In January, we shared the Top 4 Payouts Trends to Look For in 2019, in which we detailed trends we were watching and expecting to make an impact in 2019. In July, we checked in to see if these trends were panning out. Now, it’s that time of year when we look back at the top trends we predicted for 2019. Were we accurate? Why or why not?
The year 2019 has been one of continued growth as Local Bank Transfers power along as a leading payout solution for businesses sending cross-border payments thanks to the seamless experience they offer. With the year is coming to a close, did the trends we identified turn out to be the top trends of 2019? Let’s take a look.
Trend 1 – Explosion of the Digital Economy
The Mastercard Gig Economy Industry Outlook and Needs Assessment, a Mastercard and Kaiser Associates study published in May 2019, confirmed the rapid development of the global gig economy, projecting double-digit annual growth for the industry over the next five years.
Source: Mastercard Gig Economy Industry Outlook and Needs Assessment, May 2019
This study projects the gig economy to grow in gross volume to approximately $455B by year-end 2023 – a figure doubling the gross volume generated in 2018 and representing a 17.4% CAGR from year-end 2018 through 2023.
For global marketplaces looking to own a portion of this growth, the study notes, “they encounter a common series of obstacles in pursuing initiatives of global and domestic expansion.” Those obstacles include challenges in developing sustainable operations, such as increasing freelancer retention rates. “Platforms can look to partner with 3rd party innovators to develop solutions to resolve these pain points,” the report states.
ACCURATE PREDICTION? Yes, and the digital economy shows no sign of slowing in coming years.
Trend 2 – Interconnectedness of the Global Economy
The explosive growth of the digital economy would seem to go hand-in-hand with a growing interconnectedness in the global economy ‑ but does it?
According to the Harvard Business Review, it’s “hard to predict with confidence whether the coming year  will bring a higher or a lower level of globalization. But we can safely say that international flows and the constraints that borders and distance impose upon them will both continue to matter.” What’s clear, according to the graph below, is that the world is growing more interconnected in terms of information flows.
The article concludes that the biggest winners in globalization, regardless of whether globalization goes up or down, are likely to be “companies that embrace globalization’s complexity rather than purely local or global visions of their business environments.”
ACCURATE PREDICTION? Yes – with some reservations, as it’s dependent on the growth of the global economy in terms of capital, people and trade.
Trend 3 - The Desire to Balance Payouts and Payments Options
In January, we predicted that as the global economy became more interconnected, companies would be looking for payout offerings that could scale along with their business. A variety of payout offerings would include Local Bank Transfers, along with e-wallets and bank wires.
A 2018 Tipalti-sponsored survey of global publishers and affiliates showed that the top two requests of respondents were for networks to offer a global ACH/e-check option (another term for Local Bank Transfers) and second, to receive payouts in their local currency. Local Bank Transfers facilitate faster and better transactions for your recipients while satisfying both of those requests.
ACCURATE PREDICTION? Yes. Given that global publishers and affiliates prefer a variety of options for receiving payments, including a Local Bank Transfer option that enables recipients to get paid in local currency, we believe that other global recipients would feel similarly. It makes sense that global marketplaces and other platforms would consider adding Local Bank Transfers for their global recipients.
Trend 4 – Efficiency Over Everything
We believed that the desire for efficient payouts would trump other payouts priorities – so for example, businesses would choose a payouts option not only because it was cost-effective, but also because it had other benefits such as sending funds into local bank accounts around the world in a timely manner and with high security.
ACCURATE PREDICTION? Not entirely. While we still believe that efficiency is desirable, payment certainty and speed are equally top-of-mind for payments professionals. And, as regulators continue to issue updates to existing rules, keeping abreast of the changing regulations and ensuring full compliance are challenges that payments professionals are addressing. Meanwhile, we’re seeing the need for reliability and security – which together add up to payment certainty – rising to be top-of-mind for businesses, due to increasing expectations by recipients for payments to arrive when they are due to arrive.
What’s ahead for payments professionals in 2020? To keep your payouts knowledge fresh in the new year, check out Removing Friction From the Payments Flow: Deploying Local Bank Transfers as a Competitive Advantage, the latest installment in our Ultimate Guide to Local Bank Transfers series, which offers helpful advice for navigating the world of global mass payouts. And you can always contact us when you’re ready to speak with one of our Local Bank Transfer specialists.