2023 Ecommerce Payment Trends

a close up of a cell phone

For brands selling DTC on ecommerce channels, the importance of meeting and exceeding customer expectations cannot be overstated. And having the latest payment options is one essential component. 2023 ecommerce payment trends are all about offering a better, more secure shopping experience. So, brands that include these payments  will be sure to attract a larger customer base – and keep them.

Here are a few ecommerce payment trends that the most competitive brands need to know and implement in 2023.

1. Buy Now Pay Later

A growing number of ecommerce shoppers simply do not want to wait to purchase big-ticket items like furniture, appliances and electronics. In addition to spreading out payments for expensive items, Retail Dive reports that shoppers availed themselves of BNPL options to finance smaller purchases during the 2022 holiday shopping season. BNPL allows shoppers to stretch their budgets and maintain buying habits despite the pressure of inflation.

For those shoppers, the future of ecommerce payment looks bright. The buy now, pay later (BNPL) shopping model is skyrocketing in popularity. There were 360 million BNPL users in 2022, and that number is expected to grow to 900 million by 2027. 

BNPL platforms like Klarna and others are especially popular among younger shoppers, who are even using the payment method to buy a relatively inexpensive pair of jeans or shoes. These payment options are typically free of interest or fees, making any online product more accessible, whether the buyer has the cash on hand or not.

2. Digital Wallets

In the first half of 2022, almost 60% of consumers used a mobile wallet to make a payment at least once every week. Just 46% of consumers used a digital wallet weekly in 2021 — which indicates that the popularity of digital wallets is only getting stronger.

In fact, the total number of global digital wallet users is predicted to reach 5.2 billion by 2026, which is a 53% leap from 2022. Many users will access digital wallets through “superapps” — apps that serve multiple purposes, such as ride sharing, food ordering and payment.

Digital wallets come in many forms, from Apple Pay and Google Pay to Venmo and the Cash app. In any case, digital wallets are here to stay, allowing consumers to easily pay without having cash or a credit card on hand. 

3. Cryptocurrency

Since its initial inception, the destiny of cryptocurrency has been uncertain. But as brands like Tesla, Xbox and PayPal begin to accept cryptocurrency as a valid form of payment. More ecommerce businesses may follow their lead in 2023.

Cryptocurrency offers a number of unique benefits, including low transaction fees, quick processing and ease of purchase for international payment processing. Some consumers prefer the anonymity and user autonomy of cryptocurrency. And the decentralised payments can even be used by those who do not have a bank account. This benefits ecommerce brands by opening their website offerings to a wider customer base.

Merchants considering accepting cryptocurrency must be fully informed of the risk as well as the reward. The recent FTX collapse and the arrest of its founder, as well as a general “cratering” of trading volume has the media calling the current climate a “crypto winter.” Cryptocurrency looks to be on a continued path of volatility making the move to include it as a payment option a precarious one if done hastily or ill-advisedly.

4. Real-Time Payment

When consumers find themselves strapped for cash, they do not want to have to wait one to three days for their bank transactions to go through. So, when the pandemic left many consumers on a tight budget, the real-time payment trend gained even greater momentum.

As the name suggests, real-time payment allows consumers to transfer funds in seconds, rather than waiting days or even hours for a payment to be processed. These options streamline the checkout experience and are preferred by consumers who want to protect themselves from chargebacks.

Today’s ecommerce brands are beginning to take advantage of real-time payments by using tools like Square, PayPal and other payment options that offer instant processing. Brands with a DTC ecommerce channel benefit from the rise of real-time payment in another key way: As more employers pay their staff in real-time, consumers will have quicker access to cash — spending money online without waiting for their paycheck to clear.

5. Voice Activated Payment

close up of a black smart speaker that is voice activated

Mobile and digital payment options have made it easier than ever for consumers to shop at the click of a button. But the future of the payment industry is taking the process to a new level of convenience with voice-activated shopping.

Smart speakers allow consumers to shop simply by uttering a few words — no clicking required. Smart speaker owners report using their virtual assistant at least once a day, using the speaker to browse for new products, create shopping lists and search for product reviews.

With a worldwide revenue predicted to exceed USD 35.5 billion by 2025, voice shopping offers an exciting new opportunity for ecommerce and brands selling DTC. Virtual assistant technology is advancing with every passing year, and 2023 is poised for more experimentation with this ecommerce payment format. Brands can use the platform to answer questions about pricing, highlight product features and create a frictionless, tailored shopping experience.

6. Biometrics

As the popularity of DTC ecommerce grows, fraudulent activity grows right along with it. Attempted fraudulent purchases have increased by 69% year-over-year. Leading ecommerce brands to look for innovative ways to increase security and gain consumer trust.

Biometrics are just one of the many new technologies used to combat ecommerce fraud. These advanced authorization systems use fingerprinting, vein recognition, facial scanning and other biological data to verify the identity of consumers.

Implementing these methods also provides customers with a smoother shopping experience that increases conversions and decreases cart abandonment. Shoppers will have less time to second-guess their purchases when biometric data provides an interrupted and secure checkout process.

7. QR Codes

QR codes were beginning to wane in popularity since they burst onto the scene in 2010. But then the pandemic hit, and retailers saw the benefits of QR codes in a whole new light. Today, QR codes are rising in popularity once more, being used in restaurants, stores, events and more.

In Europe, some brands are even using QR codes to replace the in-store checkout experience. Instead, customers can skip the line and get products delivered right to their door. US brands are expected to follow suit, and the number of QR code payment users is predicted to reach at least 2.2 billion by 2025.

8. Near-Field Communications (NFC)

Though many brands and consumers have never heard of near-field communications (NFC), the tool is all around — it is the technology used for contactless payments, where a phone communicates with a payment reader without actually touching the system.

This technology creates a frictionless payment experience that speeds up the checkout process, reduces customer stress, and increases security. Payment options like Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and other digital wallets use NFC, as well as Square, PayPal app, Helcim, Clover Go and more.

The NFC market is expected to grow from USD 18 billion in 2020 to USD 34.9 billion in 2025, a 14.2% increase. The trend will continue to grow thanks to the rising popularity of digital wallets, wearable technology and consumer demand for secure, speedy payment options.

A Look Into the Future of Ecommerce Payments

From BNPL to voice-activated payments, 2023 ecommerce payment trends will include familiar and novel payment methods. New technology will benefit both consumers and ecommerce brands by providing payment options that are efficient, effortless and more secure.

Global brands with a DTC ecommerce channel can improve the cross-border customer experience by offering payment methods that local customers prefer. Implementation can be complex. Brands must evaluate their internal capabilities and align them with consumer demand. Without the proper infrastructure, speed-to-market and speed-to-revenue suffers. 

Global economic circumstances as well as developing technology will continue to shape the payment landscape. Brands that embrace new and emerging technologies and local payment methods will find themselves ahead of the competition.

If you’re looking to expand globally, it is essential to understand preferred payment methods in your target market. Don’t go it alone. Contact ESW and learn how the right partner can help you accept the payments your customers want.

Looking for more consumer trends and insights? Download our latest Global Voices Survey Report.

Photo by Rodion Kutsaiev on Unsplash

Photo by Przemyslaw Marczynski on Unsplash