In a constantly evolving world, staying informed about the trends and changes impacting the commerce industry is crucial. We are currently at a turning point where payment innovations are reshaping commerce and marking the beginning of what some call “the next economy.”

According to Mastercard’s recent report, “The Future of Payments,” we are on the verge of significant transformative changes that will revolutionize our commercial transactions. These innovations are driven by shifting consumer expectations, emerging technologies, and collaborative regulatory efforts.

The report is structured around three key pillars historically guiding Mastercard’s payment research.

1. Reimagining money

The traditional definition of money is evolving and expanding beyond physical currencies. Tokenization will play a crucial role in offering consumers more payment options and opening up new opportunities in retail. Programmable payments are expected to become the norm, reducing costs and improving speed and customer service. Digital wallets are experiencing rapid growth, with an expected increase in their use and the value of transactions made.

It is estimated that by 2025 there will be 4.4 billion unique users of digital wallets worldwide, representing more than half of the global population.

2. Smart experiences

The convergence of our physical and digital environments leads to smarter, more connected consumer experiences. Related finance enables instant access to financial services anywhere and through any channel. Payment networks are expected to become increasingly interoperable, removing barriers to exchanging goods, services, and data between different markets. In addition, a greater diversity of payment acceptance options at the point of sale is expected, benefiting retailers and consumers.

3. Sustainable future

Social and environmental changes are transforming the way companies are valued. Environmental and social strategies are now considered in product design, construction, and delivery. Inclusive lending is on the rise, providing access to credit for under-financed communities and generating opportunities for economic growth. Conscious consumption is gaining prominence, rewarding companies that support social and environmental goals. Trust becomes essential in a vulnerable digital world, and trustworthy companies have the opportunity to capture payment streams and expand their business models.

In short, we are in the midst of a payments revolution. The next decade will bring innovations that will redefine how we transact business. From the reimagination of money to innovative experiences and sustainability, these trends reshape commerce and offer new opportunities for retail managers and executives.

To learn more, read the full report at MasterCard.