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Key themes that will shape the future of payments in the coming years

Payments play a pivotal role in facilitating global trade and supporting the development of the digital economy.

In the next few years, the world of payments is on the verge of witnessing an even more transformative leap as it continues to connect individuals, companies, governments, devices, appliances, cars, and beyond.

As the digital and payments landscape expands, rapid growth in payments innovation is expected, driven by evolving consumer preferences and the growing acceptance of digital currencies that will converge to revolutionise the payments industry.

In collaboration with global trends intelligence agency Stylus, Worldpay has uncovered the key macro-drivers and trends shaping the future of payments.

A Worldpay from FIS® x Stylus white paper titled “The Future of Payments 2025” sheds light on six notable themes that are poised to influence the trajectory of payments across major industries in the upcoming years.  

Seamless omnichannel payments

Amidst the growth of the digital economy, the demand for seamless payments has increased among corporations, governments, small and medium-sized businesses and consumers. This necessitates that digital transactions be smooth, swift, and above all, convenient, which is likely to expedite the shift towards a cashless future.

“The desire for frictionless purchasing has fast-tracked the growth of digital transactions. Connected devices (IoT) and the use of artificial intelligence (AI) are streamlining the buying process and making it easier than ever for people to pay their way”, observed the Worldpay white paper.

Additionally, with the rising demand for omnichannel payment methods, businesses must adapt to accept payments across various formats. As digital currencies gain traction, “Businesses must ensure they operate an All Currencies Welcome model, accepting payments in multiple ways”, as explained in the Worldpay white paper. This includes accepting cryptocurrencies as a form of payment. Brands should note that, according to a research report from, the global cryptocurrency user base has increased by 34% in 2023, growing from 432 million to over half a billion (580 million) users.

Fortify security

The exponential growth in the realm of payments has also opened up new avenues for perpetrating fraudulent activities.

Despite the potential benefits of real-time payments, such as faster and more cost-effective domestic transactions and cross-border payments, the instantaneous and irreversible nature of these transactions poses significant challenges in identifying criminal activity or detecting fraud. Consequently, real-time payments are becoming an appealing target for cyber criminals, likely contributing to a surge in payments fraud.

The ramifications of payment fraud extend beyond consumers, significantly burdening organizations that experience fraud each year. In fact, global payment fraud is expected to continue its upward climb and is estimated to cost US$40.62 billion in 2027.

“Never has it been more important to fortify security and protect consumers’ personal data”, cautions the Worldpay white paper.

With cybercrime and fraud becoming increasingly intertwined, detecting payment fraud is becoming progressively more challenging.

In such a scenario, “Digital payment merchants can build trust and loyalty by placing user safety at the heart of their business, beefing up cybersecurity and working with customers to ensure that all potential threats are identified and dealt with appropriately”, the white paper advocates.

Additionally, with the surge in decentralized finance and transactions, the use of blockchain technology, as recommended in the white paper, holds the potential to redefine fraud detection and prevention by offering transparency, immutability, and enhanced security.

The white paper also suggests the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) payment solutions “To make payments easier and more secure.”  Tools powered by AI can fine-tune data management by “Upholding transparency, tackling fraudulent payment activities and, ultimately, giving ownership and control of data back to the consumer”, the white paper further added.

Companies must excel at personalisation

“Customisation is key to winning customer approval, and personalised payment journeys are becoming non-negotiable”, states the white paper.

Personalisation now matters more than ever. Moreover, according to Mckinsey, “Companies that excel at personalisation generate 40% more revenue than their counterparts.”

The Worldpay white paper goes on to say that with advancements in technology focused on targeting and data analytics, personalisation has become a widespread consumer expectation. This includes customised offerings, relevant rewards, and contextualised messaging, enabling the refinement of payment interactions to align with individual preferences.

Highlighting ways to improve affinity with their customers, the white paper emphasises that “Digital e-commerce companies can utilize personalized interactions, emotional engagement and bespoke rewards to help get closer to the customer, building brand loyalty along the way.”

Integrate financial wellness into customer strategy

The payments industry is expected to play a crucial role in bolstering the financial wellbeing of consumers. To achieve this goal, integrating financial wellness into the customer strategy of the payments ecosystem is essential.

Meeting consumer demand for enhanced financial wellness by incorporating additional benefits like allowing customers to make purchases at the point of sale and pay it off in instalments, offering budgeting tools, and financial guidance will help build consumer engagement.

Accordingly, the white paper advises that the “Key areas of opportunity include Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) and saving-supporting payments models, coaching services to improve habits and boost financial literacy, and money mindfulness mentors.”

Growth in conscious consumerism and kind finance

“Increasingly driven by personal values and beliefs, consumers are now looking to brands to build a more equal, positive and environmentally friendly future. As a result of this growth in conscious consumerism, ethical transacting is playing a more important role than ever in the payment journey. It’s vital that businesses within the digital industry, from not-for-profit organizations to social media companies, can understand this growing need for kind finance”, the Worldpay white paper recommends.

The white paper further explains that as consumers become more conscious of the climate impact of their spending habits, they are making more sustainable choices when shopping and are expected to continue doing so. Therefore, businesses that can assist consumers in optimizing their purchases for a reduced carbon footprint stand to gain trust and loyalty with this conscious consumer cohort.

In addition, opportunities also exist to create inclusive payment solutions for unbanked populations, which stand at 1.7 billion people worldwide and have the potential to add $250 billion to global GDP.  

To do so, the Worldpay white paper proposes that financial brands should look at the payment solutions available to them and consider reaching more underserved consumers by “Removing barriers to access and tailoring services to their individual circumstances.”

Develop niche life-stage support across consumer lifecycle and generations

“Every stage of our lives comes with different trials and challenges that can be positively impacted by the right supportive payment solutions”, the white paper mentions.

Given that different generations of consumers have distinct priorities and concerns, payments providers and finance brands that can recognize these varying needs and customize their offerings accordingly may secure a competitive edge.

Opportunities abound to develop niche life-stage support across the consumer lifecycle. For example, consider loan-repayment tools for indebted students, or functionality allowing payment splitting for divorced mid-lifers. Micro-payments contributions towards retirement savings will appeal to older consumers”, asserts the white paper.

To conclude, speed, convenience, frictionless, personalisation, financial wellness, conscious consumerism, life stage support, security and data protection are critical components of the evolving payments landscape. However, for businesses to benefit from this ecosystem in the upcoming years, it is imperative to “Meet customers’ changing requirements and expectations”, the Worldpay white paper advocates.

Payments lie at the heart of global commerce and its digital economy. Understanding the key themes that have been explored in the white paper will help treasury and finance payments practitioners develop a better understanding of the customer payments journey and also aid in preparing for the next few years.

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