Global digital payment volumes continue to increase, with annual growth projected to top 10% for the first time to reach 426.3 billion transactions in 2015, up from the record-setting 8.9% growth in 2014 (387.3 billion transactions), a recent research study reveals.
The growth in digital payment transactions is largely being driven by strong economic growth in key developing countries, according to the World Payments Report 2016 (WPR) released by Capgemini, and BNP Paribas, cxotoday.com reports. Improved security measures such as EMV1 and biometrics, and government initiatives designed to encourage electronic payments in developing markets, as the cost of cash continues to rise are some of the factors that are fueling the growth.
However, this growth comes as banks face increasing demand for secure digital transaction services, particularly from corporate customers, spurring transaction banks to accelerate investment and collaboration amongst banks and/or with fintechs (financial technology firms) to reduce time to market in delivering differentiating digital transaction experiences.
Growth in digital payments occurred across all regions, with developing markets experiencing the highest rates — 16.7% — and mature markets growing at 6.0%, although mature markets still account for 70.9% of total global volumes. For the first time, China surpassed the UK and South Korea in digital transaction volumes, taking fourth position among the top ten markets globally, behind the US, Eurozone and Brazil. This continued growth in digital payments globally presents opportunities for banks to provide such services to customers while corporates also benefit from a more efficient financial supply chain.
Cards remain the fastest growing digital payments instrument since 2010, while check usage continues to decline. Immediate payments have the potential to drive growth in digital transactions as an alternative to cash and checks, but efforts are needed to educate stakeholders, provide more value-added services, and upgrade infrastructure at merchants and corporates.