Countdown to the next economy: 9 trends that define the future of payments

Miami, April 19th 2023
Borderless rails, credit for the underbanked and the proliferation of payment acceptance options are only three of the trends that will define the coming economy, which will be more automated and fast, but more conscious as well.

Miami, April 19th 2023.- Today, Mastercard releases The Future of Payments, its latest Signals report exploring nine key, innovative trends that are reshaping the future of payments and commerce to usher in ‘The Next Economy’. This report focuses on three specific areas that will reshape the future of payments over the next 5-7 years, as well as in the long term: how we will expand the definition and use of money to include non-traditional assets (reimagining money); how consumer journeys will come to life with the intersection of virtual and physical worlds (intelligent experiences); and how cause-driven consumerism will significantly impact the way companies are valued by their stakeholders (sustainable futures).

Signals is developed by Foundry, Mastercard’s in-house innovation lab and interdisciplinary team, that drives product innovation and differentiated services. The Future of Payments is structured around the same three pillars that have historically guided Mastercard’s innovation research and development, empowering us to see past what’s happening now to understand what will happen next.

Countdown to the next economy

The present study has identified nine key trends that are leading the change.


Reimagining Money

  • A tokenized world: Our understanding of money continues to evolve to include more types of assets that can be tokenized, including loyalty points, data, rights and new currencies. Extending this technology to cover more real-world assets over the next five years will transform how we conceive value and what we use for payments. 


  • Programmable payments: Artificial Intelligence, smart contracts, APIs and other solutions will converge to automate complex, conditional commercial payments. New ways to program large enterprise payment flows using logic and automation will inject greater efficiencies into our economy.


  • Ubiquitous Wallets: Next-gen digital wallets will be vital in managing our identities and assets, including a wide variety of tokenized valuables. Tomorrow's super wallet will move beyond the single-function app approach and become command central for our daily lives. 


Intelligent Experiences

  • Connected finance: Just as omnichannel retail has transformed how we shop, emerging technologies will expand the ways and places we pay — in stores, arenas, train stations, online games, metaverses, and more. The ability to provide instant access to financial services at scale will enable consumers to bank and pay from anywhere in any channel.


  • Borderless rails: Payment rails, the connective networks that enable the movement of money, will break through current barriers that limit the exchange of goods, services and data across both geographically and digital marketplacesBy the decade's end, cross-border payment interoperability will be a fact.


  • Unleashing acceptance: Check-out at the point of sale (POS) is on a transformative path, driven by new technologies and payment options. In the next two years, expect a proliferation of acceptance options and new interaction points to permeate consumer experiences. The implications will be far-reaching —from financial inclusion to enabling large groups to access mass transit, stadiums, etc., with no queue.


Sustainable Futures

  • Inclusive credit: Greater and more inclusive access to credit will accelerate in the near term, potentially transforming the lives of the excluded and powering global economic growth.


  • Conscious consumerism: Consumers will increasingly reward companies that tangibly support their social, ethical and environmental objectives. Consumers will favor businesses that realize ESG or net zero goals, are locally sourced and operate ethically. 


  • Embedded trust: As the occurrence and impact of fraud and identity theft increase with more digital interaction points and associated vulnerabilities, trust will become a critical point of differentiation for companies. Those who win and maintain consumer trust will capture a more significant share of payment flows.


Read more here.

Media Contacts

Andrea Denadai, Mastercard

About Mastercard (NYSE: MA)

Mastercard is a global technology company in the payments industry. Our mission is to connect and power an inclusive, digital economy that benefits everyone, everywhere by making transactions safe, simple, smart and accessible. Using secure data and networks, partnerships and passion, our innovations and solutions help individuals, financial institutions, governments and businesses realize their greatest potential. With connections across more than 210 countries and territories, we are building a sustainable world that unlocks priceless possibilities for all.