Payment Processing Trends for Your Business in 2021

Updated on :June 12, 2024
By :William Dawsey

From the old days of carrying cash everywhere to the more recent trend of using debit cards and credit cards to pay for everything, payment processing trends constantly change and innovate. Today, more and more consumers are moving away from cash and cards alike and are instead exploring new emerging payment options and are paying with real-time, contactless payment methods.

It's a simple fact that businesses must stay on top of payment trends to maximize their sales and minimize friction in their transactions. If a customer expects to pay with a mobile wallet, a lack of payment processing integrations and options can inconvenience consumers and lead to low loyalty and fewer sales completed due to high friction. 

Top 5 Payment Processing Trends for 2021

These are 5 of the best payment processing options that are trending in 2021.

1. Mobile Payments, eWallets, and Loyalty Apps

Mobile payments, eWallets, and loyalty apps have skyrocketed in popularity over the past few years. These payment processing methods are beneficial for customers and businesses alike, as they remove intermediaries and allow businesses to reach customers more directly.

Mobile Payments & eWallets
Mobile payment methods like Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Google Pay now make up a significant percentage of all payments. These contactless methods are particularly suited to today's climate, where customers are worried about the pandemic risks and are looking to minimize contact while in a business.               

eWallets are an ongoing and growing trend that has become massively popular recently. eCommerce brands that provide support for Apple Pay, PayPal, and other eWallets will see significant gains as customers flock to an easier, faster payment method.

Instead of filling in their card number every time, customers prefer to use eWallets to store their information and complete purchases more quickly. It's in the interest of virtual and physical businesses alike to support this method to reach as many customers as possible.

Loyalty Apps
This payment processing trend, in particular, is extremely beneficial for businesses. Incentivizing and rewarding customers by providing discounts, sales, points, and other incentives for making purchases regularly, businesses will see rapid growth in returning sales.

2. Don’t Pay Now, Pay Later

In addition to mobile payment methods, more and more consumers are looking for payment terms flexibility. Services like AfterPay and Klarna have shot up in users as younger customers become more interested in a "buy now, pay later" process.

This payment processing method is particularly suited for businesses selling high-dollar items like electronics, furniture, and even digital goods. Integrating AfterPay, Sezzle, or another "pay-later" service into a business' payment options is an excellent way to encourage higher sales and move inventory without discounting products.

3. Business to Business Payment System

B2B companies also need to look out for current payment processing trends. Just as individual customers are looking for faster and easier payment methods, businesses are also searching for improved methods.

Corporate clients are becoming highly invested in digital payments, scheduling, and invoices. Providing greater transparency, reliability, and cost-effectiveness into your business-to-business payment processing and agreements will improve your relationship with your clients and attract new ones.

4. NFC and EMV

Even though mobile payment methods are becoming more popular, most people still carry around debit and/or credit cards. However, even these methods are evolving to become faster and more secure. NFC and EMV payments improve the payment process through quicker transactions, less contact, and higher security.

NFC Payments
NFC payments combine the contact-less benefits of mobile wallets with the familiarity of standard credit cards. These cards don't need to be inserted or swiped to be processed -- instead, customers with NFC-equipped cards can simply tap their card on an NFC reader.

These payments are also much faster than traditional payments, processing in just a second or two. This improves the usability for customers and allows businesses to process purchases more quickly while requiring less effort on the customer side.

NFC technology, which stands for "near field communication," is also how eWallets like Apple Pay work, giving businesses yet another reason to integrate NFC payments into their accepted payment methods.

EMV Payments
If you haven't upgraded your payment processing to accept EMV cards, it's past time to do so. As opposed to older credit cards, which are swiped through a terminal to process a payment, EMV cards are equipped with a tiny chip inserted into the terminal instead, which offers a complete layer of security.

EMV cards are far more secure than standard swipe cards and have resulted in much lower levels of counterfeit fraud since their introduction. They're rapidly becoming the standard for in-person payments in the US and around the world.

5. Peer-to-Peer

Peer-to-peer payments are made possible through apps like Cash, Venmo, and Zelle. These apps are similar to eWallets in that they contain a person's financial information and can contain a separate balance from their bank account, but they truly shine when it comes to their one-on-one payment systems.

Rather than manually splitting a bill, peer-to-peer payment apps have made it easy for consumers to send each other money instantly. This technology has a huge range of applications and is used by millions of people daily.

The last major payment processing trend to watch out for in 2021 is one that hasn't yet made its way over to merchant transactions on a large scale. However, peer-to-peer transactions have become so popular recently that it's important to watch out for developments in this area in the future.

Importance of Staying Updated with Payment Trends

With the ever-changing demands of customers for payment processing to be faster, easier, and safer, it's critical to keep an eye on current payment processing industry trends. From NFC credit cards and eWallets to AfterPay and loyalty apps, be sure to keep your business' payment processing methods updated for the highest customer retention possible.

William Dawsey
William Dawsey

William Dawsey is Vice President of sales for Payment Processing Technologies at Chetu, a global provider of world-class software development solutions. William has nearly a decade of experience in Payment Processing Software Development, helping businesses reach their goals.

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