As the Internet becomes an increasingly central part of our lives, it should come as no surprise that it is also shaping how we view business. Or, perhaps more specifically, how we view payment structures. Thanks to advances in the Internet, we’ve slowly moved away from credit cards and checkbooks in favor of mobile and Internet-based payment systems. The question though, is whether this represents the pinnacle of marketing opportunities or if it’s just the beginning of new ones.
It is currently estimated that there will be roughly 24 billion devices connected to the Internet by the year 2020. For a frame of reference, it’s estimated that there is a little over 7 billion people on the entire planet. It’s clear that as people become more comfortable with connecting to the Internet, their desire to use it for all facets of their life also increases.
If we’re moving away from traditional forms of payment though, what’s next for credit card companies? As it turns out, companies like MasterCard and Visa aren’t just going quietly into the night. Instead, they’re pouring their own resources into improving the underlying infrastructure for payment systems on the Internet. Even if people stop relying on traditional credit cards, it’s clear that companies like MasterCard will find new ways to maintain their hold on the market and continue to influence how it evolves.
For businesses, this evolution of payment structures is great. By making it easier for people to purchase things, the Internet has created countless opportunities for small businesses that otherwise wouldn’t have existed. When people feel that there’s no risk attached to a purchase, they’re more likely to follow through on it. This market growth is only expected to continue growing as wearable technology moves from science fiction to science fact too.
In addition to payment-enabled wearable technologies, marketing firms are also interested in moving transactions to other Internet-capable devices, such as cars or devices built directly into smart homes. The ultimate goal is for people to make purchases from virtually anywhere, ensuring that businesses are always just a few clicks away from their customers.