When you’re absorbed in the bubble of the cryptocurrency world, it’s sometimes hard to remember there are plenty of people who still haven’t heard of Bitcoin, let alone Monero, Ethereum, and Ripple. While experts in the industry are busy debating the use of blockchains to expedite payments and eradicate fraud (among a myriad of other things), the majority of the world is blissfully unaware.
But while you can probably cut your parents some slack, and maybe those distant relatives who live out of town, what about WorldPay, the global payment experts? With a reputation for detecting and even shaping the future of payments, according to their research, cryptocurrency will make up a resounding 0% of global e-commerce payments by 2021.
If you’re reading this and thinking, “That’s some BS,” don’t take it up with me. There’s an 800 number you can call on their website. In the meantime, here are some other things the report disclosed:
Credit Cards Are on the Decline
Another hit for VISA and Mastercard comes from outside the crypto world, as the report notes a global rise in alternative payment methods (APMs). In fact, by 2019 (oh right, next year), more than half of all online transactions will be carried out using an APM of some kind. But cryptocurrencies aren’t among them.
The report found that cryptocurrencies currently make up 1% of global online payments, but that number is expected to dwindle to zero by 2021. It should be noted that “zero” does not mean there will not be one single payment made in crypto, or that they’re predicting the four horsemen of the apocalypse. Zero percent actually represents $7 billion (0.2%), but also includes “mobile carrier billing” and “other emerging technologies.”
Bank Transfers Are On the Up
A cold shower in the morning for crypto nerds: bank transfers are actually on their way up as a preferred payment method, particularly in Europe. This APM is set to replace credit cards to become the second most popular e-commerce payment method by 2021, with a 16.5% market share. (Note: “APM” refers to a payment method outside of traditional credit card schemes).
e-Wallets Rule the Roost
Apple Pay, Google Pay and other applications that allow consumers to pay with their phones are gaining traction. But so too are online e-wallet companies like PayPal and AliPay. Since they can be funded in a variety of ways, they offer consumers convenience and flexibility.
Cash Is Not Dead Yet
“We’re living in a cashless society,” you’ve probably heard a thousand times. Well, maybe you are, but the vast majority of the population in Nigeria, Indonesia, India, or the Philippines still relies on coins and bills. WorldPay research found that cash on delivery is still a preferred option in some of these countries, as are cash-funded prepaid cards that have a set spending limit. These are popular among consumers with shaky credit histories, minors, and people with limited means.
What About the Long Term?
The report doesn’t say what WorldPay expects to see beyond 2021. The future, it seems, is anyone’s guess. But if cryptocurrency is going to put the unbanked on the radar and open up large segments of the global economy, it may not be doing so anytime soon.