The payments industry experienced a busy year in 2018 as financial institutions launched a bevy of new ways for consumers to pay their bills. Mobile adoption surged. New payment technologies, like  cryptocurrency, AI, and biometrics, took center stage, and with them, the impact of mobile payments fraud. As we reflect on the past year, we can also look forward to what we expect a new year of innovation to bring.

#1: Gen Z is Here

Move over Millennials – Gen Z is officially here. Born between 1997 and 2015 and known as “true digital natives,” this age group now has members old enough to begin making major financial decisions and who are already paying bills. In 2019, we believe brands will develop strategies to better cater to this age cohort, and that billers will begin tailoring their offerings to meet this generation’s needs as a result.

#2: “Pay my Water Bill.”

Voice assistants have become fixtures in many homes across the country and this growth is only expected to continue. Deloitte Global predicts that the worldwide sale of smart speakers with voice assistants will increase by 63 percent in 2019. With more consumers becoming comfortable with voice assistants, and consequently AI, the idea of paying bills by voice could grow in popularity sooner than we think. In fact, according to Speedpay® Pulse, a consumer billing and payments trends survey of more than 3,000 U.S. adults responsible for two or more household payments a month, over a third (38.4%) of consumers ages 23-34 are interested in paying their bills via voice assistant.

#3: The Need for Instant Gratification

Thanks to household brands, today’s consumers have become accustomed to state-of-the-art technology that can satisfy their desires within seconds. With these expectations in mind, it’s critical for billers to ensure their mobile payment technology stands up to the competition and that their apps and mobile technology run seamlessly. Otherwise, they risk damaging their reputation and the customer experience.

#4: Pay by…Coffee Cup?

Last year, consumers were met with a variety of unique ways to make payments – through their smart watches, key fobs, or even coffee mugs! So it should come as no surprise to billers that in 2019, consumers will expect to be presented with more unique and convenient ways to make payments. With this in mind, billers should continue to offer a variety of payment methods to customers, so they can pay their bills in the way that’s easiest for them and get on with their busy lives.

 

To learn more about what these predictions mean for your business in 2019, contact a member of our team at speedpay.communcations@westernunion.com.