Years ago, consumers had to write out checks or hand over cash to make a purchase. Those days have largely disappeared in our rear view mirrors. A cashless society might seem like something out of a Heinlein novel, but new payment processing trends have transformed the way we do business.

1. Alternative Currency

Security has become one of consumers' most important concerns, especially when it comes to payment transactions. They don't want to worry about stolen credit card information or hacked bank accounts, and alternative currency options like Bitcoin give consumers the opportunity to ditch the cash and plastic in favor of digital money.

2. Mobile Wallets

Mobile wallets haven't become a household stable, but the tide may change in coming months. According to Business Insider, perks like loyalty and rewards points combined with convenience will escalate mobile wallets' popularity over the next year.  Instead of pulling out your AmEx card, you can store the information on your mobile device and use it to pay for purchases. The only real barrier to adoption lies in security, but mobile technology has become increasingly safe.

3. Faster Payment Clearance

In today's financial world, payments can take several hours or even a few days to clear, depending on the method of payment. You might see pending charges on your online credit card account. In a couple business days, those charges transition from pending to posted. As technology improves, payment clearance will become much faster, allowing consumers to better manage their funds and giving businesses access to their revenue faster.

4. On-Demand Purchases

If you're a member of Amazon Prime, you're already part of the instant gratification party. You see a product you want, and you order it immediately. In some cases, that product can arrive at your doorstep within 24 hours.

In fact, companies like Amazon have launched programs that allow consumers to order products for two- to four-hour delivery windows. Through local transportation partners, the time between payment and receipt should narrow considerably.

5. Biometric Payment Technology

There have been several recent advancements in biometric payment technology, which essentially refers to the process of tying some aspect of your physical body — such as your fingerprints, retinas, or even DNA — to your preferred method of payment, such as a credit card or bank account. TechTarget reports that this type of payment processing would likely require two-step authentication. For instance, you might use your fingerprint combined with a PIN to complete a transaction.

6. Government v. Merchants

Unfortunately, businesses might have to deal with a few more regulations as new payment processing technology emerges. To prevent fraud and other crimes, the government will want to ensure that consumers can protect themselves, which might mean extra paperwork, fees, and other consequences for companies. However, the potential benefits of these payment processing techniques might very well outweigh the inconveniences of regulation.

We're excited to see what new payment processing technologies debut in the coming years. When you market your business online, you can expect to conduct online transactions. After all, you want to turn leads into customers. Adopting the right payment technology might help tip the scales in your favor. To learn more about saving money and boosting your cash flow, read our report on How Digital Marketing Agencies Cost Less Than In-House Teams.

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