The rate of change in the payments space has increased over the past decade – and the coronavirus pandemic has accelerated those changes even more. As a point of sale (POS) software developer or independent sales organization (ISO), it’s vital to your business to monitor payment trends and ensure the solutions and services you provide align with merchants’ and consumers’ demands. Here are a dozen payment trends that are impacting the way people do business and the technology they need to support it:

1. Consumers’ appetite for contactless payments is increasing.

    The pandemic has driven greater awareness among consumers about behaviors that could increase their risk of contracting COVID-19. One of those behaviors is touching devices that other people have used – including PIN pads. As a result, more people are choosing contactless payment. A recent National Retail Federation (NRF) survey found that 69 percent of retailers saw an increase in contactless payments in 2020.

    Historically, a country or region saw an increase in contactless payments after consumers had a nudge to try it. For example, the beginning of widespread adoption in the UK followed commuters using contactless payments for London Transport System fares, and in India, adoption followed using contactless cards to make purchases from vending machines. Now that U.S. consumers have discovered the ease and convenience of contactless payments, all signs point to continued adoption and use, with tap on phone technology to closely follow.

    2. Digital wallets and loyalty apps gain popularity.

      Contactless payments include mobile wallets and payments through loyalty apps, as well as using contactless payment cards. Mobile wallets and apps, however, also give consumers added functionality, such as storing additional information, engaging with merchants, and earning rewards.

      NMI research found that, in the early months of the pandemic, consumer preference for mobile wallets increased 3 percent. NMI also found that a merchant’s ability to accept mobile payments could impact their revenues. Our research found that 43 percent of consumers avoid doing business with merchants that can’t accept contactless payments.

      3. QR codes find new uses.

        Consumers are familiar with scanning a QR code to join a loyalty program, access product information or download a coupon. Consumers’ demand for touchless payment experiences also revived QR codes as a payment trend. Instead of using a PIN pad or paying with cash, consumers can scan QR codes that take them to online payments pages, enabling a touchless experience. With QR codes, there’s nothing for the consumer to download, and merchants that can accept online payments can deploy the system without a costly investment in new point of sale (POS) software or hardware.

        Merchants can also embed QR codes in online ads or social media posts for a “buy now” experience.

        4. PIN on glass rolls out.

          Solutions are now available that allow merchants to download apps onto any mobile device, including smartphones, and accept payments. PIN on glass technology enables card-present EMV payments via touchscreen – the solution gives the merchant a virtual PIN pad on their mobile devices that they can use to enter payment information.

          PIN on glass is an especially valuable tool for small and medium-sized (SMB) businesses that need the ability to accept secure digital payments but don’t have the budget to deploy traditional systems.

          5. Biometric authorization becomes more common.

            Many consumers who make purchases on their smartphones or use mobile wallets are accustomed to authorizing that payment with their thumbprint. The use of biometric technology is poised to expand, with facial recognition, voice matching, or other forms of biometric authentication introduced to verify the cardholder’s identity and prevent fraud.

            6. Shoppers opt for frictionless checkout.

              A SOTI survey in 2019 found that 73 percent of shoppers say they’d rather use self-checkout than engage with store associates. Now, with health safety concerns at the forefront, consumers are even more motivated to keep their distance from others.

              Although every merchant isn’t prepared to launch an Amazon Go-like system of totally frictionless payment that leverages smart cameras, Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI), merchants can deploy self-checkout and payment kiosks to provide their customers with the safe, socially distanced options they demand today.

              7. Small banks get more involved in fintech.

                Another 2021 payment trend to watch is small banks’ response to industry changes.

                Without new technology, the community bank or credit union could fall behind large competitors with expanded resources from acquisitions and tech investments or new entrants disrupting the banking space with innovative payment platforms, including payday apps, person-to-person payment and loan approval options.

                The community bank is fighting back by partnering with fintech innovators to provide the products and services that their customers demand and keep them in the game.

                8. Cloud adoption continues.

                  One option for small banks – or any financial institution – is to use a cloud platform to innovate and create unique payment platforms tailored to their customers. For example, a white-labeled solution can bring together customer support, customer relationship management (CRM) and payment processing, including mobile or unattended payments, with minimal coding.

