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Top 5 leading trends for businesses in 2023

By Javier Vazquez, SVP Visa Consulting & Analytics for Visa Latin America and the Caribbean

A recurring question from customers and partners since the beginning of this year is: what are the main leading trends in business for 2023? Working in consulting and analytics in a rich network like Visa enables me to learn and discover new consumption habits and preferences every single day. Having visibility over so many trends and perspectives, as well as working with countless companies in Latin America and the Caribbean to turn data into insights and business strategies, is beyond enriching. 

Throughout 2022, we developed multiple studies and analyses in the region, covering cryptocurrencies, consumer behavior, cardholder lifecycle, traveler’s journey, and specific aspects of every sector of the economy. Thanks to the input obtained, interviews, discussions with VCA peers from around the world, and especially to VisaNet data, I selected and classified the main trends that will define the payment landscape in 2023.  This is what I found:

A new generation is beginning to stand out

The first generation of digital natives, GenZ is gaining momentum in the payment landscape as they are set to enter the workforce, own properties, get credit cards and open bank accounts. Compared to their predecessors, GenZers’ banking habits differ significantly. Born digital, they make greater use of debit products, prefer to pay using apps to traditional cards, remain cautious when it comes to using credit and keep an open mind regarding alternative payment methods. 

It is crucial that the companies in the electronic payments industry understand and respond to the circumstances that are shaping the opinions and aspirations of GenZ. Wealth is starting to be in the hands of this new group of users, who are now the engine driving the adoption of new forms of payment.

A world of B2B opportunities

Driven greatly by the fintech community, the B2B payments landscape is changing... rapidly. In 2023, a new 3.0 version of B2B payments will become available, offering consumers experiences that are similar to those they are familiar with. Emerging and growing businesses will be able to offer a streamlined, more convenient and accessible UX. As a result, companies are trying to find a more cost-effective, digital-first and faster payment system. 

Every company in expansion is starting to look for a payment provider that can offer comprehensive and integrated solutions which in turn give new stakeholders the opportunity to enter the game and create solutions that meet such needs.

Web 3 technologies are crucial

Companies in Latin America and the Caribbean should not overlook the tech innovations that are typical of web 3, such as blockchains, crypto, NFTs and the metaverse. For example, thanks to the metaverse, technology enterprises can test and launch virtual workspaces (like Meta's Horizon Workrooms, Microsoft's Mesh, among others). Consumers and brands are increasingly considering NFTs as something more than just collectibles. In the short term, web 3 assets are likely to have a larger regulatory framework, and the way in which banks offer digital currency products and services will be defined. 

This reason should be enough for financial businesses to meet the customers’ need for digital currencies, and to create and offer cryptocurrencies within a clear regulatory framework. Additionally, companies should consider shifting their focus to leverage web 3 technologies through new initiatives, such as engaging their staff in gamified in-house training or inside the metaverse using NFT rewards.

The popularization of mobile wallets

During the pandemic, consumers rapidly shifted away from cash payments, driving the emergence of mobile wallets and other digital card solutions to meet the demand for faster and more convenient payment options. A rise in the number of use cases –no longer restricted to a traditional payment landscape– facilitated the rapid growth of mobile wallets adoption. For example, wallets are now being used as tickets for events, car and hotel keys, loyalty promotions, digital IDs, transit passes, vaccine cards, and so on. 

By engaging the consumer, these new digital card solutions had a very positive impact. This means that payment providers have the chance to review and invest in strategies related to wallets and other digital capabilities so as to drive their adoption and use.

Open banking consolidation

It didn’t take long for open banking to gain ground in more than 50 countries. In its early stages, the early open banking model was mainly used for basic account aggregation services. However, as the model consolidated and enabling technologies matured, it became an entry point for multiple applications, including real-time payments and B2B, B2C, C2B, P2P and G2C transactions.

The effective consolidation of this model allows us to envision new pathways, from open banking, through open finance, to open data economies. The sooner brands begin to understand the potential of open banking, the faster they will enjoy its benefits.

We are constantly on the lookout, monitoring every challenging opportunity that arises in our industry. Visa Consulting & Analytics is driven by our ability to keep track of the industry and the latest consumer trends, while helping our customers and partners boost their businesses. We don't want to just be aware of the trends, we want to be part of the transformation. All in all, the best way to predict the future is co-creating it. 

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