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32 Payments execs define payments’ 'new normal'

Sep 30, 2021 | By PYMNTS.com

What begins as a seismic shift gradually becomes the new normal.

After all, repetition breeds familiarity. Familiarity breeds adoption, until what was once unfamiliar, or perhaps even uncomfortable, becomes second nature.

That’s especially true in payments, where the pandemic has made us all shift to new payment modalities, and any number of alternative payment methods – online, in many cases – with haste.

In this eBook, we asked 33 C-suite executives to give a sense of what’s changed in the past year – and to predict what’s to come.

The way payments are now done

The way it’s always been done? Well, that’s anathema – and, increasingly, cash has become anathema, too. Contactless debit and credit were quickly embraced amidst fears of germs – and now those payment methods are prized for their convenience.

The payments experts who weighed in here reflect on the ways FinTechs have helped bring new ideas to the forefront of consumer payments. But we’d be remiss in glossing over the fact that companies have had to adapt, too.

After all, the pivot to working from home means everything has been done remotely, which in turn means that spend management has had to abandon slow, manual processes.

Behind the scenes, infrastructure considerations have been top of mind for traditional financial institutions (FIs), platforms and merchants, all in a bid to meet consumers where they want to be met. FIs have had to drastically reconsider the branch setting.

Most of these behavioral shifts will remain in place after the pandemic is finally in the rearview mirror, the respondents said – while buy now, pay later (BNPL) options will continue to offer consumers convenience and visibility into cash flow.

If there are common themes as to what are part and parcel of the new “normal” for payments, they would be “choice” and “speed.” The lines between physical and online commerce are blurring, but we all want to be able to make the transactions we need to make 24/7 – with a range of options on hand.

Read on to see what’s changed – and the changes that remain just over the horizon.

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