The Retailer Spring Edition 2022




Alessio Damonti Deputy CEO Axerve

T he digital payments mar ket is evolving at a speed never seen before in the UK and worldwide. What trends and technologies will be prevalent in 2022? In the last couple of years, theworldwitnessed an increased use and smoother adoption of alternative payments. The natural progression of digital payments’ use has been evident and was encouraged by worldwide digitalisation, and sped up even more due to the unique conditions created by the pandemic, which introduced many challenges that saw people turning to innovation and adopting new tech nological solutions. Many merchants had to implement drastic changes to the payment options to meet the changing needs of their customers. Let’s have a look at the potential solutions to be integrated and implemented in 2022 that customers can take advantage of. First of all, in order to back up the statement regarding the digital payments sector’s growth, here’s some important data regarding digital payments in the UK, where the Ecommerce transaction value and mobile POS payments in 2021was reported to have reached £255,819 million and is expected to reach £305,738 million in 2022 (+16%YoY). The UK for a long time has been ahead of all Europe and in the leading positions in the world in adoption of digital payment tools, and is known globally for its resilience and adaptiveness when dealing with innovations that carry a particular weight in the digital payments arena. This is further confirmed by the fact that as of 2022 the UK is in the 3rd placeworldwide right after China and the US in transaction value via digital payments. Let’s examine some of the technologies and trends that are promising to be the hot topic of 2022 and beyond.

Buy Now Pay Later . This payment method proved to be a big hit worldwide and in the UK during the pandemic, accounting for 6% of all Ecommerce transactions in 2021, and is fore cast to grow 50.5% in 2022, according to the Research andMarkets’ BNPL survey. Buy Now Pay Later solutions met with success across the world and, in particular, in the UK, due to the security given by interest-free loans in the economic uncertainty, especially in high-volume and high-value purchases. This is why so many companies that offer BNPL solutions gained popularity and grew economically in 2021, such as Klarna, Laybuy, Openpay and others. There are two forms of BNPL that can be inte grated into Ecommerce platforms as of today: financing (consumer credit), and payment in tranches directly from the credit card, that was implemented by Klarna, ClearPay, Laybuy and recently PayPal. However, in 2022 and 2023 some new regulations regarding security, accumulating consumer debt, rising interests and more meticulous reporting might slightly stagnate the growth of the BNPL market and necessitate the sector to mature. Blockchain and cryptocurrencies . 2021witnessed quite a buzz and a resurgence of interest in blockchain and cryptocurrencies, that first occurred in 2017, and even though the decen tralised technology of the blockchain is quite promising and is being heavily studied and invested in by banks and multinational com panies, cryptocurrencies remain a speculative alternative payment due to an incredible vol atility of exchange rates. Crypto is also a grey area due to its illicit uses, however, the same can be said for such payment methods as cash and pre-paid cards.

Another concern around this payment trend is the elevated energy use for mining and trans actions, considering pressing climate change concerns worldwide and, therefore, invest ment in sustainability, blockchain still has many questions to answer on its ESG compatibility. Nevertheless, this technological phenomenon might revolutionise the banking and payments world in the next 5 to 10 years and, therefore, is impossible to ignore, andwill be gaining even more attention from banks and companies around the world in coming years. Bitcoin, for instance, already has received support on the network of the payment giants, such as Visa and Mastercard in late 2021, as reported by Forbes. And the list of the companies that accept crypto keeps growing, from PayPal to Microsoft and Starbucks, and the list of online retailers in the UK is already at almost 200. Payment Orchestration and Smart Routing. Payment Orchestration is a very new concept in theworld of payments but is already gaining popularity and adoption by the biggest players in Ecommerce, thanks to the implementation of dynamic routing technology, based on advanced AI and integration of multiple payment partners within one platform. The advantages of this new solution are: • Increased conversion rate due to opti mised payment experience • Reduced failed transaction rate thanks to dynamic routing, aka redirecting transactions to different PSPs depend ing on the performance, geography etc.; • Great effectiveness for international players for an automatic conversion of currencies; • Reduced time to market of new mer chants’ solutions and faster scalability; • Reduced fraud thanks to machine learn ing and transaction risk analysis, when applied; • Automatic reconciliation, reporting and backup system that saves time and gives control to the merchants.

fraud prevention.” ‘‘

One of the trends in pay ments in 2022 is the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning in

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