Fully 82% of software-decision makers at US retail companies are planning to adopt or are adopting payments software in 2022, per some of our latest research. This doesn’t surprise us.

Why? Payments have been in the spotlight lately. In the past few years, US consumers — famously slow adopters of new payment methods — rapidly shifted to digital and contactless options. As a result, retailers everywhere had to rethink their payment strategies to meet customer behaviors and needs.

The newly-published The State Of Retail Payments In 2022, our biennial joint study with the National Retail Federation (NRF), profiles US retailers’ views and decisions about payments. This year, we asked merchants about their key payment-related priorities and challenges, as well as hot topics like “buy now, pay later” (BNPL), cryptocurrency, and contactless payments.

Here are some of the highlights:

  • Merchants continue to invest in new (and “old”) digital payment types. Most retailers already accept Apple Pay and PayPal, but late adopters are getting on board, too. Now retailers are setting their sights on implementing methods like Google Pay and bank-based methods like Venmo and Zelle. In the next 18 months, one-quarter of retailers surveyed plan to implement Google Pay online (37% already do so), and 15% have plans for Venmo. Additionally, nearly half of retailers surveyed currently offer a BNPL option on their sites, and 21% have plans to implement that.
  • Merchants are beginning to challenge the old omnichannel binary thinking. Like digital payments, supporting omnichannel scenarios has become a higher priority in the last few years. Retailers are experimenting with new channels and interfaces to accept payments including chat, SMS, and third-party messaging. Retailers are also thinking about new innovations in their future payments strategy, with chat once again making the list of future investments, followed closely by social commerce (i.e., purchasing through social media).
  • Fraud and security risks still drive payments decisions. Since we started this study in 2016, fraud and security risks have consistently topped the list of retailers’ priorities and planned initiatives. The good news? Investments are paying off: For most merchants, fraud rates and losses due to chargebacks are stable.
  • Fees remain a pain point for merchants. Fee-related initiatives are among retailers’ top priorities and challenges again this year. We dug a little deeper on this topic and found that the majority of merchants believe that the fees that payment networks and processors/gateways charge them lack transparency. Additionally, retailers are starting to use methods like debit rail routing for cost optimization purposes.

To see further results and key findings from this year’s survey, check out our full report here. And please register for our webinar on Thursday, October 20 at 1 p.m. EST or catch the playback recording on Forrester’s website after that date.