We recently returned from our trip to Amsterdam for the Money20/20 Europe conference, one of the biggest fintech industry events of the year. One topic that was top of mind among presenters and attendees was how the proliferation of payment options designed to help consumers adapt to the global pandemic is radically and permanently transforming the fintech industry. As the world slowly returns to normal, it’s clear consumers remain eager to try disruptive technologies like Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) platforms, cryptocurrencies, and fully autonomous brick-and-mortar stores that deliver frictionless and engaging experiences at the point of transaction.
BNPL commanded the spotlight throughout the three days of the conference. Of course, it didn’t hurt that Apple coincidentally launched its BNPL offering called Apple Pay Later the day before Money20/20 began. BNPL is not a new payment model, but its popularity has been skyrocketing since the onset of the global pandemic.
According to Insider Intelligence, the pandemic accelerated eCommerce market growth and increased the demand for easy online financing options. Because BNPL products are native to online shopping, the surge in eCommerce traffic boosted these providers’ reach, particularly younger digitally-savvy consumers. Insider Intelligence predicts the industry will reach $680 billion worldwide transaction volume in 2025. That represents a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.23% from the $285 billion the industry recorded in 2018.
Despite the downturn shaking the cryptocurrency ecosystem, most people we spoke to at Money20/20 remain bullish about its long-term future because it promises to make transactions faster, less costly, and more secure for consumers and merchants.
Crypto is complex, and the sector is just beginning to emerge from its “Wild West” origin as more companies try integrating their platforms into online and brick-and-mortar POS systems. They are making progress. According to a recent Deloitte report, 220 million people globally use cryptocurrency to pay for everything from travel to sporting events and concert tickets to mobile phone services. 87% of the merchants surveyed agree that accepting digital currencies will give them a competitive advantage. And the overwhelming majority (93%) of those who accept cryptocurrency have already seen a positive impact on key business metrics like customer base growth and brand perception.
A shout out to Vidya Peters, COO of our payment platform solution and partner Marqeta, who moderated a fascinating roundtable at Money20/20 on how BNPL, crypto, the blockchain, and other emerging, innovative technologies and platforms are shaping the future of transactions.
The discussion resonated with us because the panelists discussed themes critical to the incentives space: how to create engaging experiences for recipients, fraud mitigation, and the importance of incorporating new payment technologies into the rewards delivery process.
Our travel calendar remains busy throughout the summer, including MRMW North America in Atlanta this week and NAA Apartmentalize in San Diego the week of June 22. And we’re also looking forward to making the trip to Las Vegas in October for Money20/20 USA.
If you plan to attend any of these events, we welcome the opportunity to meet with you to learn more about the challenges your business faces and show you how the Virtual Incentives platform can make delivering payouts, incentives, or rewards to your customers or employees quick and easy in ways they will find engaging and memorable.