PayPal Looks Ahead: Six Predictions for 2014

eBay Inc. Staff


Editor's note: This blog post by PayPal President David Marcus appeared on the eBay Inc. and PayPal Forward blogs.

Prediction lists are everywhere this time of year and they often have more to do with sounding clever than sharing insight. So I hesitated last year when a colleague encouraged me to blog about key trends to watch for in the payments industry in 2013.

In the end, though, I had a lot of fun writing Looking Ahead to 2013. It was great to go on record with my thoughts about key trends affecting payments. And the blog prompted some fascinating conversations about how technology is transforming shopping experiences.

Last year I highlighted four “thought starters”—the continuing lack of adoption of NFC technology at the cash register; the merger of payments, loyalty programs, and coupons; the rise of mobile cash registers, and the beginning of location-aware, context-relevant shopping and payment experiences. The reality of 2013 wasn’t too far off… so I decided to give it another shot this year.

My job at PayPal gives me a unique opportunity to work with peers and strategize with partners across many industries about solving real problems and delivering exciting new experiences for consumers and retailers. That leads to a pretty privileged view into what’s coming next.

So here are my predictions for 2014:

1. Traditional retail fights back

In recent years, technology innovation from companies has disrupted traditional retail by making it easy for consumers to browse in a store and then buy online at the cheapest possible price. It’s a practice called “showrooming” and in-store merchants understandably hate it. This year, retailers will start leveraging and converting their retail footprint into logistical assets to enable shoppers to buy anywhere they want: in-store, on mobile, and on the web, and get fast-delivery, or pick-up in store the same day. Local will be more important than ever – and from our perspective we couldn’t be more excited about innovations like PayPal Beacon which will transform the retail environment for your local main street by bringing back opportunities for personalized service all driven by mobile.

2. Mobile will transform commerce forever

If you work for a payment technology company, this prediction won’t be a surprise. But many consumers are just beginning to experience the freedom, flexibility, and fun of mobile payments and shopping, and they’re going to want more. This will lead to a flood of new payment experiences built on technologies such as sensors, geolocation, and the cloud that will soon make standing in a long checkout line and paying with a card seem like something out of the Stone Age.

Read David Marcus’ remaining four predictions for 2014 at the PayPal Forward Blog.