One of the many effects of the COVID-19 crisis was the rise of digital payments across the globe. This year analysts expect to see as much as  $8.5 million-million is contactless online payments this year. Here are five key trends that will shape payment technology in 2022:

1. An online-offline blend

COVID-19 continues to be unpredictable. Now a sub-variant of Omicron, dubbed the “Stealth Omicron,” is wreaking fresh havoc in China. Despite these challenges, retail businesses are poised to return to brick-and-mortar sales but with a digital twist. Retail analysts say that customers will reward stores that offer features that prioritize convenience and personalization such as ahead-of-time orders and curbside pickups.. Shopping experiences across social media will see ramifications from an online-offline blend with in-feed shopping and more widespread creator payments.

2. Urgency in cybersecurity

While online payments have become more mainstream, consumers have grown more complacent, and cyber-attackers have already started exploiting this lapse.  As e-commerce and non-cash payments grow, cybersecurity companies, financial institutions, and regulators will be looking for more cutting-edge technologies to prevent such attacks, using artificial intelligence and big data analytics.

3. B2B in BNPL

The rise in digital payments has also spurred innovation in new kinds of payment options. One of the more popular new channels has been buy now-pay later (BNPL) installment financing. With current inflation levels and the prominence of e-commerce, BNPL looks set to become more prominent in 2022. After forming relationships with consumers, BNPL providers can move toward extending their services to include brokerage accounts, loans, and even cryptocurrency for businesses.

4. Digital wallets as lifestyle apps

The smartphone took on an even greater importance in our day-to-day lives in the wake of the pandemic. Consumers resorted to mobile wallets to pay for more and more things, and over time, there has been a gradual movement to add more services to these apps. Expect to see more of these “super apps” in 2022 as consumers pay for tickets, book hotels, and more.

5. More cross-border payments

One benefit of digital transactions is that it makes sending money across borders cheaper and simpler. Once a cumbersome and expensive process, new digital-based providers such as Wise and Revolut are expected to gain in marketshare in 2022 –good news for the one in nine people worldwide who live on cross-border remittances.