In the last decade, technology has been gaining more and more influence on most aspects of our life. That includes shopping and making payments. The biggest shopping day of the year is Black Friday, and at first mention, the mind goes straight to long lines and large crowds at the mall. But, as it turns out, most buyers turn to online shopping instead of actually visiting the store.

Last year’s Black Friday broke all records when it comes to online spendings. Adobe’s analytics published that consumers spent $7.4 billion online. Yes, that’s billion with a B. And we don’t see that number going down with the pandemic and everything going on in 2020.

Because of how people handle it, and how quickly it exchanges hands, cash was always a potential vector of transmissible diseases. With COVID-19 still going on, the popularity of paper money is likely going to take a hit. What are the alternatives? If you aren’t familiar with other choices except for cash or credit card, this is the article for you. We are going to inform you about the best digital payments for 2021.

EMV Chips Turn Cards Into Smart Cards

EMV stands for Europay, MasterCard, and Visa, but is most often referred to as a credit card with a smart chip. It uses the smart chip for storage of the data that is needed to process the transaction, unlike a mag stripe used by older credit cards.

EMV’s increased security is the reason more and more cards have chips nowadays. Unlike the mag stripe, which was a lot easier to clone, the chip is tamper-proof, thus making the card almost impossible to duplicate. Furthermore, EMV cards use a unique code for every payment, your bank then uses the code for the transaction, and once it’s used, it can never be used again.

Another plus for the use of EMV is the possibility of a contactless transaction. You can just tap the POS terminal, or even wave the card in front of it to make a payment. It allows you to use the card without putting in the pin. Contactless is the way to go in 2020.

You Might Be Using EChecks Already

If you went to the gym for a while, chances are, you used an electronic check without even knowing it. Most people do. Gym memberships are considered automatic payments, but in fact, they are fulfilled via eChecks.

By using eChecks, you only spend time when you agree on the terms for the first time, everything else is automatic. That’s the biggest advantage of electronic checks, significant time gets saved by both the client and the supplier, everything is done electronically. This type of online payment takes the agreed sum of money out of the payer’s account and transfers it to an overarching network, which deposits it to the payee’s account. 

Have you ever thought that you’ll be able to forget about your bills and not even think about the due dates, but everything still gets paid on time? EChecks make that possible!

Home Assistants Can Do All the Work

In 2014, Amazon came up with the first smart speaker, and a few years later, Google Home and Apple presented their home assistants as well. Since then, smart speakers have been helping people with their everyday tasks. Unfortunately, most users still don’t believe in the safety of their information with home assistants, so they mostly rely on them for tasks with less risk.

Statistically, 82% of all consumers use smart speakers for seeking information, checking the weather, and making appointments, while only 28% dare to send money or make payments. The percentage is significantly lower due to security reasons most users have, but the future of smart speakers is still bright.

With big names like Amazon, Google, and Apple investing in developing safer home assistants, we can assume that the future of smart speakers is secured. Also, Business Insider estimates that the usage of virtual assistants will unquestionably grow in the next few years.

Mobile Wallets Are Convenient

A mobile wallet is exactly what it sounds like, a wallet on your phone. What better way to lower the clutter you carry around in your pockets than to combine a phone and a wallet in one thing. That’s why the number of mobile wallet users is growing consistently.

Big companies like Samsung, Apple, and Google already have their applications that are used as a wallet, so we can expect others to follow with similar apps in the future. The possibility of just tapping your phone to make a payment makes the use of a mobile wallet practical, which a lot of buyers are looking for these days. Also, the app can store your loyalty cards, credit cards, and multiple companies can work together to make the experience extra convenient for you.

Use Your Fingerprint to Make a Payment via Biometric Authentication

This way of payment makes you realize that we live in the technological future. Biometric authentication uses a person’s biological and structural characteristics to verify who is trying to make a transaction. This includes methods like fingerprint scanning, facial and iris recognition, or even heartbeat analysis or vein mapping.

The main goals of all the transactions that are being invested in currently are security and fraud protection. It’s hard to find something more secure than bio authentication, and that’s why we’ll see more of it shortly. Stats suggest that by the year 2021, more than 18 billion biometric transactions will be completed, every year.

Posted by Miley Dowling

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