Payment Diversification: WePay's Week in Payments
There were a lot of eclectic announcements this week in the payments world. Apart from PayPal’s price increases and policy changes, we heard about global mobile payments, the possibility of point of sale everywhere, rising online sales, the rise of alternative payment methods globally and more. But perhaps the most significant story was one that looked at a change in what ecommerce platforms and vendors are seeking in payments. The answer has shifted toward speed of payment because that is becoming a real pain point.
The Financial Times reported on a huge boom in mobile payments in China that has payments by mobile device far outstripping those in the US because US consumers and merchants are sticking with credit cards. This may tie in with a more aggressive approach to Fintech in general.
This approach to Fintech is undoubtedly affected by the regulatory environment and TechCrunch has a story pointing directly at that by questioning the US regulatory environment to Fintech and how it threatens US competitiveness.
Circling back to the global payment environment, a study from yStats looking at online payment trends in the second half of 2016 shows a rise in alternative payment methods and how outside the US they are growing faster than and passing credit cards as a preferred form of payment.
In other news, supporting the overall growth of online payments, Shopify had a great Q4 because it’s merchants also had a great quarter. More simply, online ecommerce is growing fast.
IBM and Visa hope to enable even greater adoption of payment alternatives in the future. They jointly announced a plan to eventually enable point of sale (POS) functionality in every type of Internet of Things (IoT) device. They envision a future where your refrigerator can just order more food or your printer can order more paper.
Very significantly, BankingExchange took a look at how ecommerce entrepreneurs are starting to look at how fast payments are received and made as a significant factor in what platforms they want to work with. This highlights a slow shift away from pure pricing concerns towards functionality and customer service. Time to payment doesn’t necessarily hurt platforms directly but they are hearing from their customers that it’s a problem so it becomes a problem for them as well.