Mobile payments could take a big step forward in 2017

Category: Merchant Processing Industry

As the end of the year approaches, many in the payments industry are shifting their attentions to the developing trends for 2017, and the ways in which emerging technology will help to bolster use of newer and more secure payment platforms. With this in mind, it's important to consider the various aspects of mobile payment growth that are expected to arrive in the year ahead.

Perhaps the biggest driver of adoption that's expected next year is simply the fact that mobile payments are already somewhat popular with young people, and they will continue to hold greater sway as time goes on, according to a report from Mobile Payments Today. Today, millennials already make up a quarter of the total U.S. population and they tend to be eager to adopt new technologies. And after a long, slow introductory period, it seems more of them are taking to the various mobile payment platforms that now come embedded on their smartphones. For instance, at this point Apple Pay is picking up about a million new users a week, and that's a trend that's only likely to pick up speed.

Mobile payments could take a big step forward in 2017Mobile payments could take a big step forward in 2017

Modern apps using mobile payment capabilities
Meanwhile, experts also believe that the rise of the so-called "digital assistant" apps will play into mobile payment use as well, the report said. These apps use data culled through everyday smartphone use and other sources and use that to make recommendations to consumers about things they might be interested in. That can often include alerting them to available discounts on purchases they might want to make, and potentially exporting that coupon code to a mobile payment platform.

This trend could also be observed when it comes to the sharing economy, because a growing number of apps that meet emerging needs could likewise incorporate mobile payment capabilities and encourage further use, the report said.

Getting businesses onboard
One of the hurdles to broader mobile payment adoption seen in recent years was that many businesses weren't adopting it on their end, cutting into consumers' chances to utilize the new platforms, according to Tech Republic. But now, more merchants are starting to do so as a means of better securing their payment processes, and actually looking for ways to further incentivize use.

"There's a potential missed opportunity here - if companies don't get up to speed in delivering what people, especially younger people, expect in terms of digital wallets, payment ease, and security, they will lose out to providers that do," Joan Warner, managing editor for Thought Leadership at Oxford Economics, and a senior analyst for financial services, told the site.

The more merchants of all sizes can do to make sure their customers have as many payment options available to them as possible, the more likely they will be to meet consumers' needs and expectations in the new year and beyond. Further, those efforts to adopt new point-of-sale devices with mobile and EMV capabilities will also help to reduce card-present fraud.