Member Exclusive, Payments

Payments in 2021: Experts weigh in with their perspectives on retail, financial inclusion, and contactless

  • Industry experts weigh in on upcoming payments trends in 2021.
  • We explore financial inclusion, the impact of contactless payments on payroll and more.

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Payments in 2021: Experts weigh in with their perspectives on retail, financial inclusion, and contactless

As 2021 draws closer, the payments industry faces overarching developments in the digitization of payments across a variety of sectors. Tearsheet interviewed leading finance professionals on their forecasts for payments in 2021. 

Digitization of payments in retail 

Helena Mao is the vice president of global product strategy at Blackhawk Network.

“Digital and contactless payments are here to stay, and retailers need to be prepared to offer shoppers truly seamless, omnichannel payment experiences. For many merchants, physical, digital and stored value payments are disparate and clunky. The brands that stand out in 2021 will be those that bridge the gap between physical and digital payments to provide consumers with complete end-to-end omnichannel experiences, including how they pay.



Taking it a step further, brands who can give consumers complete access to their spending power by transforming loyalty points, rewards and other assets into usable payments stand to truly wow shoppers, deepen engagement and even find new customer acquisition channels.”

Financial inclusion

Jennifer Worley is the senior vice president of product and marketing at Meta Payments, a Division of MetaBank.

“Use of mobile payment wallets and contactless payments have surged, as merchants have had a decreased desire to handle or accept cash. Right now, it may make more sense to order an item online you’d traditionally buy with cash in-store, or to arrange to purchase your takeout dinner in advance electronically. Many businesses are also accelerating plans to switch from checks to digital options for payments. This move has a variety of benefits, both today and in times of normality.

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