The Rise of Innovative Payment Products

Insight written by Ellie Johnston, originally published on September 21, 2021.

When was the last time you used cash to make a purchase? Today? Last week? For many people, this question requires a brief moment of thought.

Cash payments are becoming less common due to a change in purchasing habits and the growth of contactless payment methods. Companies are capitalizing on the effects of the pandemic by creating new payment processes that halt the spread of COVID-19 and are relevant to consumers. The global digital payments industry, which was already gaining traction before the pandemic, is expected to be valued at $6.6 trillion in 2021. This means that the year-over-year growth rate will increase from 16% in 2020 to 22% by the end of 2021 (Finextra). As the industry grows, there will be ample opportunity for entrepreneurs and businesses alike to create new digital payment processes.

One factor influencing the rise of digital payments is the current generation’s comfort with technology. The population is becoming more Gen Z dominant, with just over 30% of the population ranging between 7–20 years old (Schroeder). Gen Z, who was exposed to tech at a young age, has been seamlessly adopting new digital payment systems. With the need created by the pandemic and Gen Z dominating the consumer pool, it is no secret that digital payments are here to stay.

One of the many companies that have begun their search to expand their digital payment offerings is Visa. In the month of June 2021 alone, Visa made two acquisitions to build out their digital banking services. The two acquired companies are Currencycloud, a fully-cloud-based platform for B2B cross-border payments, in a $963M deal, and Tink, a startup focused on open banking application programming interfaces (APIs) for $2.15bn. Currencycloud provides solutions for banks, fintech firms, and FX brokers to streamline international payment processes in a secure way. The platform includes multi-currency wallets, payment automation processes, support for start-ups, data analytics to manage accounts, and more. Companies seek platforms such as Currencycloud because they are efficient and cost-effective, which makes them competitive in the market.

In the future, payment digitization is likely to play a significant role in the economy as digital wallets become more common. It will be important for companies to adopt these digital strategies now, or they may risk falling behind.

Sources:

“Currencycloud — Crunchbase Company Profile & Funding.” Crunchbase, www.crunchbase.com/organization/the-currency-cloud.

Schroeder, Bernhard. “How Generation Z Is Creating the Opportunity of a Lifetime. Pay Attention as This Is Not a Fad but a Deep Long-Lasting Trend.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 17 Sept. 2019, www.forbes.com/sites/bernhardschroeder/2019/09/13/how-generation-z-is-creating-the-opportunity-of-a-lifetime-pay-attention-as-this-is-not-a-fad-but-a-deep-long-lasting-trend/?sh=4968319d2bf.

“5 Digital Payment Trends in 2021.” Finextra Research, Finextra, 22 June 2021, www.finextra.com/blogposting/20493/5-digital-payment-trends-in-2021.

Ellie is a senior from Kensington, NH who is pursuing a major in finance and a minor in hospitality management from UNH. During the school year, she is actively involved with UNH’s professional business fraternity, Alpha Kappa Psi, and served as a Peer Advisor for incoming first-years at Paul College. She interned at Bottomline Technologies for the past two summers working with Corporate Development and Solutions Marketing where she gained valuable experience working in the fintech industry.