It’s no secret that this year so far has seen an increase in popularity of alternative payment methods - accepting ways to pay other than cash or credit cards. Accepting payments has become much more widespread over a variety of platforms, and people are catching on - customers are found to embrace with open arms the ability to pay in as many different ways innovators can think up. However, while we are currently in the trial and error phase, much like other phases society has experienced, once the dust settles we will be left with the main players (think Samsung and Apple) that will take us to the next level of payments.
So when we talk about alternative payments, we’re talking about ones that have set the stage for future experimentation, such as Venmo and Facebook messenger. The important similarity to note is how they take advantage of the peer-to-peer payments by relying on friends to boost consumer engagement. Much like we get a lot of our brand and product recommendations from family and friends, we also exchange money with them very often - whether it’s paying someone back for a concert ticket or splitting a restaurant bill.
Things like splitting a check four ways at a restaurant become a little easier with Venmo, and being able to pay someone over an already widely used platform, Facebook messenger, have allowed more reasons and easier ways to transfer money. Since money can now be available through all of these different pathways, the next step is for the current (or soon-to-be) major hitters to provide ways for customers to use that money immediately. Once they obtain money on a service like Venmo or Facebook messenger, players in the industry will want to help consumers complete the cycle by offering easier ways to pay at brick-and-mortars through such a mobile-friendly pathway.