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the rise of 5G - what new paradigms does speed bring?

The introduction of 5G has been the staple of news in the past year, frequently spilling over from the "tech" section into the main section. While opinions on everything from ease of implementation and use to effects of 5G on the various areas of work and life vary, experts in each field have been working hard on predicting what 5G may mean for their line of work - and how to use it to improve both their services and their revenue.


The payments industry is certain to be affected by 5G, since the technology is set to improve mobile communications and with that also have a significant effect on mobile payments. The rise of mobile shopping has recently become a global trend and the ease and practicality of mobile payments has been recognized by customers and retailers alike.

Once 5G is in place in a region, mobile experience is set to become smoother, faster - think three times the speed you can now get from your 4G mobile device - but also safer, since the additional bandwidth allows for implementation of additional safeguard features. Global internet penetration currently stands at 49% but 5G is expected to create more online consumers worldwide, allowing for ten times less latency and a hundred times greater network efficiency.

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All projections point to this percentage only rising once 5G and its previously mentioned benefits are introduced in these regions. Mobile payments will experience significantly reduced lag times and be able to provide better customer experience, earning the providers the coveted adjectives "seamless" and "frictionless". This will also significantly increase the adoption rate of mobile payments, once customers realize they now really can see a product in an ad or their friend's social media post and make an instant online purchase, regardless of where they are at the moment.


For some numbers, we only need to look at WeChat Pay and its 980 million users who, in 2017, had used it to make transactions at the rate of 1 million transactions per minute - 5G can make these numbers only soar. And in the US, cross-border online sales were projected to reach $203 billion by 2021, but this was using 4G and once again, 5G is expected to increase these figures. 

Adobe, the globally represented and popular tech company, reports that its profit margin will be significantly boosted by 5G, with their e-commerce revenue for 2021 increasing by $12 billion due to the benefits this new technology will bring.


The boost this new technological development will bring to mobile payments will, of course, depend on retailers and payment service providers themselves. 

They will need to take advantage of 5G's opportunities and offer an improved service as soon as it becomes available - it is certain to be one of those "you snooze, you lose" situations for those who drag their feet.