The 2022 Outlook: Opportunities & Threats for digital goods

When thinking of 2022, we can’t help but wonder what challenges it might bring. Though we don’t have access to a crystal ball, we do have the benefit of experts. In this round-up, we speak to our staff about their visions for the coming year.

We asked the following question:

When it comes to maximizing profit, what do you think will be a threat or opportunity for sellers of digital goods or services in 2022? 

From regulatory clarity to the evolution of fraudsters, the demand for diverse specialized teams and the acceptance of new standards. Opportunities for maximizing profit and threats are all around us. Read on to find out what you need to be on the lookout for in 2022.


In 2022, fraud isn’t going anywhere

Lisa de Vreede, Product Owner Protectmaxx: “With ecommerce sales expecting to rise even further in 2022, payment fraud remains a force to be reckoned with. Not only are fraudsters getting smarter, the amount of fraudulent transactions as a whole is also growing rapidly. Payment methods that were considered low risk are now causing a headache. For example, digital wallets such as Apple Pay.
There is an increasing trend of prepaid (credit) cards being used in fraudulent transactions for the purchase of digital goods. Since these payment methods are also getting more popular among trustworthy customers and getting wider available via more providers, this will form a serious threat for merchants in 2022. The good news is, that with the introduction of 3DS, the credit card fraud is declining. It’s down about 35% in 2021, and with the roll-out still in place, this decline is expected to continue.”

Ciprian Barbu, Infrastructure & Partner Manager: “When it comes to cybercrime, the risk faced by companies selling digital goods is expected to be on the rise in 2022. Most of the dangers faced by today’s business are targeted attacks, either directly on the business or on the business supply chain. Besides an increase in threats from cybercrime, companies can also expect a more increased regulatory pressure in both the privacy and security domain.”

Anne Timmer, Customer Support: “We expect that digital fraud will increase in the future. However, with the right balance in the field of fraud detection, you reduce both your support tickets and negative reviews.”


In 2022, regulations can be opportunities

Georgiana Hera, Product Owner Protectmaxx: “For the next year, a big challenge for merchants will be to maintain a high success rate for payment authorizations. Since the payment industry is very dynamic and changes very often – as we are currently seeing with PSD2 requirements and SCA restrictions – this won’t be an easy thing.”

Michael Martens, VP of Sales: “In Germany, we see new legislation in place which will change the market for debt collection dramatically. We have previously seen this in other markets, where the same situation led to a boost in the need for communication and online payment technologies. In order to secure revenues and maximize profits, it is crucial for merchants in these markets to find ways to lower their costs while also keeping their customers happy.”

Daniël Schurr, Product Owner Collectmaxx: “For the next year, there might be some opportunities regarding PSD2. We might be able to gain additional insights in payment behaviour, which would allow us to offer more fitting payment arrangements, without pushing debtors in a situation in which they have issues paying for primary necessities such as rent, water, energy etc.
One development we’re monitoring closely is the acceptance of Open Banking. This would allow us to speed up onboarding, as Open Banking improves the speed through which our customers can complete the KYC processes for new payment methods. The result is that we’d be able to offer a wider range of payment possibilities for consumers.”


In 2022, keep pace with customer expectations

Anne Timmer, Customer Support: “It is a challenge to set up your order, payment, and delivery process in such a way that you receive as few support requests as possible. Merchants must offer the broadest possible range of payment methods while at the same time allowing their customers to complete their orders easily, quickly and safely.”

Lourens Badenhorst, Product Owner Checkmaxx: “Unlocking new sales channels will be the biggest opportunity for sellers of digital goods in 2022. In 2020, 63% of shoppers who used Facebook, used it for shopping activities. The share of TikTok, Instagram & Twitter shoppers will continue to grow in 2022. Having a storefront on each of these channels will boost sales and grow your customer base. In 2022 customers will expect nothing less than a streamlined omnichannel shopping experience on the channel of their choice, enhanced with personalized chatbots.”

Catalin Draghici, Product Owner Paymaxx: “In 2022 customers will expect a seamless shopping experience on all their favourite platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok. Having the right payment methods, bank to bank direct transfer, BNPL, e-wallets, crypto etc. perfectly tuned, in full sync with an optimized checkout, will boost sales and revenue.”


In 2022, payment expertise is in high demand

Petra Klerken, Human Resources: “The biggest threat for HR in these times is the fight to recruit people.  Everyone is looking for the same people that are hard-working, customer focused, and are willing to learn/stay updated on/about the market.”

Anne Timmer, Customer Support: “For large merchants operating in different geographies and catering to diverse demographics, it is important that their support team is a good reflection of their customer base. A diverse, international, multilingual, mixed team with different cultural and ethnic backgrounds allows you to feel connected to your customers and more easily empathize with the different points of view, norms, and values customers hold. This approach enables better estimations regarding which kind of customer support is needed, and/or which adjustments or improvements need to be made.”


In 2022, think about 2023 and beyond

Ciprian Barbu, Infrastructure & Partner Manager: “It is estimated that by the end of 2023, modern privacy laws will cover the personal information of 75% of the world’s population. In this context, it is more important than ever for merchants to select an experienced and resilient partner that can meet the demands for fraud screening and payment processing in 2022 and beyond.”

Lourens Badenhorst, Product Owner Checkmaxx: “The rise of the metaverse will be the biggest threat for sellers in 2022. Gaming, gifting, investing, art collecting etc. will never be the same. Everything that is available in the physical world is also available in the metaverse. Young Millennials and Generation Z will spend a good share of their disposable income in the metaverse. Traditional ecommerce, digital goods and services sellers as well as physical stores will need to find innovative ways to transact on the metaverse or risk losing out on their share of the estimated $800 Million market.”

Catalin Draghici, Product Owner Paymaxx: “The “next internet”, the metaverse, will be the biggest threat for sellers in 2022 and the years to come. We already need to focus on this threat as it rises fast and all the biggest players who want a share of it, like Facebook, Microsoft, Minecraft are already there. Sellers of digital goods, will have to adapt, transform and innovate in order to find their way into the metaverse or risk losing their slice of the pie.”


So, what do you think? What opportunities and threats do you expect in 2022? Do you have all your bases covered? Does your payment strategy have room for improvement? We’d love to hear from you. Get in touch with us anytime.

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