How the payments landscape is changing

Note from the editor

The payments space is in the middle of a rapid time of change. COVID-19 sped up how both retailers and consumers think about payment channels, and concerns about physical contact led to a rise in adoption of contactless payment methods.

The buy now, pay later model has been on the rise, and with it, concerns over consumer debt levels as more shoppers take on payment plans for everyday purchases. The advantages of checkout-free capabilities have come to light, as retailers install technology in their existing stores and pursue convenience in new store concepts. And retail giants like Walmart and Amazon are introducing new payment offerings and pursuing deeper efforts in the space as consumers' preferred payment options change.

But, most of all, it feels like retailers are thinking through the best way to streamline and incorporate payment options as a way to capture, delight and retain shoppers. As the space shifts, the future of who will best utilize and employ new means of supporting retail operations through different payments is anyone's for the taking. 


Kaarin Vembar Editor

6 payments trends for 2021

The pandemic accelerated emerging payments trends, as "both the merchant and customer side picked up pace to evolve with changing market conditions," Forrester analyst Lily Varon said.

• Published April 6, 2021

The convenience of buy now, pay later creates risks: Fitch

• Published Aug. 3, 2021

What launching a fintech startup means for Walmart

The big-box retailer's partnership with fintech investor Ribbit Capital signals a shift from earning consumer spending to managing it.

• Published Jan. 21, 2021

Amazon will accept Venmo next year

"Pay with Venmo is one of the key revenue drivers for Venmo going forward," PayPal CEO Dan Schulman said.

• Published Nov. 10, 2021

International players flock to US as consumers warm to buy now, pay later

European and Australian companies that dominate the BNPL marketplace are taking on U.S. rivals.

• Published April 20, 2021

Starbucks, Amazon Go open cashierless store concept in NYC

• Published Nov. 19, 2021

Congress debates pros and cons of buy now, pay later

Users love the convenience but also are falling behind in their payments.

• Published Nov. 8, 2021

Klarna acquires social shopping startup Hero

• Published July 13, 2021

More retailer mobile apps offer PayPal than Apple Pay: report

• Published April 15, 2021

Visa, Mastercard face biggest challenges in a decade

Regulatory, legislative and court confrontations over the card network companies' fees are ratcheting up pressure again for reform of the behemoths' practices.

• Published May 21, 2021

Latest payment trends in retail

COVID-19 shifted how both retailers and consumers think about payment channels. Retailers are now implementing checkout-free capabilities, and millennial and Gen Z shoppers are leading the way when it comes to contactless payment adoption.

included in this trendline
  • PayPal introduces 'Pay in 4' installment payment service
  • Visa, Mastercard face biggest challenges in a decade
  • Walgreens to launch digital bank accounts this year
Our Trendlines go deep on the biggest trends. These special reports, produced by our team of award-winning journalists, help business leaders understand how their industries are changing.
Davide Savenije Editor-in-Chief at Industry Dive.