2017 Digital Payment Trends That Are Changing the Industry

Payment methods in 2017 appear to be trending toward solely digital options. With internet advances and apps galore, cash has gone the way of the dinosaurs, and in the future even physical credit cards will be a rare sighting.

Mobile wallets may still be catching on, but already loyalty cards stored on smartphones are widely accepted and paving the way for more digitization in the future. The move to digital payments through the following methods shows just how far we’re going. Read on for the some of the top payment trends changing the industry in 2017.

Picture 12How Do You Measure Wealth? How Bitcoin Is Changing the Way We Pay

Gold-backed United States bills haven’t existed for decades. In their place, the dollar bill is backed by the “full faith of the U.S. Government.” Bitcoin makes as much sense with its system of representative value to be used for purchase. And, with the finite amount of Bitcoins available, the new system appears to be appealing to more people.

Some companies, like Starbucks and Amazon, partner with Bitcoin to offer discounts on purchases. Bitcoin is kept in mobile wallets and exchanged for purchase just like other currency. It is digital money, which either seems more secure or less, depending on the person’s perspective.

In any case, Bitcoin has a limited number of Bitcoins in the system, so it seems like a manageable financial environment. As more merchants accept Bitcoin for payment, there will be a greater acceptance of Bitcoin as a valid payment system.

Over and Above – Uber Challenges the Need to Bring Money

Designated drivers can retire their designation with Uber providing the ride home. The ride-sharing company prides itself on the fact that “Payment is completely seamless.” Indeed, a patron of Uber can use cash if they wish, but with a credit card on record, why make life complicated?

Is it distasteful to deal with money? Obviously, some people find it uncomfortable to deal with payment, tips, and ordering services. So, Uber takes the discomfort out of the equation.

The lack of need to bring money is also spreading. Supermarket chains are starting to disconnect the products they sell from the payments. The Kroger chain has developed a new system where the shopper clicks a list of items electronically to purchase and arrives later at the market to just swipe their credit card and have the purchases loaded into their car. They don’t even need to leave their vehicle.

Other shopping companies deliver and remove the buyer totally from the need to choose their items in person.

What’s in Your Wallet?

While the commercial popularized by Samuel L. Jackson was easily identifiable, the whole concept of what is a wallet has been shifting. Between Bitcoins using “wallets” and people flashing their digital wallets or smartphones at a merchant’s terminal, the whole idea of purchasing and wallets is evolving.

Picture 11Hauling paper money along with little pieces of plastic stuffed in fat wallets is disappearing. People are migrating to storing information, from discount coupons to passes to concerts, on their mobile phones. It is cleaner and easier.

Disappearing payment methods also indicate just how “old school” a paper check is. How many people still use checks to pay their bills? While small businesses often prefer paper checks to avoid credit card processing fees, large numbers of consumers just want to swipe their payments.

Biometric Payment Security Apps Are Taking Over

Fingerprint and retina scanning used to be relegated to Bond films, but smartphone technology has made this level of security available in the hands of everyday consumers.

Vying for space on a smartphone may be apps for banks, health care, fast food favorites, weather, maps, a calendar, contacts, notes, an app to help find the phone, and the various browsers needed to connect to others and even more information. The most difficult detail is how to remember – and to simultaneously keep secure – passwords for all of the apps. Changing all the passwords regularly, as recommended, and gaining access to the apps can be problematic. But with the security of fingerprint scanning, payment methods and over sensitive data can be secure for your eyes only.

Melissa Thompson writes about a wide range of topics, revealing interesting things we didn’t know before. She is a freelance USA Today producer, and a Technorati contributor.