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The Green Sheet Online Edition

March 27, 2023 • Issue 23:03:02

Payment card processing trends in 2023

By Elie Y. Katz
National Retail Solutions

Today, almost anyone can learn the trades of merchant service providers (MSPs), independent software vendors (ISVs), and independent sales organizations (ISOs). And with proper research, store owners can find technological solutions to advance their businesses. Consequently, unlike when they had only cumbersome AIO POS terminals, retailers can easily research trendy credit card machines and retrofit iPad or Android devices to optimize their transactions.

Now that such tools can be conveniently acquired and implemented by anyone with minimal help, many business owners are purchasing POS systems compatible with credit card readers to take customer payments seamlessly. That's why many POS systems now accept EBT, EMV, Apple Pay, Google Pay, etc. The ways businesses handle everyday transactions is evolving rapidly.


There's been a paradigm shift toward transparency in recent years, especially in the fintech industry. One would be hard-pressed to find business ideas not being openly shared, known and competed around. The fintech industry has plenty of technology providers, with many credit card processing companies competing heavily for retail customers.

The actual trends are not about who renders the hottest products and services, but rather who offers retailers the most ethically organized, conscientiously clean and productive solutions. Payment acceptance companies must comply with PCI Security Standards Council requirements encompassing compliant hardware, a secure network with a firewall, antivirus software and authentication data.

A true partner

With the internet at everyone's disposal, it's inevitable merchants will stay updated about the latest gadgets. Coincidentally, technology providers are shifting toward silent partnerships. The path of virtue dictates that fintech providers help their clients do what they initially set out to do, which is good business without the complicated stress and overhead costs that can form around it—that is, setting up the technology to work and keep working for them in the long-run.

Successful MSPs cannot rely solely on technology trends to sell their products and services; they need to be a part of the retailer's growth to help them excel in what they do best. Technology can seem overwhelming to a busy brick-and-mortar retailer. Companies providing high-tech solutions also need to consider retailers' pain points. A busy store owner has little time or availability to read user manuals, navigate complex user interfaces, and learn about less-than-obvious technological features. So it's important for technology providers to keep their offerings extremely user-friendly and offer stellar customer support.

In the United States today, many mom-and-pop establishments are family-owned, and with the country's growing immigrant population, ethnic communities are growing and supporting their local stores, see https://pewrsr.ch/42gZDFP. So it's additionally valuable for technology providers to offer support in various languages.

Trending technologies in 2023

While it's important to not rely only on trends, it's also important to know which ones are trending now. Following are several technologies gaining traction in 2023.

  • Mobile payment: Mobile payments will likely replace credit cards as the preferred payment method. Merchants will use their smartphones for checkout without swiping or dipping a physical credit card, a trend that offers a more convenient form of payment while reducing the risk of fraud. Plus, for consumers, making a few taps on your smartphone is much easier than rummaging through your wallet in a long line of impatient people. Mobile payment has probably outsmarted credit cards as the most efficient form of payment.

    Most Americans also believe the trajectory to be shifting toward smartphone payment. According to the vice president of Harris Poll and Public Relations, "The biggest news for retailers is that most Americans believe this is coming. Granted, not overnight or this year, but it's not the distant future either." Remember, this does not eliminate the need to process cards or cash. Still, as technology continues to evolve, younger generations will likely adopt mobile as their primary form of transaction.

  • QR codes and self-service kiosks: Merchants desire convenience. QR codes and new inventory technologies are on the rise. Businesses have started using QR codes as a primary form of marketing. One Super Bowl commercial even had a QR code as the main display in the advertisement. Businesses would be remiss to disregard the importance of QR codes.

    Personal kiosks became the preferred method of payment during the Covid-19 pandemic. These self-service kiosks also allow customers to leave tips without carrying cash. An increase in customer satisfaction typically follows allowing customers to browse, order and pay for products without prolonged interaction.

  • WIC to eWIC: How businesses process government-subsidized payments is evolving as well. The government-subsidized WIC program has come a long way since its inception using only paper checks. Now with electronification, eWIC is available, and traditional paper WIC checks will become antiquated in the near future. eWIC is a more flexible form of payment that offers more convenience and security than paper checks. eWIC also eliminates the need to keep track of paper checks and makes it easier to shop for approved items in stores.
  • eSIM wireless cc processing machines: Wireless credit card machines can tap into the GSM network using eSIM technology without needing physical sim cards. Similar to how the iPhone 14 operates without needing a physical SIM card, wireless POS systems and credit card processing machines can use eSIM technology with just a carrier or data plan.
  • Crypto transactions: A rift in the crypto world took place in November when FTX filed for bankruptcy. The fallout shook the crypto world, increasing skepticism among many crypto investors. Despite this, the use of crypto transactions has been rising, proving that digital currency is not going anywhere. In fact, El Salvador endorsed bitcoin as an official currency, boosting global recognition of crypto transactions. The future of cryptocurrency as a medium of exchange has never looked better, especially in countries where conventional currency has lost value (see https://bit.ly/3yMnVK7).
  • Ecommerce: Ecommerce platforms with speedy delivery are sure to create instant customer gratification—no more waiting days for orders via conventional shipping. Large ecommerce operations such as Amazon have warehouses that can deliver within a few hours or as fast as next-day delivery. Brick-and-mortar operations are offering same-day delivery as well.

While useful trends are here to stay for the long run, MSPs, ISVs and ISOs can refine them with the goal of helping merchants differentiate the trends that are fads from the ones that are here to stay, and helping merchants capitalize on the good ones. end of article

Elie Y. Katz is founder, president and CEO at National Retail Solutions (NRS), https://nrsplus.com. Contact him by phone at 201-715-5179 or by email at ekatz@nrsplus.com.

The Green Sheet Inc. is now a proud affiliate of Bankcard Life, a premier community that provides industry-leading training and resources for payment professionals. Click here for more information.

Notice to readers: These are archived articles. Contact names or information may be out of date. We regret any inconvenience.

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