It’s a brand new year and the payment solutions industry is changing

a-lady-standing-by-payment-solutions2016 was an exciting year for payment solutions. Contactless payments dominated conversation as practical uses for NFC technology entered the consumer market and were well received. The post-millennial generation or Generation Z (born after 1995) used mobile payments twice as much as any other age group and mPOS went from being an add-on solution to being able to stand alone as an independent method for card transactions.

As we close the first month of the year, it’s already shaping up to be even bigger than the last.

Sending money and airtime abroad just got a little easier

Sending money to other countries (i.e remittance) and transferring airtime internationally has been a historic struggle for South Africans. In the case of remittances, cost and financial exclusion present formidable obstacles. And international airtime transfers are usually complicated, delayed and expensive.

But there’s hope in the form of Kazang. All Kazang terminals support Mukuru, a service that allows anyone in South Africa to send money to six neighbouring countries, including Zimbabwe, Malawi, Zambia, Mozambique, Botswana and Lesotho. Neither the sender nor the recipient needs to have a bank account and the remittance process is easy and fast.

Through Kazang, you can also send airtime to anyone else in the world using the new international airtime transfer feature. All you need to do is supply your Kazang merchant with the recipient’s mobile number (including the international dialling code) and the Rand amount you intend to transfer.

Mobile point-of-sale continues to change the way entire industries work

Mobile POS is now a bona fide payment solution in its own right. But more than that, it is affecting how industries such as retail function. This month we took the time to highlight how it has specifically changed key parts of the hospitality industry, including hotels, food service and travel.

We found that airlines are boosting their ancillary revenue by leveraging in-flight Wi-Fi to make use of mPOS solutions to sell all kinds of additional products and services to their passengers; service staff are enjoying better and more frequent tips thanks to mPOS devices; and mobile food vendors are strengthening their operations now that they can accept card payments anywhere they take their business.

What’s ahead in 2017?

A few predictions can already be made about the payment solutions landscape in the months ahead. The number of POS systems leveraging cloud technology will almost definitely increase as cloud computing becomes more affordable and the benefits of cloud-based POS become clearer to business owners.

Mobile ordering and booking will also grow in 2017. UberEATS has already proven that digital natives have no problem completing their entire sales journey (responding to marketing, considering their options, deciding on what to buy, and paying) through their smartphones. With McDonald’s and Starbucks’ strategic new app-based ordering system, there are signs that mobile ordering and paying might become standard quite soon.

Get all the payment solutions you need right here in 2017

With only one month down and 11 more to go, we’ve clearly only just scratched the surface of what this year has in store for payments. But as a payment solutions provider and ardent supporters of faster, easier and better access to money, we’ll be sure to keep you informed on all the latest developments, from the smallest trends to game-changing tectonic shifts. All you have to do is subscribe to our blog below.