                  9. The unified commerce journey continues.

                    Not so far in the past, merchants had disparate solutions that enabled card-present or card-not-present payments, stand-alone gift and loyalty, and separate unattended payment systems. This inefficient approach with disjointed systems and experiences cannot meet today’s consumer expectations – or enable efficient operations in the COVID-19 world of online ordering, curbside pickup, and self-service. Unified commerce empowers merchants with one platform from which they can manage all payment types on all channels, efficiently and accurately, and minimize the time it takes to get funds from digital payments into their accounts.

                    10. Real-Time Payments gain traction.

                      Real-Time Payments® is a network that enables immediate fund transfers, driven by the increase in digital commerce. However, RTP isn’t only for person-to-person payments. The network is designed for all segments, including B2B, B2C, government, and more. For merchants, Real-Time Payments can improve cash flow, getting funds from digital payments into their accounts without delay.

                      11. AI powers BI for valuable data insights.

                        Unified commerce platforms generate terabytes of data on merchants’ customers, their behaviors, and their businesses. However, the value of that data can remain trapped in data lakes due to the inability of business intelligence (BI) solutions to analyze data from all sources and deliver timely insights. AI-powered BI platforms are changing that with a greater ability to process high volumes of data in just seconds. AI can finally provide the insights merchants need, when they need them, providing real data ROI.

                        12. White label payment solutions.

                          One payment trend impacting developers and ISOs directly is offering white-label payment processing services under their own brands. This option gives you more control over the experiences you provide to your clients, and it also eliminates confusion over who your clients’ primary contact should be.

                          A New Payment Trend for 2021

                          The 12 payment trends listed shouldn’t come as a surprise – they have been picking up momentum for some time. However, one trend has emerged in the past year – merchants looking for strong technology partners to help them recover from the impact of the pandemic on their businesses.

                          Use your knowledge of the vertical markets you serve, POS and payments technology, and the information on how a robust and flexible payments platform can play a role in your clients’ recovery.

                          Stepping up as a trusted business advisor, as well as ensuring you are helping your clients address significant payment trends, will strengthen your business relationships and your own competitive position.

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                          Insights

                          Shifting to SaaS Payment Solutions

                          For ISVs and ISOs, there are many point of sale (POS) and payments trends having a significant impact on the industry. F...

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                          Insights

                          NMI exhibiting at WSAA 2019

                          NMI will be exhibiting at Western States Acquirers Association (WSAA) September 18-19 at the Omni Rancho Las Palmas Reso...

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                          Insights

                          NMI exhibiting at RetailNOW 2019

                          NMI will be exhibiting at RetailNOW 2019 at booth #132 taking place at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center July 28-3...

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                          Events

                          NMI will be at Money20/20 USA 2019

                          NMI will be at Money20/20 USA taking place October 27-30 at The Venetian in Las Vegas. With over 11,500+ attendees, 2,100+...

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                          Insights

                          NMI to exhibit at MWAA 2019

                          NMI will be exhibiting at the annual MidWest Acquirers Association (MWAA) conference 2019 at the Renaissance Schaumburg ...

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                          NMI in the News

                          Omnichannel: Growing beyond retail

                          In a recent interview with PYMNTS, Jennifer Sherman, SVP Product at NMI, talked about the appealing uses of omnichannel ...

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                          Insights

                          Contactless Payments: The Next Milestone in U.S. Payments

                          Global contactless payment adoption has grown at a fast pace in recent years. Our data shows that 42% of all UK transact...

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                          NMI Insights

                          The Software and Payments Divide is Shrinking

                          It wasn’t all that long ago that software and any payments components were completely separate when it came to the final...

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                          NMI in the News

                          How Bristol became the contactless capital of the UK

                          Bristol was recently revealed to be the contactless capital in the UK. Close to 75% of card transactions in Bristol were...

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                          NMI Solutions

                          Contactless Payments: What’s Driving Contactless Payment Adoption?

                          Contactless payment adoption is growing around the world, and the stage is set for widespread adoption in the U.S. in th...

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                          Insights

                          The NYC Transit System Could be Key to US Contactless Payment Adoption

                          New payment technology may have the potential to make consumer experiences easier and more convenient, but if few people...

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                          Insights

                          Closing In On Contactless Payments’ Tipping Point

                          In an interview with PYMNTS, NMI Chief Strategy Officer Nick Starai, said a number of factors may be leading contactless...

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                          Insights

                          NMI to exhibit at IPMI

                          NMI will be exhibiting at the International Parking & Mobility Institute (IPMI) Expo taking place at the Anaheim Convent...

