Could credit and debit cards be gone by 2030?

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Johannesburg - Credit and debit card payments could likely become obsolete by the year 2030, if digital payment experts are to be believed. 

According to Thomas Pays, CEO and co-founder of instant electronic funds transfer service i-Pay, there will soon be no need for cards. 

“The numbers speak for themselves - i-Pay has served 1 million customers in South Africa. We expect that number to grow to 3 to 4 million. Within the next 10 years, there will be a drastic shift in the online payment market,” Pays told Fin24. 

He added that cards would become obsolete as more payments are being done online. 

READ: Online payment service promises safety, security

“Around 37% of payments within the next eight years alone will be done from bank to bank; from this we can see how quickly the market is changing,” he added. 

The South Africa Mobile Report 2017 - released by Effective Measure and the Interactive Advertising Bureau last week - reported an increase in the number of South Africans who are happy to use their phone to purchase items.

A total of two-thirds of consumers admitted to having purchased something using their phone in the past year, from airtime (47%) to apps (25%) to books (11%) and concert or event tickets (10%).

Increasingly, South African consumers are also seeing businesses offer more than one payment platform, usually in the form of cash, bank card or payment apps like SnapScan or Zapper. 

READ: SA Reserve Bank to focus on payment innovation

According to the recently released Sage 2017 Payments Landscape Report, South African consumers believe local businesses are not adopting new payment methods fast enough.

The report stated that local consumers believe contactless payments will overtake debit and credit transactions by 2020. Pays said i-Pay offers various different payment options and local businesses need to innovate with fintech payment solutions, as there is more than one way of conducting business transactions and consumers are increasingly calling for these options. 

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