The payments industry was a big beneficiary of the pandemic in 2021, thanks both to its position at the heart of rapid business digitization and to the online shift of commerce. 2022 will see that growth continue apace, as firms lock in the benefits of digital payments, pivot to B2B payments innovation, and pursue further consolidation in the payments space.

In 2022, we predict that blockbuster IPOs will light up the headlines while consumers experience a “Back to the Future” moment as digital wallets and QR codes reenter the spotlight. Here’s a peek at the script and who may steal the spotlight in the year ahead:

  • Blockbuster IPOs. Two payment superstars will IPO or direct-list on either side of the pond, one with a 12-digit dollar valuation. 2022 will set the high-water mark for payment firm IPOs for some years to come, as there are few other large players waiting in the wings for now. Funding will reach record levels in 2022, topping $40 billion. We name the stars in our full Predictions report.
  • “Buy now, pay later” — the sequel! 2022 will be the year we see incumbent banks execute defensive moves and make their own technicolor versions — or buy out the studios of their fintech rivals. Fintechs will focus their merchant-selling strategy on value-added services and alternative distribution networks. Regulators, especially in Europe and Australia, will bring new protections for consumers and compliance hurdles for providers.
  • Sleeping B2B beauty. The prince of innovation finally kisses B2B payments, and 2022 will turn into a ball of fairytale proportions. Forrester predicts that B2B e-commerce will reach $1.8 trillion in the US alone by 2023 — making this all work like a dream will drive innovation and revenue growth, and the B2B segment will become a top priority.
  • Where’s wallet? The QR code and digital wallet get top billing. 2022 will see a mash-up of preexisting innovations and technologies but delivered with a new sense of purpose, as their time (and usefulness) has finally come. With the convenience of embedded biometrics, the pandemic was just what the wallet needed, and QR codes shimmer, too — across order-from-the-table solutions, vaccination passes, and COVID check-in tools.
  • High noon at the P2P corral. P2P and P2B have always been on a rocky road for banks, and in some Western countries, the wheels will finally come off the wagon in 2022. Market-dominating fintechs prove too strong for banks’ homegrown P2P initiatives, and banks will switch to partnerships and consortium ventures — after all, payments is a network thing.

To get your prime position on the red carpet for 2022, see which stars have their names in lights, and avoid things turning into a “Rocky Horror Picture Show” for your firm, download our full payments predictions report (client access only).  If you are a client and want to go to the movies please sign up to the Predictions 2022: Payments webinar where Lily Varon and I will discuss our predictions.