AI-driven payments have immense untapped potential, but current adoption rates remain low

Money20/20: Rob Gatto, Paysafe

Rob Gatto, chief revenue officer at Paysafe, discusses the future of payments with FinTech Intel, including how AI could feature and what needs to be done to break down barriers to adoption.

Can you tell me a bit about Paysafe and your role there?

Paysafe is a global payments platform with a unique two-sided network that serves both consumers and merchants and enables them to connect and transact seamlessly through a variety of payment solutions.

We offer merchants multiple payment methods, which can be accessed through a single point of connection, Paysafe’s API.

Our payments solutions also enable card processing, subscriptions payments, cryptocurrency and FX trading.

I joined the company in 2022 as its first chief revenue officer, charged with spearheading Paysafe’s international sales function.

My task is to increase our market share in all our target verticals. I am early on into the journey, but we are making good progress and I am excited about the opportunities ahead.

What’s the latest research on spending habits and preferred payment methods?

Since 2017, we’ve been interviewing consumers every year to find out how their payment habits, preferences and concerns are evolving against a backdrop of various macro-economic factors.

In April this year, we interviewed 14,500 consumers across 14 countries, and we saw that despite tighter household budgets, demand for travel, leisure and other experiences remains strong with 51% of respondents prioritising them over other discretionary spending.

We saw that consumers are actively seeking deals and discounts, with 67% indicating a higher likelihood of making purchases during sales events such as Black Friday. Nearly half of the respondents (47%) had abandoned their online shopping carts due to budget limitations.

While debit cards and credit cards remain the two most popular payment methods, mobile wallet and digital wallet usage has shot up.

Fifty-two percent of respondents are comfortable leaving home without a physical wallet and rely on mobile wallets such as Apple or Google Pay for their everyday purchases.

Fifty-five percent of respondents believe that mobile wallets will completely replace cards within the next decade.

How comfortable do you think consumers are using AI payments technology?

AI-driven payments have immense untapped potential, although current adoption rates remain low.

Only 14% of respondents currently use AI-driven payment technologies, with older age groups showing the lowest adoption rates.

In terms of comfort levels among consumers, we still have some way to go. Just 10% expressed willingness to use AI-driven payments in the next two years if they became more established.

A majority cited insufficient knowledge about the technology and concerns about data misuse as reasons for their discomfort.

How can these barriers be overcome?

Lack of awareness and knowledge are the primary obstacles hindering wider adoption. In our research, 35% of consumers said they don’t know enough about AI-driven payments technology to feel comfortable using it.

To encourage wider adoption, it is crucial to increase awareness and understanding of AI-driven payment technologies.

Payment service providers and merchants will need to educate users about the benefits of AI-driven payments, such as smoother experiences, convenience and security, in order to break down those barriers.

Addressing privacy and security concerns head-on is also essential. Leveraging consumer awareness of AI being used for risk-scoring, fraud detection, and personalisation by merchants can help drive adoption.

Demonstrating how AI improves customer experiences and safeguards financial data may also alleviate objections and convince consumers of the security and convenience offered by AI-driven payments.

What brings you to Money20/20?

Money20/20 Europe is a key event in our calendars here at Paysafe and we look forward to it every year.

We come to connect with our partners and peers in the industry, identify new opportunities for collaboration and celebrate all things fintech.

It’s a great chance to reflect on the big industry developments of the year and debate those that are coming up.

What are you looking forward to most at the event?

This is my first Money20/20 Europe event since joining Paysafe, so personally I can’t wait to meet with industry connections, old and new, with a fresh focus and an exciting proposition to talk about.

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Image: Paysafe
Josh Poyser
Josh Poyser is a junior editor at FinTech Intel.