In 2024, payments get global, open, tailored and interoperable

The payments industry is nothing, if not constantly changing. And 2024 promises to bring its fair share of change.

At a high level, we expect a kind of inversion of accepted norms from years past: once solely-local businesses to expand globally, formerly closed-loop and proprietary tech to open, sometimes generic solutions to become increasingly tailored and once-siloed networks to become increasingly interoperable. Add to this the transformative power of AI and the surging return of consumer travel, and you have a good sense of the forces shaping payments in 2024.

1. Creators, SMBs go global.

From the creator and sharing economies to ecommerce and traditional brick-and-mortar businesses, 2024 is the year SMBs go global. For businesses of all sizes, the mindset has largely shifted beyond the local neighborhood to the global digital economy.

Nearly 4 in 5 SMBs (79%) cited selling across borders as a focus for their growth, and consumers are ready for it. Some 72% of consumers said they are comfortable buying from businesses in other countries.

Digital payments are transforming opportunities for SMBs to pay and be paid, making it possible to reach new audiences, easily accept secure payments, track and monitor spending, increase security and safety, improve efficiencies and grow like never before. And with payments innovations allowing for access to earnings in real-time, making it convenient to receive consumer and B2B payments, getting paid has never been easier. Payment solutions like virtual cards are also enabling SMBs with the cashflow, purchasing power and expense management capabilities needed to thrive in today’s digital-first world.

In 2024, we expect small and micro businesses will benefit from increased digitization that both speeds and protects payments, making expansion beyond geographical borders easier than ever before.

2. Interoperability gains steam.

The convenience and speed of digital payments have transformed the way we move money, both domestically and across borders. But the explosion of networks and payment methods — from money-moving apps and wallets, to blockchains, together with legacy infrastructure — has made for a splintered, fragmented experience. Each solution often operates within its own, siloed ecosystem.