It seems that suddenly most aspects of the established payments system are on the verge of disruption. Our latest global trend report explores what's changing in this space and how brands are helping to drive this shift.

Payments are getting digitized and going mobile, wearable and biometric, while the rise of cryptocurrencies is prompting new ideas about what currency can be. People are adopting new ways to trade, while brands are conceiving alternative concepts that make payment more seamless and more secure. Ultimately, friction will be removed from payments so that we’ll almost make transactions without realizing it. And our concept of value, exchange and currency will shift as new systems arise that trade in trust and social currency.

There are so many advantages to going to electronic, including the germs on cash, the cost it takes to manufacture the cash, to print it and secure it, and then to recycle it. It’s just a very old-fashioned thing...It doesn’t really matter what the alternative is. It could be anything; in the future, it’s a cloud. [The alternatives are] all interoperable with each other.

Deborah Baxley, card payments expert, Capgemini

 Apple Pay has just arrived, Facebook is reportedly mulling peer-to-peer payments, more merchants are accepting bitcoin, banks are producing payment-enabled wristbands, and the ranks of “fintech” innovators like Square are growing.

Some argue that these new systems are still clunky and consumers have little incentive to adopt novel habits. Indeed, many experiments have fallen flat. The case against cash and physical cards is getting stronger, with Millennials already moving away from the status quo and adopting some alternative ideas. For instance, our survey found that Millennials are significantly more likely than other generations to express interest in mobile payments and to agree that “With today’s technology, it doesn’t make sense that we mostly still rely on cash, debit and credit cards to pay for things.” Millennials, not wedded to the status quo when it comes to money, will drive this shift. 

This report takes a look at the myriad new ways to pay merchants and peers, and examines how the concept of currency is evolving as alternative forms of value exchange gain steam. 

This report is the result of quantitative, qualitative and desk research conducted by JWTIntelligence throughout the year. Specifically for this report, we conducted quantitative surveys in the U.S. and the U.K. using SONAR™, JWT’s proprietary online tool. We surveyed 1,000 adults (500 Americans and 500 Britons) from July 24-28, 2014. In addition, we interviewed experts and influencers in payments and currency.

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