Payment Innovations Poised to Take Over in 2024
January 8, 2024
Keeping up with the latest payment trends is almost as hard as keeping up with the Joneses! Today’s payment landscape is virtually unrecognizable from just a decade or two ago. Cash is becoming increasingly less prevalent, and digital transactions reign supreme. Heading into 2024, new payment solutions are setting the stage for seamless, secure, and swift payments. As always, we’ve been keeping tabs on what’s been happening in the payment universe for you. Staying ahead of the curve is key to keeping your customers happy. Here are the top 8 payment trends you need to watch in the year ahead.
1. Meeting Customer Demand for Personalized Transactions
Remember when receiving an email from a company that specifically mentioned you by name was groundbreaking? Today, our names are on the cups of our very specific coffee orders (we’re talking about you, Mr. Half-caf, no foam, oat milk latte). We receive personalized lists of our top artists on Spotify and recommendations from Netflix based on our viewing habits. It not only makes us happy when companies pay attention to what we like but we kind of bank on it now. In fact, 71% of consumers expect personalized interactions.1 So get personal with your customers!
2. Digital Continues to Dominate
This year's top payment methods for paying bills were mobile apps, biller websites, and bank websites - all digital. Your customer satisfaction might dip if you’re not making these methods available. Consumers have come to count on being able to settle their bills with the same ease and convenience they experience when paying for other products and services. Why are digital payment options so popular with consumers? KUBRA research found they prefer to pay bills online because “it is easy” (78%), “it is convenient” (73%), and “it saves me time” (61%).2
3. Digital Wallets Take Center Stage
Digital wallets didn’t cause a seismic shift when they first hit the market, but the tides appear to be turning. 40% of consumers used a digital wallet to make a payment in 2023, up from 26% in 2020.3 Right now, the increase in usage is more credited to transactions at places like retailers and restaurants, as opposed to bill payments. This could be due to a lack of availability rather than a lack of interest, though. Nearly half of consumers are considering using a digital wallet for bill payments, including 24% of Baby Boomers,4 a strong indication that more consumers will adopt digital wallets for bill payments as they become more readily available.
4. The Demand for Real-Time Payments Is Real!
If you’re a biller, get ready because the craving for real-time payments is not just hype. Now that instantaneous payment processing is here, customers’ expectations have changed almost as instantly! Today, 65% of customers expect their payments to be processed the same day or instantly in real time.5 Billers, listen up. 29.6% feel frustrated by the length of time it takes for companies to process bill payments.6 Offering RTP is something to consider, knowing that 80% of consumers are interested in leveraging faster payments to pay businesses.7
5. Deferred Payment on the Rise
Deferred payment solutions like buy now, pay later (BNPL) allow consumers to purchase items and spread the cost over time, often without interest. In 2022, 38% of adult consumers said they used BNPL at least once, with 5% saying they used it on ten or more purchases.8 What’s behind the popularity of BNPL? It comes down to flexibility and convenience. BNPL offers both flexible payment schedules and payment options. It’s also often conveniently integrated directly into the online checkout process. Consumers can opt for installment payments without much effort rather than paying the full amount.
6. Security Continues to Trump Convenience
We all want to feel safe and confident that our personal and financial information is protected from fraud, theft, or misuse. This is why security concerns are still the number one reason holding customers back from paying online.9 Though there are effective tools available to mitigate the risks to consumers, including encryption and authentication, seven out of 10 consumers feel more comfortable using a payment method that doesn't require sharing their financial details with merchants while purchasing online.10 To help your customers overcome this adoption hurdle, be clear and transparent about your security policies, practices, and features.
7. Cards Over Cash
Consumers are using credit cards more these days relative to 2020. One could argue that some consumers have no choice but to rely on credit as they navigate these tough economic times. Regardless of the reasons, credit and debit cards were the preferred payment methods among consumers, with each option being selected by over 50% of survey participants in 2023.11 A study from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco found that credit cards accounted for 28% of all payments in 2021, representing a peak since the initiation of the study in 2016.12 This reinforces the shift from cash to credit cards by consumers.
8. Still Waiting for the Crypto Boom
So far, the cryptocurrency revolution has yet to materialize. Let’s face it, the sector has its fair share of challenges. Bankruptcies, legal actions, and increased regulatory scrutiny - to name a few. All of these have had a significant impact on public confidence. Roughly four in ten adults who have heard about cryptocurrency say they are not at all confident in its reliability and safety, and an additional 36% are not very confident.13 Even though the crypto market has expanded, it's still not commonly used for daily transactions. And with its current challenges, many experts believe it won’t be going mainstream any time soon.
Digital Payments Are Your Secret to Customer Satisfaction
Keep in mind that if you're handling billing, you should put digital payments at the top of your to-do list because it’s essential to keep up with what your customers want and need when it comes to paying. It's a game changer for making your customers happy and getting those payments faster. If you can stay ahead of the game and adjust to these changes, you're not just going to meet their expectations, you'll knock their socks off—now and down the road.
For a deeper analysis of the top payment trends, read our white paper, Navigating Tomorrow: The Top Digital Payment Innovations to Watch in 2024.
1. The value of getting personalization right—or wrong—is multiplying, McKinsey & Company, 2021.
2. KUBRA Utility Consumer Billing and Payment Report 2023.
3. Market share of payment methods in total e-commerce transaction value worldwide in 2022, with a forecast for 2026.
5. KUBRA Utility Consumer Billing and Payment Report 2023.
6. Top 3 Consumer Bill Pay Insights From the Latest ACI Speedpay Pulse Survey, 2022.
7. Federal Reserve survey: Consumers demanding faster payment options to fit their digital, always-on lives, 2022.
8. Buy now, pay later (BNPL) stats, finder, 2023.
9. KUBRA Utility Consumer Billing and Payment Report 2023.
10. Consumer attitudes on online payment security worldwide 2022, statista.
11. KUBRA Utility Consumer Billing and Payment Report 2023.
12. Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco: May 2022 Findings From The Diary Of Consumer Payment Choice.
13. Majority of Americans aren’t confident in the safety and reliability of cryptocurrency, Pew Research Center, 2023.