What’s next in payments? Follow the trend.

“Will that be cash or credit?”

That simple question was once the extent of the payment options available to consumers. Fast-forward to today’s hyper-connected society and the options span to mobile, contactless and even voice-operated. It’s not just a purchase. It’s literally an experience.

As a small business owner, you know how important it is to listen to your customers’ demands to meet and exceed their expectations. The same is happening with the payments industry – customers expect to pay how they want, when they want, with no friction. That demand is what’s driving innovation in the industry. So, to stay ahead of what your customers want, keep track of what’s trending in shopping behavior.

Cash is still king, but its days are numbered.

Our 2018 Payments Landscape Report shows that while 89 percent of shoppers say they still carry cash, 35 percent see mobile wallets as the main payment method in the year 2020. As more people upgrade their cell phones to smartphones with near-field communication (NFC) capabilities, the more access to new payment methods they’ll have. A study in 2016 by Statista, a U.S. statistics company, shows that 64 percent of shoppers who have never made a mobile payment see themselves doing so in some capacity in the future. If you don’t accept mobile payments, you’re missing a growing market.

Ecommerce business is booming.

Americans love to shop online, and that love is growing leaps and bounds. Per Statista.com, retail e-commerce sales in the U.S. are forecast to grow at a fast pace in the coming years, going from $396.7 billion in 2016 to just over $684 billion in 2020. Our research shows 23 percent of shoppers do all their shopping online, and 38 percent browse online before going into a store to complete their purchase, also known as web-rooming. That’s a TON of potential earning value for small businesses who sell online. And keep in mind the shopping experience consumers are demanding. With 31 percent of Americans using five or more connected devices to browse the internet and make purchases, you optimize your earning opportunity by extending your products and services online.

Millennials think digital is cool. Or whatever.

Millennials are now the largest consumer generation in the world, and they’re digital natives. They’re super comfortable with managing their lives on their mobile devices. In fact, they prefer a more personalized and seamless shopping experience from whatever device they choose, and 87 percent say the easier a merchant makes the purchasing process, the more likely they will choose that store over their competition. Who doesn’t like a repeat customer?

Speaking of your competition, are you keeping up?

Now that we know a preferred payment method will keep customers coming back, don’t hand them over to your competitors. 49 percent of the small business owners surveyed for our 2018 Payments Landscape Report say customer demand is their driving decision maker for new payment options, and 37 percent are looking to invest in accepting mobile payments over the next year. Don’t box yourself out, especially with so much advance warning of the growing trend.