The pandemic has managed to push us towards a shopping experience that is mostly e-commerce centric. After all, with nation after nation having to go into lockdown, there hasn’t really been much that consumers could do but yield to this form of shopping. While e-commerce has been around for decades, it was primarily used to procure goods that were often from distant locations — generally overseas. What makes shopping so much more innovative now is the inclusion of mobile payments.

Part of our shopping experience as consumers involves constantly changing payment trends. As our CEO Guido Vermeent observed, “there was a significant push towards digital, as more people relied on e/m-commerce channels during [the] lockdown. The new behaviors they’ve developed during the pandemic are irreversible.”

More people than ever are logging on and making online purchases for the first time. Forbes quotes a survey showing that 36% of consumers are now buying retail goods online, while 21% are foregoing dining out and in its place have been ordering take-away instead. The pandemic has developed behaviours that show no signs of letting up and are expected to continue on, becoming a part of our norm.

Consumer behaviours influencing payment options

Not only has the pandemic encouraged more consumers to choose the online route, but it has also made many warier of transacting in-store. While the pandemic did initially stall the economy of regular brick and mortar shops, it eventually picked up. The dilemma then became finding a payment option that was both convenient and, of course, aligned with safety protocols imposed by various governments.

Mobile payments offer biometric and customer authentication that showcase better security while ensuring a smooth and safe checkout experience. Aside from this, there has been a clear influx of money transfers between family and friends during these challenging times. Consumers have begun taking advantage of mobile payment options that allow easy payment of groceries and sending funds to those in need.

QR-code payments add flexibility

QR-code based payments benefit both consumers and merchants. What’s great about the QR-code system is how accessible it is to everyone with a bank account and a smartphone, meaning the majority of the population. QR-code payments are simple to use, convenient and secure. Since many consumers tend to be less receptive to downloading separate payment apps, banks have stepped in to include QR systems like Payconiq into their banking software.

This simple implementation eliminates the need to download another app, making the purchase experience quick and less cumbersome for both buyer and seller. Consequently, the integration of QR-code systems has allowed banks to maintain their reliance, especially in a payment sector that’s dynamic and constantly changing.

Another key element that consumers demand to have is cross-border checkout experience interoperability between payment solutions. In 2020, Payconiq announced that its payment solutions in Belgium, Netherlands, and Luxembourg are fully interoperable, enabling consumers and merchants from the three countries to pay and receive payments seamlessly.

Interoperable solutions with local flavours

Local habits, as well as the behaviour of consumers, vary from one country to another. In some instances, it can even vary within regions of a country. While there are markets that have no trouble fully integrating technological advancements, there are still a lot of cash-loving conservative ones out there.

Countries have started to adapt their own payment methods, with some being entirely reliant on card providers. The success of any payment method, however, lies in the adoption of both consumer and merchant. Since they’re linked closely, they influence the success or downfall of these methods equally.