Looking Ahead: 2022 Predictions for the Payments Industry

It’s hard to believe that another year has already passed. At OLS Payments, we have seen rapid changes and growth in 2021. Businesses looked to prioritize and overcome payments security challenges. We also saw merchants meet consumers’ growing demands for fast and contactless methods as a result of the pandemic.

As we approach 2022, it’s time to evaluate what’s ahead for payments and use these insights to prepare for success. In doing so, I’ve identified seven predictions that I believe will shape the industry in the new year.

1.    Disagreement between simplified payments vs. payments diversity

In 2022, we’ll see a battle emerge between IT groups who want a simplified payments scheme and merchants who are looking for more payment diversity and more data per transaction. IT groups are shifting to a unified model while at the same time, payments diversity is flourishing like never before.

2.    Encryption re-work between merchants and processors

If you don’t know already, the PCI PIN Security Requirement 18-3 (Key Block) mandate was put in place to require financial institutions and their partners to improve the security of their underlying systems. The next deadline in this phased mandate requires organizations to implement key blocks for external connections to associations and networks. With a deadline of Jan. 2023, merchants will need to take a good look at their encryption processes in 2022 and assess what steps they must take to meet standards and comply with the guidelines.

3.    End-to-end encryption lock-in vs. processor diversity

Merchants are increasingly opting into what are called “end-to-end encryption schemes” in attempts to take a wider cut of their applications out of PCI scope. At the same time, many of these same organizations are wondering how they can engage multiple processors to gain financial and operational leverage. The former objective locks in a merchant very tightly to a single processor while the latter explicitly sets out to accomplish the opposite. There is friction building on this fault line as these two plates grind in opposite directions.

4.    Aging interfaces give way to modern solutions

In 1987, the International Organization for Standardization (‘ISO’) created a now-long-in-the-tooth standard called ISO 8583 to regulate the concept of governing systems that exchange electronic transactions from credit or debit card data.

With a younger generation of coders joining the workforce, these legacy interfaces are losing appeal very quickly. Decision-makers make snap judgments on an organization based on what their interfaces look like, how they’re presented and what the “mean time to go-live” is. The year 2022 is when ISO 8583, 35 years after its inception, accelerates its descent to ultimate oblivion.

5.    Increasing usage of QR codes

The U.S. still lags in QR code usage compared to other countries around the world. However, in 2022, I predict that QR codes will become more commonplace as businesses accept QR code capabilities and integrate QR codes into their payments ecosystems. You can learn more about what to consider when implementing QR code payments in this blog post here.

6.    Rising contactless capabilities

Did you know that more than half of Americans now use contactless payments? This number is growing year-over-year as consumers look for fast and easy ways to pay. Major strides are being made by card associations to make tap acceptance a priority. Merchants must innovate to keep up with this trend by replacing any antiquated point-of-sale technology with contactless solutions that are innovative and futureproof.

7.    More directed spend proliferation

Our parent company, InComm Payments, has helped spread the increasing ubiquity of directed spend through the OTC Network (a supplemental benefits product offering). It’s a special class of transaction processing that requires far more data to be collated, passed and adjudicated. We’re in a position to see that solutions of this class are proliferating and gaining strategic importance. That means applications will need to be modified, stretched and articulated to carry the additional weight of these transactional demands.

OLS Payments Can Help You Navigate Payments Challenges in 2022

2022 will be a year of adopting new payment methods, evolving security requirements, and new point-of-sale solutions that handle widening payment diversity with ease. As these trends unfold, there will be an increasing need for a solution that can handle the challenges and complexities of the future of payments.

OLS Payments has helped businesses stay at the forefront of emerging technology for more than 20 years. We are excited for what’s to come in the new year as we continue helping merchants manage complex payments and provide a great customer experience.

Ready to find payments success in 2022? Contact us today to learn how OLS Payments can help you ring in the new year.