If you’ve poked your nose outside recently, you may have noticed that commercial transactions have become increasingly cashless. It is now rarer than ever to find any business that is cash only, and the technology that we have access to for processing transactions is becoming increasingly sophisticated. On the one hand this makes it more convenient, but on the other hand, it can also be more vulnerable to an attack from hackers. It pays to have a merchant services team on your side like Valued Merchants that understands the technology and can keep your business up to date.
The technology is becoming more expansive every day. New methods for conducting transactions are springing up and your business needs to stay attuned to emergent technologies. What’s new in the commercial transaction world? These are the five latest developments.
We are firmly entrenched in the digital revolution of payment processing with services like Google Wallet, Samsung Pay, and Due becoming increasingly popular as payment options among consumers. Emerging technologies like these are fundamentally changing the way we think about payment processing. While both customers and retailers were slow to adopt digital wallets when they were introduced to the public in 2015, they’ve become much more popular in 2017 and look set to be a major factor moving into 2018 and beyond. The volume of transactions that are processed using digital wallet is speculated to grow 80% by 2020, which would amount to around 40% of all transactions processed in-house.
mPOS is on the Rise
Mobile point-of-sale devices gave merchants the ability to accept credit and debit cards no matter where they were. It’s probably hard to think of a business right now that’s cash only, and that has as much to do with consumer demand as anything else. Consumers expect that businesses will be able to process their debit and credit cards, and that’s largely because they feel safer carrying those than they do cash. ABI research states that by 2019, mPOS will account for nearly 46% of all POS systems, and estimates that 51 million will be in circulation by then.
Why? Because mobile devices already have all the hardware necessary to process new upgrades as they arrive into the market. This makes it much cheaper and easier for companies to stay current with modern developments than a company that’s invested in a hardware based POS system can. Instead of updating both hardware and software, mPOS affords you the ability to update just the software. This will be increasingly important as you’ll see when we review the three remaining disruptive trends on our list.
The On-Demand Economy
The on-demand economy isn’t simply for streaming videos anymore. On-demand will find its way into the smaller retail and hospitality industries as well as we near 2020. While on-demand services are already part of the stock and trade of major retailers, the popularity of digital wallets will help it grow exponentially in the coming years.
We’re seeing a phenomenon where all of these disruptive technologies are coming together to create new possibilities in the marketplace, and it’s completely changing the landscape of how transactions are conducted. Folks will be able to order ahead, and GPS tracking will notify a store when they’ve arrived. No longer will anyone have to ‘swipe’ their card. The days of swiping will be part of a bygone era, and this will be of particular interest to smaller businesses that may not have the resources of a Best Buy or a Walmart.
The Emerging Technology of Distributed Ledger, Blockchain, and Cryptocurrency
What many thought was a fad of the dark web used to conduct illicit transactions, is based on an extremely sophisticated technology that makes counterfeiting impossible. New cryptocurrencies are popping up all over the internet and it has many investors in a frenzy to jump on the next new bitcoin. Meanwhile, the value of bitcoin has steadily skyrocketed with prospectors estimating the value of Bitcoin can increase to $10,000 by the middle of next year.
Most recently, innovation has allowed almost anything to be monetized, including real estate and automobiles along a fractional value. In the future, you’ll be able to sell .75 of your house or half your car. With traditional banks and financial institutions beginning to adopt this technology, legitimate uses for cryptocurrencies are becoming more and more prominent in the mainstream. It’s only a matter of time before businesses start accepting them.
Machine Learning to Fight Fraud
Machine learning is what Netflix uses to make recommendations based on your tastes. It can also be used to predict your spending habits and prevent fraudulent transactions. To some extent this technology exists already, but it’s going to need to be more sophisticated as the number of ways to conduct a transaction increases. Suffice it to say, the same technology that’s used to target advertising to consumers can be used to determine a fraudulent transaction.
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