Four Payments Predictions for 2023
It’s hard to believe we’re already well into 2023. As we dive head first into 2023 with a possible recession looming and technology moving at lightning speed, our team is preparing for an interesting year in payments.
These are the predictions in the payments universe that our team is anticipating for 2023:
1. Frictionless, Self-Service Payment Options
One of the most significant transitions organizations have had to grapple with in recent years is keeping pace with the soaring consumer demand for frictionless, self-service payment options. Innovations like text-to-park that allow consumers to text to locate their parking space and pay by phone, Amazon’s “Just Walk Out” technology and automated, scan-by-dashboard-transponder toll payments have elevated consumers’ desires for seamless payment experiences in every facet of life.
This “Virtuous Cycle of Innovation” has caused billers to recognize self-service payments are no longer optional, but now considered table stakes by consumers. Businesses that aren’t taking steps to adopt self-service payment options could be left in the dust.
Adopting Cutting-Edge Payments Technology
Organizations can adopt cutting-edge technologies by partnering with payment processing companies such as PayNearMe that offer their customers payment reminders and options that make paying bills as frictionless as possible. For example, with Smart Link™ powered QR codes, consumers can scan and pay a bill without logging into their online accounts. They can store card information in their digital wallets and pay bills directly from their mobile devices with a couple of taps to their phone screens.
Likewise, engaging with customers via payment reminders delivered by a text or push notification can incorporate a unique, personalized payment link that takes them directly to their payment flow – no passwords needed – for a fast and frictionless payment method.
2. Democratizing Payments Data
Organizations and their partners have copious amounts of data within their payments ecosystems, but it’s not always accessible, digestible or available to all parts of the organization. Despite this proliferation of data, much of it sits untapped, limiting organizations from leveraging it to make—for lack of a better phrase—data-driven decisions. Further, even if organizations have access to their payments data, analyzing it can be difficult without industry benchmarks to compare it to.
In 2023, we expect to see more organizations and their partners taking part in data democratization, which is the act of making their customer data, along with aggregate industry data more accessible to all parts of the organization in order to track payment and consumer trends.
When data is democratized, it can be used to understand the health of a business, predict outcomes,develop strategies to reduce operational expenses and drive greater profit. Democratizing data can unlock actionable insights that could allow organizations to direct priorities, forecast and identify potential problems.
Democratizing data allows your leaders to make fact-based predictions. For example, you can work with your payments provider to automate outreach to payers proactively before missed payments create a larger, more expensive problem. Payments platform providers like PayNearMe can offer your customers solutions like splitting payments, changing payment due dates to coincide with payday or sending more frequent payment reminders.
3. Enabling More Payment Choices
Keeping pace with consumer payment expectations and preferences will continue to be a focus for organizations in 2023. As we saw in our research, What the Newest Generation Expects from Paying Bills, 45% of 18-29 year-olds polled stated that having the ability to store and pay their bills in their Apple/Google wallet would make paying bills easier. Of that same age group, 39% said mobile payment options such as Venmo and PayPal would make bill pay easier.
Offering more payment channels should also be a focus for billers in 2023. In the aforementioned research, 26% of all adults responded that if offered, they would be more than likely or very likely to pay their bills with cash in-person at a retail location such as CVS or 7-Eleven. Whether your customers prefer an online payment, a phone call, autopay or an in-person transaction, offering multiple payment channels to fit their needs can improve the customer experience and potentially decrease late payments.
Frictionless User Experiences
As technology continues to evolve and consumers become more familiar with frictionless user experiences, it will be critical for businesses to invest in their customers’ payment preferences and provide a menu of choices to meet their expectations. Some payment types such as Venmo, Cash App and PayPay could be new to billers, but they’re worth investigating as customer demands continue to evolve.
Partnering with a payments organization such as PayNearMe that offers all major payment methods, tender types and channels is critical to ensuring you meet consumer demands and expectations.
4. The Rise of AI in Customer Service
OpenAI’s ChatGPT launched a wave of conversations about the practical applications of Artificial Intelligence (AI), machine learning and chatbots. Adaptive AI, which obtains past information about human-machine interactions and self-adapts to those interactions to deliver better outcomes, is the latest form of AI that financial institutions are implementing. According to Gartner, by 2026, companies that leverage AI will have a 25% advantage over their competitors that are only using conventional AI models.
While the financial services industry has a reputation for being slow to adopt change, it’s hard to ignore the chatbot chatter and how it could potentially turn the traditional financial services customer service model on its head. Chatbots could serve organizations by addressing customer service questions with clear, definitive answers.
Related reading: Are Chatbot Payments the Future of Self-Service?
AI can help organizations solve users’ most frequently asked questions, speed up response times, enhance human interactions, free-up customer service representatives’ time, offer 24/7 support and learn customer behavior patterns, among other things.
The Future of Chatbots in Payments
So while chatbots and AI are being used in different customer service functions, it begs the question, is there a place for chatbots in payment acceptance and processing? Though chatbot payments may be a future state, billers can still be on the cutting edge of technology by partnering with a payments partner that offers an intuitive agent interface that allows customer service agents to send personalized payment links to borrowers via chat or other communication methods.
2023 promises to be an interesting year in the payments space. If your organization desires a payments provider that is on the cutting edge of user preferences, technological advances and keeps security top of mind, consider partnering with PayNearMe. PayNearMe offers a full set of payment options in a single platform, including cards, ACH, cash and mobile wallets such as Apple Pay and Google Pay. To learn more, contact our team today.