In 2013, I read an article about Cash App. It was described as a way to easily send money to other people. I was intrigued. I’m notorious for never carrying cash, and my friends always end up spotting me. Settling up with them was always a pain. I tried Cash App and that pain went away! I loved its simplicity and how the app made digital transfers of money to friends easy.
I haven’t paid for anything with cash (or even seen a dollar bill) since March. I barely carried cash before the pandemic, but now I never do. I probably won’t need to go to an ATM until 2021. Today I was chatting with an entrepreneur who’s working to modernize payment options available to consumers on websites. Reflecting on my own habits, I realized how crucial digital payments to merchants have become. I pay for almost everything online. Then I started thinking about how painful some of those experiences are and how that friction affects how much and how frequently I spend with a merchant. The easier it is, the more I spend. Amazon captures so much of my spend that it’s ridiculous. But even its payment processes could be improved.
The pandemic has accelerated many trends, and upgrading the way we pay for e‑commerce purchases is no exception. Consumer habits have changed—many permanently—and I predict that how we pay will evolve and more closely align with everyday consumer habits (e.g., sending text messages). I’m excited about this evolution and can’t wait to see what great fintech solutions entrepreneurs come up with!