The Covid-19 pandemic has brought about significant changes to the way people shop, work, and travel. Banks and other financial institutions have adapted to the new normal as people take precautions against the Covid-19 virus. A key theme of trends in finance for 2022 is an increasing focus on digital assets and technology as financial institutions try to meet the new demands caused by the pandemic.
One of the trends to look for in 2022 is contactless payment options. Public policy recommending people socially distant due to a pandemic has led retailers and service providers to offer contactless and mobile payment options to avoid touching surfaces such as card readers. A report commissioned by Visa found that about a third of businesses only accept contactless payments. Additionally, about half of the consumers surveyed found that they would not shop at a store that did not provide a contactless payment option.
Another trend that is set to accelerate in 2022 is the increasing digitization of our society. There are over 15 billion smartphones in the world right now, and many of these smartphones now feature digital wallets. These digital wallets account for a sizeable chunk of e-commerce sales, and they are expected to account for more than half of all e-commerce sales by 2023. Cash is also no longer the primary form of payment anymore. Debit and credit cards are the main form of payment now, and they are increasingly being linked to the digital wallets in a person’s smartphone.
Automation in finance is set to continue in 2022 and beyond. Look for finance companies to continue automating payment and lending processes to save time and money. Additionally, large institutions will continue investing in automation in their front-end services and back-end core functions. Automation in finance can improve customer satisfaction by letting them perform many financial transactions needing to go to a banker or teller at a branch.
While blockchain may be slipping under the radar for some, the financial sector is paying close attention to this new technology. Blockchain can be used by finance companies to process payments and release money for less cost and quicker. Additionally, the security that blockchain provides can lead to the rise of the peer-to-peer lending industry. While blockchain is not universally adopted yet in the finance industry, expect it to get more attention in 2022.