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Hold Your Horses – Thoughts on What WON'T Happen in 2016

posted on: Fri Jan 15 2016

online paymentsHappy New Year, all. As you may have seen, we ended 2015 with a bang and now it’s time to look forward to 2016. When scrolling through your RSS reader and social media feeds, you may have come across a few too many predictions for 2016. We’ve seen the outlandish and the very far-fetched crystal ball forecasts. And we’re here to level set.

While the new year may bring exciting new ventures and possibilities, don’t jump on the predictions bandwagon just yet. We call bluff on many of the prognostications being tossed around when it comes to the online and mobile world. Here’s what we think:

  1. Black Friday will cease to exist… in its current form. Given the transition to mobile/online purchases rather than brick and mortar shopping, Black Friday will merge with Cyber Monday and the days surrounding to create a week-long mega sales event, rather than two solo days of sales spikes. 
  2. Fraudsters just aren’t that into you, millennials. Gen Z, or “The Founders,” as MTV has coined them, will be the new target for criminals. This is the first truly native generation when to technology, having been raised with devices at a younger age than their predecessors. This also means that Gen Z’ers possess a greater sense of indifference around what can be lost by not making security a priority, making them the latest prey when it comes to cybercrime. 
  3. There will be no new payment innovators. Consolidation within the seemingly endless pack of payment options will begin, with consumers flocking to a small number of top contenders. With online payments becoming ubiquitous, consumers will load their preferred payment methods and feel little urgency to test others. Payment providers will struggle to get their payment method, type, or innovation out front, and consumers will be slow to adopt new offerings.
  4. The EMV struggle won’t quit. Despite October being the deadline for US retailers to shift to EMV-friendly checkout, many businesses (nearly 40%) still haven’t implemented the new system. Even after 2015 has passed, many merchants – mostly smaller ones that are less able to absorb losses – will still rely on old technology, opening them up to more liability with point-of-sale (POS) fraud. That said, the market will likely see a dramatic increase in offline fraud as a result of EMV adoption and pushing criminals online.
  5. Virtual currency ain’t gonna happen. Bitcoin came out in 2009, creating a lot of buzz around new forms of online currency. However, years later, it’s pretty clear that bitcoin, and other virtual alternates to cold hard cash, are far from the game changer they were intended to be.
  6. Not all wearables will rise.Many wearable manufacturers just aren’t seeing the adoption rates they had hoped for. Companies will realize that the greatest opportunities lie in health and wellness niches, and that consumers prefer standalone products, not ones you need a smartphone with which to interact. Wearables that incorporate both aspects will rise to the top and really kick off widespread consumer adoption.
  7. Connected cars aren’t quite there yet. Many predict that 2016 will be the year of the connected or automated car. While more and more new cars will be wirelessly connected to mobile devices, truly “smart” self-driving cars won’t be introduced to the masses this soon; leaving this innovation safe from fraudsters for at least another year. That doesn’t mean fraudsters won’t develop applications to scan your Internet-ready vehicle. Cars that allow interaction with your smartphone are left as wide open as public access Wi-Fi (of course, 68% of us still use free, public Wi-Fi, despite the voice in our heads that warn us of the risks in doing so…but that’s commentary best saved for another list).
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