How cloud is accelerating the growth of digital payments

Retailers have been faced with a flood of customers online – they must now ensure they have the right tools to keep them coming back. Here's where cloud is playing a crucial role.
13 May 2020

Cloud computing is set to power the growth of digital payments. Source: Shutterstock

  • The global digital payments market will grow by US$23.45 billion in the next four years
  • The COVID-19 crisis has prompted the wide use of contactless payments across the globe 
  • Cloud-based solutions are bolstering the adoption of digital payments 

For those players who were ready to adapt quickly and reap a surge in demand, the e-commerce has been – for want of a better term – one of the few commercial ‘winners’ of the COVID-19 crisis.

With retail outlets shut down and consumers essentially locked in, e-commerce has witnessed tremendous growth. There has been a 129 percent year-over-year growth in US & Canadian e-commerce orders as of April 21, and an impressive 146 percent growth in all online retail orders.

Of course, while a surge online brought opportunity, it also came with great pressures. With supply chains in disarray, stock has been choked and delivery times have been lengthened; many e-commerce sites – like grocery retailer Ocado in the UK – cracked under a mass of traffic; other sites had to enforce virtual queueing systems so as not to overrun their domains.

When lockdowns are relieved and lifted, retailers can’t expect a flood of customers back into the physical realm. New habits and behaviors are being cut which could linger longer.

According to new research by Kameleoon, 73 percent of consumers say current online experience from brands will change future spending post-lockdown, and 50 percent will spend less or switch from brands that have not met their needs during pandemic

That really means that businesses must focus on ensuring e-commerce experiences are seamless, competitive and flexible – in spite of the turmoil.

For retailers with both physical and digital presence, creating a seamless and convenient experience between the two may help entice back a chunk of customers into the store in due course as well – continuing to make things as slick as possible will be crucial.

The power of cloud for digital payments

Seemingly every industry, to a degree, has increased their reliance on cloud technology in the past few months, and the e-commerce sector is certainly no exception. Now, cloud computing applications provide the power to ramp up services and customer experiences as a result. And one of those key applications lies in payment.

cloud-based payment system will not only bring added convenience to customers and retailers, but also provides enhanced data security and reduced costs if implemented the right way.

According to Technavio, a global market research firm, the scope of global payment gateway systems is predicted to grow by US$23.45 billion between 2020 and 2024.  

A key driver of this growth is the spike in the adoption of cloud computing technologies being used in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and their demand for cloud-based solutions to consolidate how they collect digital payments.

Payment service providers can leverage platform-as-a-service models, allowing developers to build, host and launch applications quickly without having to worry about setting up and managing their own server.

As a result, services available now allow consumers to make payments through the tap of a mobile banking app, or scanning a QR code from an e-wallet. 

These options are made possible as cloud technology plays a significant role in linking and integrating EFTPOS (electronic funds transfer at point of sale) systems with other services, like Apple Pay.

For consumers who are used to the convenience and ease that technologies bring into their daily activities, they expect their transaction experiences to be seamless and secure. This is where cloud-based technologies and solutions come into play.

The cloud’s main feature is accessibility; operations in different locations have access to the same data and network. On the one hand, system updates and improved security happen in real-time, and all business users in theory receive the same experience. This is a clear advantage for remote working companies spread across a region, or even around the world.

On the other hand, these systems carry security risks, especially when there’s a multitude of entry points, each emanating from various locations or individuals. Consumer data like credit card details, transaction histories, and other personal information are more vulnerable should a data breach happen.

All things considered, business leaders that are familiar with the pros and cons of the cloud will be careful in weighing out their options, looking at the advantages and disadvantages between public, private, and multicloud solutions, assessing and mitigating the risks. 

The benefits of cloud computing combined with the appeal of digital payments are poised to outweigh the potential risks and adoption, while more than ever, we’ve seen recently that consumers are ready to embrace new forms of payment.

Last month, a report by The Business Research Company (TBRC) showed that the decline of cash payments in-store was caused by advice from the government bodies and the World Health Organization (WHO) to minimize contact and opt for contactless payment methods whenever possible.

In this respect, the global health crisis has led to a rising demand for digital payments, and the cloud is a major contributor to the development of this future-forward payment method.