.
Fintech as a whole industry is already a one-stop shop for all your payment needs, so mergers and acquisitions in the future will see a few big players becoming full service, and providing customers with everything they need in one place, says finance industry veteran Rob Clegg.
In China, convenience is going even further with payments becoming invisible–the first ‘autopay’ gas station by WeChat means that drivers don’t even need to get out of their car when filling up. The station recognises their license plate, an assistant fills up the car, then they drive away, and their card is charged without them having to do a thing. They are also leading the way when it comes to mobile payments with 68% of internet users opting for a mobile payment method, compared to just 15% in the US.
As convenience continues to drive companies and industries, we believe that we will see more and more fintech companies trying to become a one-stop shop for all things payment.
This is why Facebook integrated payments into Messenger; to keep people on their platform they need to increase its usefulness, reducing the likelihood that people will go somewhere else to do what they need to do.
TransferWise started as a way to send money abroad and to different accounts, but is growing its services for the benefit of the users. The introduction of their debit card creates a borderless bank, meaning that people who travel a lot or need money in more than one country, no longer need to deal with multiple accounts anymore.
Some of the larger and older players are looking to stay modern and add more services through acquisitions.