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Payment systems innovation is being driven by improvements in mobile payments

Payment systems - globally, in-country and cross-border - develop very slowly, but, because there are so many developments world-wide, it feels like there is a breakneck speed revolution going. But overall, this is a very slow revolution.

Recent important developments included:

  • contactless card payments achieved a breakthrough in Europe in 2014, as the number of payments grew by 155%, with Visa having a 61% share
  • one touch frictionlesss payment experience is vital to encourage usage. PayPal and Facebook show how using single log-in and a buy button they have had record e-commerce growth
  • UK’s Faster Payments now provides help for customers to recover payments sent in error with agreed procedures, see here
  • the problem of abandoning their shopping basket when checking out on mobile commerce is being tackled by Jumio, see here
  • Visa has launched a new payment service, Visa Checkout, aimed at the simplification of payment processes for online shoppers in a bid to address the high percentage of abandoned online shopping carts caused by inconvenient payment methods. It puts Visa plastic cards on the Internet through integration into merchants’ websites and mobile shopping apps, see here 
  • over a third of global online payments are by mobile according to the adyen Mobile Payment Index, see here
  • to understand the complex Brazilian payment market - the methods available, the issuers and acquirerrs, and the instalment scheme, see here
  • despite the proliferation of e-commerce and the rise of payment cards worldwide, cash is growing nearly as fast globally as cashless payments, according to Retail Bank Research: A new study found cashless transactions in the aggregate rose 7.6% annually from 2010 to 2014 whilst ATM withdrawals rose 7.1%. Cash remains especially popular in Central EUrope and parts of Asia
  • Sweden is on track to becoming the world’s first cashless society, thanks to the country’s embrace of IT, as well as a crackdown on organized crime and terror, according to a study from Stockholm’s KTH Royal Institute of Technology. Cash in circulation has declined by 25% in last 6 years, see here
  • SWIFT launched their global payments initiative which could really improve your cross-border payments, see here
  • Paytm is working on a new way to make mobile payments in stores using smartphones. They are trialling ‘Sound Pay’ which uses ultrasonic sound waves to transfer money.

Although these developments are dominated by the innovation in mobile payments, it is the growth in payment card usage, particularly debit card use, and in the near real-time payment systems, e.g. Faster Payments, that is still driving the replacement of cash in the developed countries

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