Exploding Internet Access Plus Ubiquitous Smartphone Use Equals Digital Payments Boom

All the digital payments innovation will pay off in some crazy numbers soon, says a report from non-profit think tank The Demand Institute, which is run by Nielsen and The Conference Board.

That strengthens the future of PFs worldwide, as cashless payments could result in over $10 trillion in additional consumer spending over the next 10 years, the report says. That figure is hand in hand with the report’s assertion that by 2020, the Internet will be available to over 1.2 billion more people than use it today. Much of that access will be through smartphones.

When you combine the fact that many people in undeveloped countries will never know banking and ecommerce using a branch or brick and mortar retail locations because of the ubiquity of smartphones and cellular signal coverage, population growth basically means digital banking and purchasing growth.

Add to this the rise of payments through social media apps, such as the recent ability to transact through Facebook’s Messenger app, as well as the determination by Mastercard to ramp up the onboarding of millions of merchants, also by 2020, the numbers seem conservative.

All signs point to less and less cash, as card brands, retailers, banks, fintech innovations, startups, telecommunications firms, technology manufacturers like Apple and Samsung, Internet giants like Google, and governments (the Indian government with its pro-digital policies) all are competing with one another to grab shares of digital wallet and at the same time enable one another as they work together, like Apple Pay and Square and Visa, Mastecard and PayPal, to make payments faster, more accessible, and more frictionless.

Some of the world’s most populous and underbanked regions make payments headlines daily and are squarely in the crosshairs of all those mentioned above; it’s fascinating to watch innovation try to keep up with populations and their financial needs.

Those coins and paper bills? Keep them for the museums of the future