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Voice commerce, a top payment trend in 2018

Payments Trends to Watch in 2018, a research published by the IDC Market Spotlight and sponsored by the Electronic Transaction Association (ETA), has placed voice commerce among the top payment trends for 2018. A key recommendation urges the industry to improve the user experience.

Voice is a natural way to communicate and it will become a very important part of commerce as we move forward,” said James Wester, Research Director for IDC. “2018 will be the year we see voice commerce provide a seamless and easier way to make a payment.

The financial institutions, networks, payment processors and FinTechs powering payments are using new interfaces and better security to drive commerce for consumers and retailers,” stated Jason Oxman, CEO of the Electronic Transaction Association. “As the trade association of the payments technology industry, ETA will use this research report to focus in 2018 on creating new opportunities for partnerships that integrate payments and technology.

IDC forecasts that, in the next 2 years, 30 billion devices will be connected to the Internet. 2018 will be the year of discussions and research on the acceptance of the new sale channel by merchants and vendors. Another big theme will be voice-enabled commerce through in-home devices, payment initiated by chatbots on social networks and connect devices managing purchasing decisions and payments. This new sale channel is expected to initiate 150 billion USD in transactions, according to ETA research. Financial institutions and payment providers must prepare for Internet of Thing (IoT) devices.

The research also forecasts growing investments in point-of-sale (POS) hardware and software solutions. Merchants will spend an estimated 1.7 billion USD on POS hardware both in 2018 and 2019. The increasing focus on POS as a main interaction point between merchants and consumers implies a growing demand for fast and reliable software. American merchants will spend 2.2 billion USD in 2018 and 2.4 billion USD in 2019 on POS software, according to the IDC. Meanwhile, customer analytics and loyalty management solutions will reach 1.4 billion USD in sales, in 2018, and 1.6 billion USD, in 2019.

Banks will need to plan significant investments into infrastructure to keep up with the accelerating volume of payments. The IDC forecasts investments of nearly 5 billion USD on hardware, software and IT services in the next 24 months.