Consumer trends in digital payments


It won’t have escaped your notice that the payments landscape is evolving rapidly and at pace.

Thanks to technological advances, consumer payment behaviors are changing significantly and have been transformed in recent years. Today’s buyers are increasingly demonstrating a clear preference for using digital payment methods – also known as electronic payments and embracing these transactions in various forms like never before.

Digital transformation at the point-of-sale provides consumers with choice, enabling them to make in-person payments in a growing number of ways. All it takes is a quick swipe of their debit or credit card at the till and they’re quickly on their way. Meanwhile, the accelerated use of digital payment wallets like PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay means a growing number of consumers are now opting to pay with a quick scan or tap of their smartphone or smartwatch.

In response to growing consumer demand for payment ease, speed and convenience, many merchants are initiating a wider choice of payment methods at the point-of-sale. For example, in the last year QR codes, pay-by-link, and options like buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) have all seen strong growth.

When it comes to online transactions, consumers increasingly look for user friendly and embedded digital payment options that make it easy to pay for goods and services with minimal disruption to their online journey.

In today’s evolving and fast-moving payments world, staying one step ahead of new digital payment trends is a must have. So, let’s take a look at the top trends and innovations currently shaping the payment preferences of consumers.

Trend 1 - Social commerce – go where your customers are

Selling products and services directly through social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok enables brands to engage with consumers right where they spend their time. This approach allows consumers to make immediate and seamless payments without being redirected to a website, enhancing convenience, and streamlining the purchasing process.

Meanwhile, innovations like live commerce – which allows customers to buy products when they see them on screen during livestreaming events simply by scanning a QR code or using an embedded payment link – is gaining market traction fast. Indeed, according to Statista, live commerce is expected to generate $55 billion in sales in the US by 2026.

Businesses can also integrate these digital payment links directly into ads on social platforms as well as other digital channels like WhatsApp and text messages to make payments seamless and effortless for customers.

Trend 2 - ‘Pay by Bank’ at checkout

An increasing number of retailers are actively encouraging shoppers to utilize the ‘pay by bank’ method for online purchases. This payment option allows customers to authorize an immediate payment or fund transfer directly from their own bank account to the merchant’s account. By promoting this method, retailers aim to streamline the checkout process, enhance security, and reduce transaction fees, offering a seamless and efficient shopping experience for their customers.

The rise of pay by bank is being propelled by the global adoption of open banking infrastructures and the emergence of same day ACH Payments that supports these types of rapid account-to-account payments. Today, over 50% of online purchases in Sweden are made directly from bank accounts and momentum for this form of payment option is growing in sectors like utilities, telco, travel and hospitality where customers are rewarded with discounts when they use bank payments.

Trend 3 - Cryptocurrency

Despite the recent ups and downs in the world of cryptocurrency, a growing number of consumers (especially Gen-Z and Millennials) are using digital currencies to undertake person-to-person payments.

While cryptocurrency won’t be accepted at the point of sale anytime soon, digital currencies are already being used for cross-border transactions. Meanwhile, a growing number of consumers are using their digital wallets to store and manage their cryptocurrencies and convert them back to a local currency.

Indications are this is a trend to watch!

Trend 4 - A growing focus on privacy and security

With more and more consumers choosing to shop and pay for goods and services using digital payment methods, consumers are using shopping applications and mobile-first options that make it easy to initiate and complete transactions with minimum or little data century. They are also prioritizing merchants that offer them their preferred payment option.

However, in addition to making it easy for them to pay, today’s digitally savvy consumers also expect their sensitive payment data to be protected during transactions. Increasingly, consumers say that they now value security more than price when it comes to how their personal data is handled.

As the findings of a recent PwC 2023 Global Consumer Insights survey reveal consumers are increasingly prioritizing security when they are making purchasing decisions:

  • 87% of consumers are willing to pay more for products and services from companies that have a strong reputation for security
  • 79% of consumers said they would be willing to switch brands if they felt their personal information was not secure.

Merchants looking to reduce the consumer trust gap will need to ensure they measure up to industry-specific payment security standards. From a business perspective, PCI compliance, 3D Secure 2 (3DS2), Strong Customer Authentication (SCA), encryption, and tokenization will all have important roles to play.


Delivering against consumer expectations

Today’s consumers expect to encounter a choice of frictionless, seamless and secure digital payment options that make it easy and convenient to pay from anywhere, at any time. Increasingly, they are choosing to vote with their feet (and their wallets) when firms fail to live up to these expectations.

Here at Sycurio, we believe in making it easy for organizations to deliver optimized and highly secure digital payment experiences that elevate CX while building lasting customer trust and loyalty.

Eliminating the cost and complexity of PCI DSS compliance, our extensive choice of payment solutions simplify how today’s brands deliver multi-channel payment experiences that truly resonate with consumers. Encompassing everything from social media, eCommerce, QR code payments as well as secure ACH, direct debit and bank-to-bank transactions, we make it possible to deliver intuitive payment interfaces and securely transact in every digital channel.