A new study by Juniper Research has found the value of digital payments will approach $3.9 trillion this year, representing an increase of more than 14% on last year’s total.
While the bulk of transaction value (55%) will be accounted for by online retail purchases for physical goods, P2P (Person to Person) money transfers will see the largest year-on-year net increase in value ($200 million). The new research argued that the US would see particularly strong growth, with the bank-backed Zelle Network expected to build on its successful debut in 2016 as additional banks come on board.
The research also emphasised that the demonetisation policies employed by India’s government had encouraged a surge in mobile wallet adoption and, with it, sharp increases in both P2P and mobile retail transactions.
Meanwhile, the research anticipated that the US would see further strong growth in eRetail. Online US sales in 2016 were around 4% ahead of previous Juniper forecasts, thanks in large part to an increased emphasis by traditional bricks-and-mortar retailers in developing a converged online/offline approach. It cited the example of Wal-Mart, which currently realises less than 5% of sales through online channels, seeking to boost its market share through the development of an ‘innovation hub’ to drive retail opportunities.
Furthermore, the research argued that the rise of bots and other natural language interfaces was likely to transform the consumer-facing front end, offering an improved shopper experience. However, according to research author Dr Windsor Holden, the performance of the bot in customer service channels was critical. “Poorly trained bots will issue unhelpful responses, potentially resulting in customer churn away from a given brand or retailer”, he said.