Top 8 payment industry trends in 2023

Payments are now one of the most critical parts of an ecommerce business’s operation and are vital to delivering an exceptional customer experience. And, like other parts of the industry, innovative tech and consumer expectations are leading their evolution.

But how is the industry changing? And what trends are driving payments forward? With insights from Visa, American Express, Klarna, and more - here are the trends you need to know in 2023.

1. Digital wallets will continue to get bigger

Digital wallet adoption increased before the coronavirus, and the pandemic accelerated it even further. Now, as more consumers embrace a digital-first lifestyle and use mobile wallets, more businesses are offering them at checkout – often making it simple to pay with just one click. In fact, PYMNTS predicts that more than four billion global consumers will use a digital wallet in 2023.

As more people use them, digital wallets will continue to evolve and offer more capabilities to consumers. Many already help them transfer, store, and spend funds, and some already provide other financial services such as loans, crypto payments, and buy now, pay later (BNPL) options. Combining the features of a financial super app with a streamlined shopping experience should help them thrive for years to come.

2. QR codes aren’t just for pandemics

QR code adoption accelerated during the pandemic, and entrepreneurs and brands are now innovating how to use them. Here are some ways they do that:

  • Adding them to invoices
  • Displaying them during online checkout to reduce friction
  • Placing them on print ads and television commercials
  • Putting them on in-store labels to offer discounts

In fact, experts predict that more than a third of mobile users will use QR codes to pay by 2025. They may not be new, but as businesses develop new ways of using QR codes they still have lots to offer. 2023 might be their biggest year yet.

3. Buy now, pay later is here to stay – but changing

Consumers like buy now, pay later solutions, and they can help them better manage their finances during tough economic conditions. That means more businesses will need to offer BNPL methods to ensure they don’t lose out on sales.

For Lucie Gimon, Partnerships Manager Lead at Klarna, they’re set to become even more popular in the years ahead. “In 2023, we’ll continue to see the generational shift away from credit cards to healthier forms of credit that are interest-free, short-term, and intended for dedicated purchases,” she says. “In fact, the global buy now, pay later market size is expected to top 20 billion Euros by 2028.”

But 2023 might also be when – as adoption rises – authorities pay more attention to regulations protecting consumers from debt. “That means some BNPL providers will discover that their pricing model might not withstand the pressures of the downturn, and their costs to businesses will increase,” says Ken Serdons, Mollie CCO. “And as defaults rise, more BNPL applications will be declined.”

It’s hard to predict exactly what will happen, but BNPL may look different at the end of 2023. 

4. SoftPoS will make in-person payments easier than ever

Point-of-sale (PoS) devices have been around for a long time, and so have the problems businesses face when using them: high costs, connectivity issues, and hardware problems. As companies look to increase mobility, scale more quickly, and reduce the costs associated with running PoS devices, the market is ripe for disruption.

Dat is precies het moment waarop Software PoS (SoftPoS)-oplossingen in het spel komen.

They allow any mobile device to act as a secure PoS system, helping businesses to accept card or digital wallet payments directly on their phone or tablet without needing additional hardware, offering all the benefits lacking with traditional PoS devices: more mobility, quicker scalability, and lower costs.

2023 will likely be the year we’ll see more businesses – especially SMEs – using SoftPoS to enhance their payment infrastructure and become more agile than ever.

5. Hyped new technologies may finally go mainstream

The Metaverse and blockchain technologies seem to have been trending for ever. But could 2023 be when we start to see these new technologies go mainstream? And how will they change the payments landscape if they do?

For Jürgen Schübel, Visa’s Head of Merchant and Acceptance Development for Central Europe, the possibilities are endless. “We can’t wait to see how the Metaverse and blockchain technology will influence ecommerce payments,” he explains. “The Metaverse could become a big additional sales channel where businesses can offer traditional payments in the virtual world. We also might see the adoption of blockchain and other recent technologies creating new ways to pay and interact.”

6. Localisation will be more critical than ever

Read almost any guide to online payment trends in 2023, and you’ll likely see the same advice: localisation is crucial to increasing conversion in any market. Our own research shows just how vital it is during the shopping experience, with 87% of consumers saying it’s ‘important’ that retailers offer the payment methods they prefer to use – and almost half (47%) citing it as ‘very important’.

As well as ensuring your checkout displays the correct language, almost every country has an optimal payment mix – or the group of payment methods that helps you convert as many shoppers as possible. And this will be even more vital in the coming time as companies scale up their personalisation and localisation activities.

Marcel van Oost, the founder of Connecting the Dots in Fintech, agrees. “In 2023, businesses should work with a payment processor that can help provide the correct payment mix,” he says. “Take Mollie in the European market, which offers several local payment methods per country and stands out from more globally-minded competitors.

“Businesses shouldn’t just pick the payment methods that will be the most cost-efficient but make sure they offer the ones their customers prefer to use to maximise conversion.”

7. B2B payment options are changing

Digital payment trends in B2C continue to progress; digital payment trends in B2B are evolving at lightning speed. Paying by invoice has been a popular method in B2B for many years. But as more businesses move online, digital invoicing hasn’t always kept pace – and can be complex or time-consuming.

One payment option helping to solve this is BNPL. It allows B2B businesses to get paid quickly (and offset the risk of late or unpaid invoices), reduce administrative work, and attract customers who like its flexibility.

As more companies launch B2B divisions and existing B2B companies refine their online offering to take advantage of rising ecommerce adoption, BNPL payments will play an even more critical role in increasing conversions and building customer trust.

8. Open banking will change the way we pay

Since the introduction of the revised Payment Services Directive in 2020, open banking – which allows regulated third-party financial service providers to access and control consumers’ bank accounts – has been driving innovation in the payments industry. And these innovations often help provide a better consumer experience.

So, as the technology progresses, what will open banking offer in the year ahead? “It can help reduce fees and enable businesses to receive payments more quickly,” explains Charlotte Wise, Director of International Open Banking Payments at American Express. “That can improve their financial management and ability to cope when cash flow becomes tight. For shoppers, it streamlines the checkout experience and lets them see their bank balance to make informed buying decisions.”

As awareness of open banking solutions increases and more fintechs start exploring their capabilities, they might change how we pay in 2023.

In Mollie’s Ecommerce Playbook 2023, more than 40 experts from across the industry share predictions, tips, and actionable learnings to help you drive success in the year ahead. 

Download the report and discover the latest trends, insights from global brands, and deep dives into everything from creating great customer experiences and optimising payments to the B2C sector and headless and composable commerce solutions:

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