Money continues to change and evolve all the time - and with the increase in use of smart devices like smart phones and wearables, it is becoming easier and more convenient for us to make online, digital transactions.
1. Mobile Payments are more popular:
Both the SnapScan mobile app from Standard Bank and Apple Pay are paving the way for quick, digital transactions when in your favourite store. These types of mobile payment systems are fast becoming the norm due to their convenience, speed and ease of use. Brands such as Uber have seen huge growth worldwide in a very short time span which indicates that tech companies around the world are driving mobile payment growth.
A recent survey by hosting and cloud services company Rackspace showed that one out of five respondents felt that mobile devices have increased their likelihood of making impulse purchases. 71% of this respondent group felt that the increased likelihood of impulse spending was due to the ease of use offered by mobile payment systems.
2. Online Shopping Boom:
With the recent merge of Kalahari.com and takealot.com and the increase of smartphone usage, more South Africans are joining the ranks of online shoppers. Avoiding long queues, saving time and taking advantage of online specials and deals are some of the reasons this sector of retail has seen such positive growth recently which will continue into the future.
3. More money in your pocket:
With the almost relentless fall of world oil prices, we can expect this decline to have a knock-on effect on food prices and other fast-moving consumer goods. Another positive is that slowing down of the inflation rates also negates the Reserve Banks need to hike interest rates. All of the above should lead to more disposable income for the average person.
Having this ‘extra’ money does not mean that we should make lavish purchases of luxury goods, but rather put the additional money away for a rainy day. A Wonga survey conducted in 2014 showed that only 31% of respondents indicated that they have a separate savings account.
4. Increase in first-time homeownership:
After the economic meltdown in 2008 consumer spending fell drastically. In 2014, long term investments in the property market in South Africa made a positive comeback, particularly amongst first-time homeowners.
High rental costs and low-interest rates are encouraging people to take the plunge and are purchasing their first home. Ooba, the South African bond originator, noted in a 2014 report that 52% of all new home loans were to first time buyers.
5. Tighter online security targeting financial fraud:
Online fraud and financial scams have proved to be a thorn in the side of many e-commerce sites and financial institutions. Expect to see new security measures and payment authentication in South Africa due to the upcoming implementation of the protection of personal information act.
Globally, we've seen a rise in new authentication measures such as fingerprint scanning in order to curb cyber crooks from accessing sensitive data. Even with new encryption technologies and biometric authentication, we still need to be vigilant against hacking, phishing emails and malware.