Looking ahead: Payment trends for the 2016 holiday shopping season
To best position your business to take advantage of the holiday shopping rush, it’s the perfect time to familiarize yourself with what’s slated to be hot in payments processing this fall. By September 2015, 24 percent of U.S. consumers had already started their holiday shopping; another 24 percent planned to begin theirs before Thanksgiving (Source: NPD Group). Gallup reported that, in 2014, U.S. consumers age 18 and older spent an average of $720 each on Christmas gifts. That figure rose to $830 in 2015. It’s safe to assume that individuals will be spending even more this holiday shopping season!
Don’t wait until it’s too late to educate yourself on how and when consumers are going to be spending money this holiday shopping season.
Mobile payments continue to grow
In a 2015 study from the Federal Reserve and GfK, 45 percent of mobile payment users said they started using the payment method because they enjoy the convenience. According to a 2015 Harris Interactive study, 39 percent of Millennials were “very or somewhat interested” in in-person mobile payments via tapping a receiver, as opposed to cash or traditional card payments. That same study found that 33 percent of Generation X-ers were also “very or somewhat interested” in paying using a mobile device tapped on a reader.
The amount of customers who prefer to pay using a mobile device will continue to grow into this holiday shopping season. In 2014, just 10 percent of smartphone users accessed proximity mobile payments; by 2019, 2015 eMarketer research estimates that 31 percent of smartphone users will use this payment method. To capitalize on the growing interest in mobile payments among these important groups of consumers, speak with your merchant services provider about implementing mobile payments acceptance now.
Gift cards more popular than ever
In 2014, 37 percent of consumers said they hoped to receive gift cards or gift certificates for the holidays—making it the favorite gift type choice for that holiday shopping season (Source: Deloitte). A 2015 PwC study reported that gift cards was the most popular gift type across all income levels in the U.S., with 52 percent of respondents saying they give gift cards. During the 2015 holiday season, 58.8 percent of people age 18 and older said they would like to receive gift cards or gift certificates, making it the top choice of gift type (Source: National Retail Federation; Prosper Insights & Analytics). This trend of gift card popularity can only be expected to grow for this year’s holiday shopping season, so make sure you’re positioned to tap into it with a gift card program that’s tailored to your business needs and your customer needs.
EMV as key to payments security
By the time the 2016 holiday shopping season kicks into high gear, the U.S. will have a full year of the EMV shift under our belt. However, many merchants still aren’t ready to accept EMV chip cards, leaving them liable to certain types of fraud that can be prevented thanks to EMV technology. Make sure you have fully upgraded your POS terminals and the rest of your payment systems to be ready for your customers to “dip” their chip cards come November and December.