2014 was undoubtedly a big year in the payments industry. The year was filled with discussions about EMV and products launched to facilitate EMV payments, several major data breaches, further growth of Bitcoin and virtual currency, the launch of Apple Pay and the growth of mobile wallets in general.
All of the events that took place in the last year were significant to the payments industry, but have also led to what could be the beginning of another historical year.
Though 2014 brought about major changes, experts predict 2015 may have an even larger impact on the payments industry. The industry is changing and evolving at an accelerated pace, and will continue to do so in 2015.
Here are a few of our top predictions for 2015 in the payments industry:
- The EMV liability shift will cause many merchants to upgrade equipment - Most merchants want to be prepared for the upcoming liability shift in October to avoid being liable for non-EMV transactions that result in fraud. By upgrading to terminals or point of sale systems that are EMV capable, the merchants can protect themselves from liability and provide increased security for customers. They can also take advantage of other technology on newer terminals, such as Near Field Communication (NFC) used with mobile payments.
- Mobile payments will continue to grow - As more and more people use their smartphones in their daily activities, they will start using their phones increasingly for payments. Whether it's a mobile wallet such as Apple Pay or Google Wallet, or a branded app used for payments such as the Starbucks app, mobile transactions will become an increasing part of the payments ecosystem in 2015.
- More retailers and businesses will develop an omnichannel customer experience - As customers shop in new ways with their mobile devices or in store, they will expect a consistent experience. The distinction between online and offline purchases will start to blend and will become harder to track as multiple ways to shop are desired by customers. Businesses will need to carry a consistent customer experience across websites, emails, apps, in-store, customer service and any other customer facing communications they may utilize.
Though we cannot predict the future and what 2015 will hold in the payments industry, it is safe to say that there will continue to be changes, improvements and evolution of the industry. Here's to another year of milestones for the payment industry!