The year 2020 is when the digital-first generation becomes the leading force in the buyer market entering their top spending years. This year, generation Z is expected to make 40% of global consumers.
As the face of the consumer market evolves, the industry has to tune-up. It is expected that the changes will influence three main areas:
– Payment instruments
– Business relations
Cryptocurrency is an unprecedented phenomenon in the financial world. Although the foundations of technology reach back to 1983, it was not widespread until the invention of bitcoin in 2008.
Cryptocurrencies have fans among specific demographic groups, like digital-first generations, millennials, or celebrities. This is due to several factors like novelty, anonymity, riskiness, and a trend to grow in value.
Yet, cryptocurrencies are not favored by governments. Countries like China, the United States, India, and South Korea have restricted cryptocurrency circulations. Additionally, Facebook banned any advertisements for the crypto market, which caused its severe drop in 2019. Despite that, the market is believed to grow in 2020 again.
To avoid volatility, there is a trend to back up digital currencies by real money. Facebook’s Libra is an example. It is backed up by a basket of cash that includes the US dollar, Euro, Japanese yen, Pound sterling, and Singapore dollar.
Mobile payments have fueled up an independent branch of commerce. E-commerce platforms rush to implement in-app buy-buttons to streamline the user experience. This makes mobile payments simple and more attractive to Millennials and Generation Z. According to Business Insider, mobile commerce will earn 44% of the e-commerce market by 2024.
Moble billing allows payment to other people or a terminal using a phone instead of a credit card. Specific apps and mobile wallets, support this functionality. The recognizable brands like Apple, Google, Samsung were first to step in the industry of mobile payments when Google Wallet was released in 2011.
In 2014 Apple Pay was released to the market, followed by Android and Samsung Pay a year later. Other popular mobile payment services PayPal, Cash App, Venmo, Starbucks, Zelle, etc.
Mobile billing is not just restricted to mobile. The wide range of wearables now supports e-wallet apps and is applicable for payment in most stores.
This is another popular trend, strongly supported by Google. They have recently released their Hands-Free technology based on Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. This tech is about hands-free payment based on contactless scanning of products and charging your bank account.
PayPal Beacon and iBeacon are a few other similar technologies. They are based on Bluetooth Low Energy technology (BLE), allowing for wireless communication of connected devices in proximity. A beacon device catches a user’s identity and billing data. A user’s picture appears on the merchant’s desktop so that they can be greeted by name.
These technologies also cater to personalization so that you receive tuned adds, coupons, and discounts. They also invite you to visit a particular merchant even if you pass by (thanks to GPS on your phone). A negative side includes the abundance of information you pass to the merchant, which arouses privacy concerns.
That is why PayPal beacon allows customers who don’t want to announce their identity to a particular merchant, opt-out from the program, as Techcrunch reports. Unlike other similar apps, PayPal sends you a prompt for permission, which can be ignored or declined, and as a result, a user’s location in the shop is not tracked.
Although digitalization has changed the face of the B2C sector long ago, the B2B area was slow to adopt changes. “Gen Z is better versed in using voice search and the IoT, … and they value the voices of their peers far more than those of brands.” Says Shama Hyder for Forbes.
Based on a change in workforce demographics, B2B finance is taking the digital curve. According to the Business Insider report, the digitization of payments has drastically changed the B2B payment space, with the prediction that companies processing online payments will almost double their income in 2024 compared to 2018.
Digitalization has touched upon the area of financial remittance penetrating the P2P relations as well. Online shopping apps like Venmo and Zelle have turned the peer-to-peer digital transaction into a routine. Phrases like “I’ll Venmo you back” are quite common in the Gen Z environment.
These are just the most innovative digital payments as of today; many more are to surprise us in the following years. Yet, most of the innovations in money transactions share a common feature and this is the drive towards hustle-free seamless customer experience.
Ana Lastovetska is a technology writer @ MLSDev, a custom software development company in Ukraine. She has been researching the field of technologies to create educative content of distinct topics including app development, UX/UI design, tech & business consulting, etc. The opportunity to deliver information for people who want to understand more about IT and app development processes is something that inspires Ana. You can get in touch with her on LinkedIn or reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.