2021 follows a year unlike any we’ve seen before. For payments, covid-19 accelerated growth in ecommerce sales, drove a hyper-adoption of digital payment solutions and demanded businesses to adapt to survive, and sometimes thrive.

From innovative payments infrastructure to fraud, here are our top payments trends to watch for in 2021.

⚡ Payments are going real-time

Legacy payment processes long responsible for cash flow, planning and growth challenges are on a countdown.

Real-time, cost-effective and more streamlined payment solutions are required. These will allow decision makers to more effectively operate, plan and adapt, empowered by real-time certainties, not forecasts.

Easy access to new technologies such as Open Banking APIs will unlock benefits for businesses from accepting real-time payments to customer insights.

💷 Cost-effective payments challengers arrive

Businesses want to capture more profit and get paid faster.

While traditional providers managed rails for credit and debit cards to connect banks to customers, new challengers have arrived with a whole new generation of payment rails.

These new challengers can offer businesses more cost effective payments solutions as they cut out the costs of traditional middlemen like card schemes and acquiring/issuing bank fees.

Merchants are able to give their customers more options at checkout and also reap the numerous benefits of real time payments and reduced costs by introducing or switching to new account-to-account payment methods.

🦹 Alternative infrastructure to tackle fraud

Fraud losses affect businesses of all shapes and sizes. Card-not-present fraud losses in the UK were greater than £470m in 2019.

While anti-fraud monitoring and identification technology can reactively block fraudulent payments or users, the continued success of attacks on existing card, wallet and payment processing systems indicates new strategies are going to be tested and adopted.

One solution is to disrupt fraud via new payment infrastructure. Removing vulnerabilities such as card details or exploitable chargeback mechanisms from payments entirely disconnects them from process.

New, consistently simple and easy-to-use secure online banking app authentication experiences for account-to-account payments, address many current challenges.

As merchants accelerate account-to-account adoption, we should see a correlating reduction in fraud losses in those areas.

What’s ahead?

Payment technology is rapidly developing because customers and businesses require payment solutions that can keep up with the ever evolving digital landscapes they operate in.

Innovative products and solutions are being built for businesses that solve long-standing institutionalised challenges.

Businesses will either adapt or watch their competitors evolve without them. If 2020 identified glaring challenges and opportunities, 2021 is the year we’ll discover the impact of the industry's - ever evolving - solutions!