7 Predictions for the Future of Payments in a Covid World Covid-19 became a catalyst for accelerated change in the once slow-moving payment processing industry. Here are my predictions for what the future holds.
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Old habits are hard to break, and innovation in the payments industry is usually slow, hard-fought, and met with resistance from all fronts. Look at Visa and Mastercard's shift to Chip & PIN payments in the United States five years ago as an example. The announcement was met with fury from merchants and customers alike. Customers didn't like having to "dip" their card, and merchants resisted the idea of needing to replace their legacy equipment. In the end, the rollout was faced with delays, the addition of special exceptions for industries like gas stations and restaurants, and ultimately the payment method became Chip & Signature instead of the original Chip & PIN it had intended to be. To this day, it is still common for consumers to have their cards swiped using the magnetic stripe.
When the payment industry needs to convince tens of millions of merchants and hundreds of millions of credit and debit cardholders to change their habits - change is slow.
Then COVID-19 arrived, and everything started changing fast - really fast. It is already a cliche to say that COVID has accelerated trends forward by 10 years in just a few months, but that doesn't make it any less true.