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                          Insights

                          NMI to exhibit at CNP Expo 2019

                          NMI will be exhibiting at the upcoming CNP Expo 2019 at booth #313. The event will take place at the Marriott Marquis in...

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                          Insights

                          How Developers Can Offer a Seamless Merchant Experience

                          Developers can simplify payments for merchants on their own When it comes to building credit card processing into you...

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                          Insights

                          Meet NMI at Parkex 2019

                          We’ll be exhibiting at the annual Parkex Exhibition in Birmingham from 2-4 April on Stand #P216. Parkex is one of Europe...

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                          NMI in the News

                          Omnichannel: The revenge of the brick-and-mortar store

                          In an interview with PYMNTS, NMI CEO Vijay Sondhi, discusses Omnichannel and how reality has yet to catch up to its prom...

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                          Insights

                          Meet us at PIE 2019

                          We’ll be exhibiting at the annual Parking Industry Exhibition (PIE) in Rosemont from the 12-13 March on Booth #814. PIE ...

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                          NMI in the News

                          CEO INSIGHTS: How IoT Payments Make The Old (Transaction) New Again

                           In a podcast with Karen Webster of PYMNTS.com, NMI CEO Vijay Sondhi delved into the ways that IoT is bringing every...

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                          Insights

                          NMI at NEAA 2019

                          What: NEAA provides an educational forum that covers the most current industry issues, trends, topics and access for att...

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                          Insights

                          How payment innovators are using tokenization beyond security

                          For years the payments industry has been hard at work developing and enhancing technologies and methodologies to protect s...

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                          Insights

                          Payment innovations create value for retailers across multiple touch points

                          Online commerce will grow at more than six times the rate of in-store sales through 2022, according to research, reaching ...

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                          Events

                          NMI at Money20/20 USA

                          Come check out the new NMI at booth #1837 at Money 20/20 October 21-24 in Las Vegas! We are anticipating another exciting ...

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                          Insights

                          Here’s why you should demand remote key injection (RKI) from your payment gateway

                          Very seldom do we speak with software developers who want to spend their valuable time or their staff’s time on payment in...

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                          Insights

                          Counter Solutions, Creditcall, Diebold Nixdorf and Sodexo partner to create micro-market ePOS solution for GlaxoSmithKline plc

                          When it comes to building a successful software development practice, leading ISVs (independent software vendor) not only...

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                          Insights

                          All P2PE Solutions Are Not Created Equally

                          Security-minded ISVs, ISOs, and merchants know that P2PE is one of the most critical pieces to the puzzle of protecting an...

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                          Insights

                          Payments Insights: Latest US EMV Migration numbers

                          U.S. EMV Numbers Show Improvement, But Highlight Lagging ISVs and Merchants. Consumers today expect their shopping experie...

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                          NMI Insights

                          Taking a Placement Year at NMI

                          Meet Dan! Dan, a student from UWE, undertook a placement year at NMI as a Software Developer. Why did you choose to d...

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                          Insights

                          Will 2018 be the year of contactless payments in the US?

                          In the UK, card payments have overtaken cash payments and now account for more than 50 percent of all retail purchases, of...

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                          Insights

                          CTO Insights: Can PIN-on-COTS Take EMV The Final Mile In The US?

                          Earlier this month, the PCI Security Standards Council released a new security standard that allows for PIN entry on comme...

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                          NMI Insights

                          The Ultimate White Label Payment Gateway Introduction for Merchant Acquirers

                          The Average Payment Gateway What Payment Gateways do Payment gateways play an essential role in the processing of a cred...

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                          Insights

                          4 Reasons To Love Working at the Creditcall WeWork Office

                          With our New York office quickly expanding we wanted to share some experiences of working for Creditcall in the Big Apple....

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                          Insights

                          CTO Insights: PIN-on-Glass is coming

                          Imagine taking a regular mobile phone and turning it into a payment device with a simple app download. That’s the utopian ...

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                          Insights

                          Transit Insights: Studies highlight transportation desire for modern payment methods

                          Over the past couple months, we’ve written about the contactless payment revolution taking place in the mass transit secto...

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                          Insights

                          Transit Insights: Is Transit ready for the contactless payments revolution?

                          Translink explains how it will bring cutting edge fare collection to public transport in Northern Ireland. By Creditcall T...

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                          Insights

                          10 Top Tips to Studying in Bristol

                          Being born and bred in Bristol (though we’re now known worldwide), all of us at Creditcall HQ wanted to welcome new and re...

