A look back at the 5 seismic trends that shaped payments and commerce in 2022

Friday, February 24, 2023 6 minute read
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*Editor's note: This article was updated on February 24, 2023, from its original publish date of October 25, 2022.

In 2022, we defined the five global trends that would significantly impact commerce. Did digital payments accelerate in 2022, as we predicted? What happened with buy now, pay later (BNPL)? Here are the highlights and how they shaped payments in 2022.

Trend 1

Customer expectations are changing. Are you meeting their needs?

We anticipated businesses would further invest in refining their digital experiences, beginning with payments. As the year turns its final corner, digital-first economies continue to grow. From 2021 to 2022, digital commerce will increase from $4.88 trillion to $5.49 trillion worldwide.

Organisations are adapting. Of the more than 200 businesses we surveyed, 42.4% reported expanding the digital payment methods offered to better meet the preferences of their customers.* These include adding digital wallets, the ability to send digital invoices and online payment links—all contactless payments. Research confirms contactless payments are increasing exponentially, expected to nearly quadruple in value by 2026.

For businesses, this is a call to ensure that you accept the digital payment methods your customers prefer. Offering the right payment mix, including contactless, can turn your shoppers into buyers.

42.4% of businesses reported they expanded their digital payment methods*

Of the more than 200 businesses we surveyed, 42.4% reported they expanded their digital payment methods this year to meet customer payment preferences.

Trend 2

Buy now, pay later soars

Our experts forecasted BNPL would become one of the hottest payment trends in 2022. And our prediction didn't underwhelm. As the year has pressed on, BNPL providers, including Affirm and Klarna, have launched physical BNPL cards that consumers use to purchase items and pay off over time. Apple launched its BNPL solution called Apple Pay Later in the US in September, while Affirm extended a BNPL option for Canadian Amazon shoppers. And issuers like American Express, Chase and Citi are expanding BNPL options for their cardholders.

BNPL is not a new concept. Instalment payments on big-ticket items have been around for decades. But it is novel. It's pushed businesses and issuers to think differently about extending credit to their customers–even for the smallest items.

$40b expected market size of BNPL by 2030

We don't expect BNPL to go away anytime soon. BNPL is a $6.2 billion market that researchers predict will grow to nearly $40 billion by 2030.

Trend 3

B2B payments go digital

The digitisation of B2B payments has lagged behind B2C payments historically. But in 2022, we anticipated that more businesses would automate their B2B payments. And that's become the case. Sixty percent of companies are moving from manual B2B payments to digital payments. Why? For many reasons, according to MineralTree's 7th Annual State of AP Report. The top reasons include:

  • Supply chain disruptions
  • Hybrid work environments
  • The Great Resignation

Digitising B2B payments with accounts payable (AP) automation is the top back-office priority in 2022. It keeps essential goods and services moving with faster payment turnaround times, more transparency and better efficiency. With AP automation, nearly two-thirds of companies processed payments more seamlessly with the same-sized team.

Yes, companies are realising the benefits of automating B2B payments. But we've yet to reach a tipping point. More adoption is on the horizon.

Trend 4

Connected commerce smooths the omnichannel buying journey

Our experts suggested that building a connected commerce ecosystem in 2022 would be a priority for businesses to create a frictionless customer journey. Of the businesses we surveyed this year, 41.5% report having invested in the digitisation of their customer's shopping experience.* And we predict that number to increase as digital and physical shopping continue to fuse.

Seventy-three percent of all buyers prefer to combine digital and physical shopping. What's more, these shoppers—also known as omnichannel shoppers—spend 10 times more than customers who only buy in store or online.

Companies of all sizes are responding by offering more hybrid shopping experiences like buy online, pickup in store (BOPIS). According to Statista, 59% of businesses plan to provide omnichannel options like BOPIS over the next few years.

Connecting other digital solutions like loyalty programs, online appointments and automated communications help improve your customers' satisfaction with their buying experience.

When your business gets omnichannel commerce right, ecommerce and brick-and-mortar retail work together to deliver seamless payment experiences that your customers expect.

Trend 5

New data privacy regulations surfaced

As technology and regulations evolve rapidly, we noted the importance of staying on top of data privacy policies, procedures and protections.

Over the year, new regulations on data privacy emerged. The UK's strong customer authentication (SCA), for example, went into effect in March to protect customers from fraud. In the US, in addition to the American Data and Privacy Protection Act (ADPPA) considered by Congress, at least 35 states and the District of Columbia introduced or considered almost 200 consumer privacy bills in 2022. Multiple states have enacted consumer privacy laws in recent years, some of which will go into effect in 2023, including California, Colorado, Connecticut, Virginia and Utah. In Canada, lawmakers proposed a new federal privacy law in June that will impact businesses if passed.

Our advice remains: Keep on top of regulatory and compliance issues.

In 2022, the trends we predicted at the outset of the year—customer expectations of digital payments, buy now, pay later, connected commerce, the digitisation of B2B payments and regulations on data privacy—matured over the year. You can expect these trends to continue to shape the landscape well into the next year—with more on the horizon.

What's coming in commerce and payments in 2023?

Every year ushers in innovations that push payments and commerce into new domains. That's why you need to be ready for what's next. Sign up for early access to our 2023 Commerce and Payments Trends Report. You'll get our exclusive expert payment insights—delivered to you first.

Sign up now

What's coming in commerce and payments in 2023?

Every year ushers in innovations that push payments and commerce into new domains. That's why you need to be ready for what's next. Explore our 2023 Commerce and Payment Trends Report to learn which emerging trends will impact your business.

*The global survey of 217 businesses mentioned in this report was conducted online between July 12, 2022, and August 12, 2022.