The Ever Evolving Payments Landscape

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Billing Subscriptions

The payments industry is ever evolving. If you think about it, the idea of “online shopping” has only been around for the last 15 years. While it’s come of age quickly, e-commerce is having to do a fair amount to catch up with other forms of innovation that are prevalent online.

There are a few key trends that are getting attention that have a distinct impact on our merchants that look to optimize their web commerce to stay ahead of the next online “fad”.


I think we can all agree that mobile is here to stay. Our daily lives are entwined with these handheld devices that know everything about us. But how will this play into commerce? The wallet space is as old as PayPal, but the mobile wallet space seems to be heating up. From Google’s announcements at Google IO last week, to Dwolla, to Venmo, to Square, companies are vying for the front position and key market share with mobile users to establish themselves as the winner in the mobile wallet space.


While mobile fraud poses new, unsolved problems, the payments industry is no stranger to fraud across the board. Innovations using social proof, stronger AVS, device tagging, and looming EMV 3D secure requirements in the US all target fraud at the source. As technology progresses, fraudsters become faster/smarter/craftier about how to dupe merchants. Thinking through key partnerships and understanding fraud reduction options with all of your processing partners are instrumental in reducing the impact fraud can have on your organization.


When it comes to innovation in credit, the pre-paid industry is moving more quickly than most. The Rush Card is a great example of developing a tool that both serves the underserved and underbanked as well as hone in on innovation in how prepaid cards work. With reloadable cards on the rise and the government mandate to distribute benefits on pre-paid cards, the impact on recurring billing in particular could be significant. Understanding both the positive and negative impact of prepaid cards can not be undervalued, especially as the card associations work on regulating these types of cards and government agencies work to maintain compliance.

While Recurly’s mission is to be the leading provider of subscription services, we rely on the payments industries innovation to help push us forward. Payments innovation is only as successful as a consumer’s willingness to adopt it. We know that mobile is here to stay, but what other payment methods will customers adopt? Will Dwolla become a business tool? Will customers abandon PayPal for Venmo? When should businesses adopt alternative payment methods vs. sticking with methods that have been successful such as traditional credit card processing?

As you can tell from our recent newsletters (April and May) things are heating up on the development and innovation side of things at Recurly. We have some exciting new features you’ll see in a few weeks, and we’re looking for feedback on features in development and are always gauging interest in future features that relate to some of the items above. Where are your businesses investing? What are your customers requesting?

We’d love to hear from you. If you haven’t found us at any recent events (Innovators, Game Developers Conference, National ACH Association, CardNotPresent Conference), shoot us an email or find us at these upcoming June events!

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