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                          Insights

                          Mass Transit Is Ready For Credit & Debit Payments. Are ISVs?

                          Today, travelers using the tube and mass transit in the London area have the ability to pay for their fares using their ow...

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                          Insights

                          CEO Insights: SME Retailers Being Neglected When It Comes To Next-Gen Payment

                          In today’s world of retail dominated by the Amazon’s of the world, SMEs need to leverage every resource they can to survi...

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                          Insights

                          CEO Insights: Creditcall Named To “1000 Companies to Inspire Britain” List

                          At Creditcall, we have a lot to celebrate this month. We were recently named to the “1000 Companies to Inspire Britain” l...

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                          Insights

                          CEO Insights: It’s Time To Address The Payments Needs Of European SMEs

                          In past blogs we’ve discussed the many challenges facing software developers when it comes to keeping up with payments se...

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                          Insights

                          CEO Insights: Contactless Payments On The Rise Globally

                          The headline says it all. Reports from a variety of sources indicate that contactless payments have risen greatly over the...

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                          Insights

                          CEO Insights: What’s Your Omni-channel Strategy?

                          As consumers, we’re all aware of the changes that have taken place in the retail world when it comes to our everyday shop...

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                          Insights

                          CEO Insights: The Struggles Of An ISV In A Payments World

                          Software developers with solutions that intersect with the world of payment processing know that business can be fun, e...

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                          Insights

                          CEO Insights: EMV in US still has a long way to go

                          The latest EMVCo numbers were published just before the New Year. While the latest numbers only reflect transactions up t...

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                          Insights

                          CEO Insights: Will 2017 bring us the ultimate payment method?

                          In my previous post, we discussed the confusion created by the various payment-related products, apps, and services that h...

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                          Insights

                          CEO Insights: Payment methods, will we ever settle on a standard?

                          I was recently at a restaurant just outside of London with my wife and when we got to the usual payment experience, we sa...

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                          Insights

                          CEO Insights: New payment methods accelerate EMV

                          Over the past few weeks, we’ve been discussing EMV adoption within the United States. Specifically, what’s driving adopti...

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                          Insights

                          CEO Insights: It’s time to address slow EMV transactions

                          One of the most common complaints we hear about EMV is the lengthy transaction times compared with standard swipes. While ...

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                          NMI Insights

                          CEO Insights: Are chargebacks helping or hurting EMV adoption?

                          Last week we discussed the current state of EMV adoption in the United States. Today, more than a year past the original O...

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                          Insights

                          CEO Insights: Don’t let EMV certifications slow you down

                          Despite being more than a year past the U.S. EMV liability shift, there’s still much work to be done. Depending on which o...

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                          Insights

                          Weekly EMV Industry News Roundup - 11 August 2016

                          U.S. Payments Forum updates minimum requirements for US EMV chip deployment Finextra To help merchants and acquirers dev...

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                          NMI in the News

                          Pay-Fac Sooners and Boomers

                          Payment Facilitators (Pay-Fac) may be the next wave of “timing is everything” for the payments industry and could bring a ...

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                          Insights

                          Weekly EMV Industry News Roundup - 4 August 2016

                          Square’s Pricey Bet Pays Off as Merchants Pick Readers that Combine NFC + EMV PaymentsSource The tough move from free...

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                          Insights

                          Weekly EMV Industry News Roundup - 28 July 2016

                          Will the Olympics ‘payment ring’ jumpstart NFC demand CSO Near Field Communication (NFC) – the “mobile wallet” techno...

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                          Insights

                          Weekly EMV Industry News Roundup - 22 July 2016

                          EMV Group Rebrands to go Beyond Chip Cards PaymentsSource The industry-led EMV Migration Forum is changing its name a...

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                          Insights

                          Weekly EMV Industry News Roundup - 15 July 2016

                          Visa’s mobile payments push goes for Olympic Gold PaymentWeek The Olympics—whether summer or winter variety—are a gre...

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                          Insights

                          Weekly EMV Industry News Roundup - 30 June 2016

                          Move could speed retailers’ shift to secure chip cards Chicago Tribune The switch from magnetic stripe credit and debit ...

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                          NMI in the News

                          Will Pay-Facs Kill the VAR Model?

                          Integrated payments has been the darling of the finserv industry for years now, but it’s possible a category killer is loo...

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