previous icon Back to blog

2021: Trends and Innovation in the Online Payments Industry

2020 may not have been the year we deserved, but it was the year we got. The global pandemic crashed into the market, bringing change and rapids that lead us right into 2021. Where physical shops and cold hard cash have suffered, e-commerce flourished. Online is where it is at.

That retailer you love? It just added 3 new payment methods to their webshop. One-click and your new favorites will be delivered to your doorstep without any hassle. The sweet lady who always goes door to door collecting for good causes? She now has a QR-code sticker on her collection box so you can donate safely and without cash on hand. Looking forward to see the Formula 1 Dutch Grand Prix? Buy your tickets via WhatsApp!

Companies and businesses feel the need to modernize their way of working, now more than ever before. Covid-19, and the regulations that followed, pushed customers to do their shopping online. Shops that never really took part in the ‘online craze’ opened up their services online and customers in their 50’s have dipped their toes into the water of online shopping. A new demographic of companies are entering the online market, alongside a new demographic of online customers. This has led to innovations and opportunities in the payments market. Let’s check them out.

Trend 1: WhatsApp; Conversational Commerce

One of the new and rising stars in the payments industry is conversational commerce. Most of our everyday conversations are now being held on mobile messaging apps such as WhatsApp. Take notice because this is where conversational commerce comes into play.

When you allow dialog with your customers on WhatsApp, you can not only chat with your customers directly, but you can also let them make purchases and pay directly via the app. Communication is personal and fast. Being able to answer your customer’s questions immediately via WhatsApp means that they will be less likely to cancel their purchase or abandon their cart.

It is expected that by 2021, 54% of total e-commerce sales will come from conversational commerce. So make sure that your business takes part in this.

Trend 2: Mobile Wallets; Continuous Growth in Market Share

Mobile wallets or e-wallets are gaining momentum and are replacing more and more traditional payment methods. A mobile wallet is, as the name might suggest, a digital wallet. Consumers simply add their payment details to their preferred mobile wallet and pay for their items in one click or tap. Mobile wallets can also hold shipping address details and offer loyalty rewards for customers, making payments incredibly easy and rewarding. Customers only have to tap the button to accept the payment and their order will appear on their doorstep without any hassle, with added loyalty reward on top.

Touch and Pay with Payment Solution Partner

Mobile wallets can be used in both the online and offline world. Via NFC technology on smartphones, customers can pay with a chip in their mobile phone. All they need to do is hold the phone in front of a payment terminal and the job is done.

Mobile wallets are already wildly popular in some regions of the world! The Global Payment Users report from Emarketer states that a whopping 81,1% of Chinese customers pay with a mobile wallet, thanks to 1.5 billion active users of Alipay and WeChat Pay. Within Europe, the Nordic countries take the lead in mobile wallet usage with the adoption of Mobile Pay, Vipps, and Swish.

The mobile wallet usage numbers are still growing, so it is definitely a payment method worth adding to your services.

Trend 3: QR-Payments; Bringing Offline to Online Payments

QR-codes are making a comeback within the payments industry. QR payments were first introduced in 2012 but never really took off. The current pandemic gave this payment method a second chance though.

QR Code Payment

Why? Because QR-payments make it very easy for your customers to pay for your products and services or to make a donation without having to touch anything besides their own phone. You can print a QR-code on your receipts or invoices or use them to pay for specific products to let your customers pay directly and Covid-approved. A nice extra is that with QR payments, your customers are also less likely to make mistakes with their payment details.

Trend 4: Omnichannel Shopping; Serving Your Customer Needs Online and Offline

Physical shops have a hard time during the pandemic. Lockdown and customers weary of physical contact require a change in approach as offline revenue drops. There is a need for omnichannel availability. 2021 is the year in which you should close the gap between offline and online, reaping the benefits of both.

Omnichannel availability doesn’t mean that you should put every single one of your products on a website and call it a day. It’s about finding the balance between offline and online sales and creating the best customer experience.

Digital channels can help personalize in-shop customer experiences. Customers can reserve and/or collect online purchases from your store locations, giving them the opportunity to try out and exchange items immediately. In addition, online orders can be collected and send from store locations and storage to optimize the online order time.

When well-executed, offline and online stores should seamlessly complement each other while providing the most accessible services to your customers. And keep in mind: after we defeat this pandemic, most of your customers will love visiting your (physical) stores again. Even then, your omnichannel presence can provide them with the best possible service.


So what should you take away from this article? Take note of the 2021 trends in the payments market and make use of these (new) possibilities. Your services and products need to be reliable, safe, and easy to use for your customers, especially in the payment process. Make sure that you connect with your customers on social channels and create personal, effortless payment transactions to help boost your revenue and customer satisfaction rates. Need more information on how to do this? Contact us! We’d love to help you get your business ready for 2021 and beyond.

You must be thinking, that’s nice and all. But what makes you an expert on this subject? Well, we are on the Emerce100 list of best Payment Service Providers in the Netherlands (again) this year. With 5.5 stars, belongs to the top e-business companies and we’re very proud of that.

The Digital Commerce Guide - Find the Right Payment Partner for Your Business

Get the Guide

The Digital Commerce Guide - Find the Right Payment Partner for Your Business

Get the Guide
As Digital Marketer, Jessica is responsible for developing and executing the digital marketing strategy of Payments.

Is this region a better fit for you?

close icon