Whether by tapping new markets, developing innovative new platforms, or pushing new use cases that add value to existing products, digital payments providers will be focused on finding fresh avenues for growth in 2017. As digital disruption continues to revolutionize the way we pay — and digital payments become more seamlessly integrated into daily life — the coming year will be defined by payments companies pushing for ways to gain new users, incentivize user engagement, and build habitual usage and brand loyalty.

Below are our top predictions for the digital payments market in 2017. These predictions are based on our ongoing tracking, analysis, and forecasting of the payments market, and conversations with industry executives.

US mobile wallet firms will drastically expand their use cases in an attempt to catalyze adoption. Mobile wallet adoption in the US has largely stagnated at about a quarter of users with eligible devices. That’s bad news for the likes of Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Android Pay, and it's likely these players will scramble to push new initiatives in an attempt to galvanize interest in their wallets. 

It’s likely that the addition of value-added services and use cases will go beyond what we’ve already seen as mobile wallets look to grab users.

  • Historically, mobile wallets were focused on making credit or debit card payments at the in-store point-of-sale (POS). But the use cases have expanded, first to in-app payments, then to rewards and loyalty offerings, and most recently, to browser-based payments on the desktop and mobile web. These have likely helped mobile wallets onboard users, because they’re desired services, but they haven’t been entirely effective tools.
  • It’s likely we’ll see that go further. At a recent event, Apple Pay lead Jennifer Bailey noted that the wallet is looking to encompass “everything in [a user’s] wallet.” Down the line, it’s likely that will include newer forms of payment, like mass-transit fares, which at least 12% of customers want despite limited market availability, according to ACI Worldwide. And it could help users form habits around the wallet, since these payments tend to be made on a relatively regular basis. This is a model that’s seen success in other markets, like Japan and the UK. Adding new, habit-related features to mobile-wallet offerings could be part [...]