Without a doubt, the pandemic shined a big spotlight on the need for more online/digital solutions—not just for use in healthcare, but in nearly all forms of business. This included, of course, the need for better digital payment solutions. These digital payment solutions have become far more than just a convenience (though they are that, as well). In fact, they are quickly becoming the current and future standard for all financial transactions in every facet of commerce.
While digital payments are definitely experiencing a golden age of adoption and use, the technology will continue to advance in the years ahead. So, what will the future of payments look like? In this blog, we will take a look.
All Payments Will Soon Be Digital Payments
As we have mentioned before on this blog, generational changes are a primary driver of the shift toward digital payments. The US has an elder Baby Boomer population that is choosing to age in place and looking for as many online or in-home options as possible that will make it easier to do so. Then you have members of Generation X, who are reaching middle age in poorer health than expected but are more tech savvy than Boomers and so will expect more digital payment options.
Above all, however, it is the youngest generations (Millennials and Generation Z) that are driving the trend toward digital payments even more than their elders. Gen Z, according to Forbes, now makes up approximately 30 percent of the global population. Combine them with their fellow generation of “digital natives,” the Millennials, and you now have a majority of the population that is expecting to be provided with digital options in almost every facet of their daily lives. Businesses that do not offer these options will simply lose their patronage as they continue to grow into later adulthood.
Consolidated Payment Processing in the Future
Currently, providers usually have no choice but to collect payments in multiple ways—from paper checks to ERA/EFT to Virtual Card Payments (VCPs)—and each of these payment methods is sent through a different payment processor. This can make it difficult to report back on the payer’s source system of record for all of the payments disbursed in each cycle and manage which payment method any given provider is supposed to receive.
The future of payments will bring all of this together, so that practices will be able to send all payments to a single payment processor regardless of the payment type. These solutions are not that far out on the horizon, and when they arrive, they will simplify payment reconciliation and minimize payment delays.
Increasingly Advanced Security & Authentication Measures
At present, chip and PIN is the standard security measure for card-present transactions. Chip and PIN will eventually not be enough to keep transactions secure, however, and they currently offer little to no added security for the kinds of frictionless and card-not-present transactions that are becoming increasingly common.
Therefore, financial security experts are looking more and more towards biometrics and multifactor authentication (for example, having a one-time code texted to you to ensure you are the one making a payment). Increased use of biometrics is definitely something we are going to see more of in the immediate future, with increased use of security features such as fingerprint scanners, facial recognition, eye scans and even vein mapping.
The demand for digital payment options is already present and surging. As adoption continues to increase, the consolidation and advancement of secure digital payment solutions will be coming in the future, along with more advanced security measures. Practices should already be keeping in step with new financial tech in order to remain relevant and competitive both now and in the future.
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