Although an incredibly simple task and one that takes place every single day, the way customers make payments has considerably changed throughout history and looks extremely different from just a few years ago.
Indeed, with the technological advances that have happened over the last few years, things have continued to evolve and will likely continue to do so in the near future as well. Things such as eWallets and cryptocurrencies have all appeared in recent times as virtual currency has come to the forefront of the industry.
Boom of the Internet
The rise of the internet meant that everything would change forever and this signalled the first evolution in online payments. Prior to being able to make a payment via the internet, credit card payments were needed to be taken. These would be done either over the phone or via the credit card payment terminals that were made available in 1979 by VISA in which carbon copies were created.
However, it was not long before they started to change the way payments could be made, as the internet provided users with a whole new experience to deal with money - regardless if they were a customer or a business.
The world of e-commerce certainly helped as well, as these companies became enablers for uses to spend their money online and make transactions that way. With the likes of Amazon (1994) and eBay (1995) being formed, as well as the introduction of PayPal (1998), there was more of a demand to turn currency into a virtual thing.
As time has evolved, newer pieces of technology were also created to allow for payment methods to change. The introduction of smartphones has arguably seen the evolution of online payments increase at a speed whereby it would have been incredibly difficult to predict, whilst new pieces of technology such as smartwatches have started to hit the shelfs - with many of them being able to store payment options on them.
Services such as Apple Pay and Google Pay have become incredibly popular as they are available on Apple and Android operating systems, and most people in the world will have a smartphone that utilises one of those, thus providing real accessibility.
Perhaps the biggest evolution in the way payments are made online is the introduction of Bitcoin and other various forms of cryptocurrencies.
Although these are perhaps still some distance from being able to replace ‘real’ currency, there is no doubt that they have started to become even more popular as time goes by and it would not be a surprise if they became a staple currency.
Many businesses already accept payments via these methods, with many recognising that many potential customers like to use cryptocurrency as a form of payment. Indeed, businesses such as online casinos that can be found at casinosmuchbetter.com, are already offering a variety of ways in which players can use this particular type of currency.
Naturally, as it is still a new form of ‘currency’, there are still some issues that will need to be ironed out before it hits mainstream, however it can be a clear indicator that consumers are now looking to move even further away from using the more traditional forms of money.
What could happen in the future?
The experience of using the traditional metal coins and the paper notes appears to be dwindling around the world because of the ability to make payments via online payment gateways and just by the sheer ability of being able to buy whatever they want via an online platform.
Thus, it would not be a surprise to see these cease to exist in the very near future but what could the future hold?
Considering that fingerprints and facial recognition are already used when using a number of technological devices, perhaps shops in the future will also have devices whereby accounts are linked to faces/fingerprints and then essentially eliminating the need to carry around any physical money?
With the rate that online payments have been evolving, it would not be a surprise if something like that did happen.
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