The 5 top payment trends in 2022

In this article we’ll be looking at the 5 top payment trends that are dominating the UK in 2022. Learn more about what you can expect here.

The digital payment market is evolving and developing at a rate we’ve never seen before.

Covid has created a new normal in the payment world with an accelerated, albeit slightly forced, move from cash to the cloud. But even before Covid the popularity of cash was falling fast, with contactless payments using smartphones already on the rise.

Organisations were forced to look at new technologies and innovation to meet the new reality of consumer needs. And the benefits that new digital options brought with them have inspired the future of payments.

Consumers want more. More of the frictionless ease of paying, speed of purchasing and sophisticated security options that new technology is bringing to the table.

 In this article we’ll take a look at the five top key payment trends in the UK and what it means going forward for payment technology in 2022.


#1 The explosion of embedded finance

 Embedded finance is a hot topic in the UK at the moment and covers such a broad range of payment technologies, start-ups and opportunities. It’s a system that allows seamless, usually near-instant, financing, and payment without having to involve the traditional banking system and payment gateways.

As stated in the Oracle’s estimates, the value of the embedded finance market is looking to soar close to $7 trillion within the next 10 years.

Here are some of the most noteworthy in 2022.

  • With BNPL (Buy Now, Pay Later), customers can purchase an item immediately and pay it off over time.
  • This is not a completely new idea, as customers have been offered instalment plans in-store at the point of purchase, mainly when buying higher-ticket items.
  • But the recent big players in BNPL offer more flexibility and availability online and have opened up the payment plans to lower-ticket items too.
  • For example, with Klarna – the current queen of BNPL – you can purchase anything with the Klarna logo and then choose either the ‘pay-in-3’ or the ‘pay-in 30 days’ option.
  • The popularity of businesses who offer BNPL has soared with Gen-Z and millennials who are entering the finance market as they now have a way of obtaining credit at a lower-interest.
Digital wallets
  • Digital wallets like Google Pay, Apple Pay, Amazon Pay and Revolut remain a preferred payment method in the UK.
  • This trend is being sparked by their inherent suitability for mobile commerce, their seamless integration with social media and their perfect mix of convenience and security.
  • The percentage of the UK population who own cryptocurrency is still low at 6.1% – especially when compared to the rest of the world which averages at 15.5%. However, the UK figure has doubled since 2018 and that upward trend shows every sign of continuing.
  • And with well-established challenger banks such as Monzo allowing customers to purchase cryptocurrency directly using their bank accounts, it’s something that looks set to become mainstream in the very near future.

#2 Harnessing the power of data

If companies choose to use data in the right way, it can transform businesses. By identifying patterns in purchases, businesses can start to create a more tailored experience for their customers.

Enter technologies such as AI and machine learning (ML). Having these at their disposal is a game-changer for businesses as they will have the capacity to analyse a huge amount of data such as transaction histories and spending habits.

Transport for London, for example, used data from contactless and Oyster card payments to track user habits, monitor journey times, and identify problem areas to improve the network for everyone.

#3 Connected commerce is accelerating

Connecting commerce solutions like loyalty programmes, online appointments, online check-in, and automated communications are being used to help businesses improve their customer experience. By becoming more connected to their customer they can attract new business, create more value and, as a result, grow their brand. Loyalty programmes, in particular, have come a long way from the ‘collecting points for rewards’ schemes they once were.

With companies such as MarPay technology newly on the scene, customers are now being offered the chance to “buy more, pay less” – all by spending and earning loyalty points instantly at checkout.
In a world where customer loyalty is becoming more difficult to retain, it’s an incentive that is proving to be a win-win for both merchants and customers alike.


#4 Shared infrastructure

 The basis of tomorrow’s payments architecture will revolve around firms opening to integration and offering shared services with other firms in their ecosystem. The core of this system will be supported by a services portfolio that will help enable tailor-made sector-specific customer solutions.

With the prime example of open banking revolutionising the way that we move and manage money, it’s a shift in payment technology that doesn’t seem to be slowing down.

Digital ID infrastructure
  • Shared digital ID infrastructures will help unify access and pave the way for an open finance future. Digital ID solutions can also help control online fraud as online payment fraud is currently estimated to cost global businesses 1.8% of revenue each year.
Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS)
  • Mobility-as-a-Service is an emerging type of service that, through a joint digital channel, enables users to plan, book, and pay for multiple types of mobility services.
  • The concept behind MaaS is to offer travellers mobility solutions that shift away from personally owned modes of transportation and towards mobility provided as a service as a sustainable alternative.


#5 The shift to super-apps

As apps have increasingly become part of the everyday fabric of our lives, it’s been pretty much inevitable that some will ultimately transition into “super-apps”. For an app or platform to be considered “super”, it needs to offer users multiple services in one place.

 In the UK, Uber started as a taxi app but now offers food delivery too. Facebook has added its Marketplace (and a hundred other services) all under one login and Deliveroo started as takeaway app and now offers Grocery Services as well. When you combine seamless payment processing, digital wallets, and points systems into these apps, you truly can call them super.

 The UK financial regulators will be keeping a very close eye on these apps and platforms as they grow, however – so only time will tell if they manage to reach the same market penetration as super-apps like WeChat in Asia.


Key takeaways

  • The digital payment market has changed since Covid, with companies being forced to offer new and innovative ways to pay
  • The popularity of BNPL has taken off, especially with millennial
  • Businesses are learning how to use data to learn more about their customers
  • Super-apps are on the rise in the UK and are only looking to grow

What are your thoughts on the direction that UK payment methods are taking in the UK? We’d love to hear from you.

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