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2023 Trends Shaping the Future of Cross-Border Payments

By: Ronald De Bos
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The lightning-quick pace of developments in the world of cross-border payments means that trends can be short-lived, either turning mainstream or receding into the background in what seems like the blink of an eye.

In this guide to cross-border payment trends, we look to the biggest indicators and innovations to zero in on what’s shaping the future of the space.

The Biggest Cross-Border Payment Trends in 2023

Dig into the top trends below to learn more about what tomorrow may bring for your business.

Global cross-border payments continue to grow across categories

The global pandemic may have been the initial spark behind an accelerated shift toward digitization and cross-border payments, but that doesn’t mean growth is slowing with the worst of the pandemic in the rear-view mirror. This is the prevailing trend in cross-border payments: overall growth, in all categories. Although B2B payments will naturally continue to account for the largest payment flows worldwide, cross-border B2C payments will continue to grow along with C2B and C2C payments.[1] Indeed, by 2030, the B2C cross-border ecommerce market is expected to reach $7.9 trillion in value—up from $785 billion in just 2021.  [2]

Mobile options grow, led by digital wallets

As cross-border ecommerce and payments grow in stature, the use of cash is falling out of favor. Cash use fell globally from 26% of POS transaction value to 16% in 2022. By 2026, that share is expected to fall below 10%.[3]

Rising in its place are a variety of mobile options, led first and foremost by digital wallets. Digital wallets are already the leading payment in global e-commerce, and they’re projected to remain so a few years from now, when they’ll account for an estimated 54% of ecommerce transactions.  [4]

As fast-growing markets like India, Thailand, Vietnam, and the Philippines increasingly adopt mobile technology, digital wallets will continue connecting large segments of previously unbanked and underbanked populations with global businesses through streamlined cross-border payments. For businesses keyed in on the opportunities that exist globally for cross-border ecommerce, this trend has the potential to supercharge growth.

Super apps dominate in Asia, will they in the West?

Another mobile option that many in the cross-border world are watching are so-called “super apps.” These apps provide huge arrays of diversified services while relying on a single, common transaction platform. In Asia, these platforms—which include China’s WeChat and Alipay, India’s PayTM, and Japan’s LINE—are not so much a trend as they are the norm. For instance, WeChat alone boasts over 1.6 billion active monthly users.[5]

Given Asia’s recent role in the digital commerce sphere as trend-setters for the West, many have wondered whether the super-app model might go global. While it remains a space to watch, there are signs that the super-app trend is rising in the US. Facebook has expanded services to offer Meta Pay alongside its Marketplace, Dating, Gaming, Podcasts. Elsewhere, Amazon now offers medical and pharmaceutical services in addition to its ecommerce, grocery delivery, and streaming solutions.

What’s more, consumer appetite appears to already be in place for this experience: according to a PayPal and PYMNTS survey, 72% of consumers in Australia, Germany, the UK, and the US are at least somewhat interested in using a super app.[6]

The rise (and ebb) of crypto

Meanwhile, there’s one digital option—cryptocurrency—that has lost quite a bit of steam in recent months. While not long ago crypto was touted as a revolutionary option for global transactions, many organizations are deprioritizing the adoption of this digital currency. As the industry’s recent boom has been overshadowed by legal and regulatory action in the headlines, and as the overall climate has become more risk-averse, Forbes notes that many are after more practical, proven options.[7]

The growth of CBDCs

That’s not to say that digital and cryptocurrency haven’t had a widespread impact on global currency commerce. Central banks around the world have taken note of recent disruptions—by both technologies and world events—and changed course, more frequently using their own kind of digital currencies. Central bank digital currencies (CBCDs) are a form of government-issued currency that’s not pegged to a physical commodity—though unlike cryptocurrencies they remain state-issued and operated.

At present, there’s no single approach to the use of CBDCs but a huge variety, as 87 countries worldwide have begun to explore the use of CBDCs. Nevertheless, different approaches may offer the same benefits: decreased costs, increased payment system speeds, and greater access.[8]

Simple integrations improve shopping transparency, efficiency, and more

The influence of digital solutions will only continue to grow within private organizations, too, of course. Technology like plug-and-play API solutions and virtual account management are driving increased efficiency, visibility, and transparency in global cross-border payments in both the B2B and B2C ecosystems.[9]

Yet in today’s rapidly growing and evolving cross-border marketplace, having access to the right technology and partnerships can offer organizations a massive competitive advantage. Stay one step ahead of your competition and capitalize on trending global growth with the help of Digital River. We connect brands and buyers directly, staying behind the scenes to manage international payments, tax, fraud, compliance, and localization. Our customers are also able to leverage our robust global logistics network to enable fast, low-cost local and cross-border shipping and returns. As the chosen partner of thousands of brands across the Americas, Europe, and Asia, Digital River is global commerce growth, simplified.  Connect with us today to learn more.


[1] Statista.

[2] Statista.

[3] Worldpay from FIS®, The Global Payments Report, 2023.

[4] Worldpay from FIS®, The Global Payments Report, 2023.

[5] BankMyCell.


[7] Forbes.

[8] McKinsey.

[9] JP Morgan.