Last year brought about revolutionary new ways to send money through Facebook Inc (FB), Gmail and new apps in the financial technology space. Fintech is showing no signs of slowing down, and we can expect more big changes in the digital payments space in 2016.

Financial Transactions Integrated Into Apps We Already Use

Facebook and Gmail offer a new Facebook payment service and Google’s existing Google Wallet to send payments between users. In 2016, expect more of this integration in the apps and social networks you already use. (For additional reading, see: How Facebook Money Transfer Will Change E-Commerce.)

People send billions of dollars to their family and friends each year, and the checkbook is quickly dying in favor of online options. Payment companies know which websites and apps are most popular, and will compete to integrate and access as many potential users as possible.

Also keep in mind that while payments using messaging and communication apps are currently geared toward user-to-user transactions, businesses may see opportunities here as well, and may be able to accept payments through a social network in the very near future. Facebook payments, for example, may not just be for games and apps for much longer.

Increased Use of Apps to Transfer Funds Between People

Apps like Square Cash and Venmo grew to wider use in 2015, and that trend will certainly continue into 2016. PayPal Holdings Inc (PYPL) was the early player in this space, but there is plenty of new competition today and these companies are growing quickly.

Now you can send money with apps like Square Cash for free, and businesses like Dwolla are growing quickly. Users are drawn to the simple, fast methods of sending money rather than sending a check through snail mail or using cash. (For more, see: Venmo: Its Business Model and Competition.)

Increased Use of Card-Free Payment Methods

Apple Pay and Android Pay are just the beginning of a new wave of card-free payment methods. New, tokenized payment methods such as these digital wallets brings more security to your payments than ever before. When you pay with your phone, a one-time token code is sent to your bank to approve rather than the full credit card number, limiting the opportunities for a hacker to steal your payment information.

In 2016, expect paying with your phone to become easier and more common. As businesses around the country upgrade their credit card scanners for EMV, businesses may also opt to include an NFC payment reader as well, allowing for payments using your phone. (For more, see: What You Need to Know About EMV Credit Cards.)

Large retailers are starting the trend of using no-card payments, but other businesses may jump on board as well as the year progresses and end user adoption continues to increase. (For related reading, see: Mobile Payment Technologies Gather Steam in 2015.)

Faster Bank Transfer Settlements

Many financial institutions and payment processors have upgraded from the old 3 – 4 day settlement period to next-day transfers. In fact, the Federal Reserve Bank is currently working with IBM to allow for same-day transfers in the next few years.

While we’re waiting for instant payments, startups and banks are working to fill the gap with faster payments than ever before. Next-day payments will continue to increase in popularity, and same-day funds using digital wallets and apps will become more pervasive than in prior years.

Lending is Not Just for Banks Anymore

Peer-to-peer lending businesses like Lending Club Corp (LC) paved the way for the current wave of lending startups, including SoFi, Kabbage, Money Mola and many more.

Banks will still provide the majority of loans, but new payment technologies have enabled startups to offer funds much quicker than traditional banking. Lending startups are looking at borrower risk in a completely new way, and are sometimes able to offer instant approval and direct deposits right into the borrower’s bank account the next day.

This type of quick access to funds is helpful for consumers, but it may allow for small businesses to more quickly meet demands and can accelerate small business growth as non-bank lenders expand.

The Bottom Line

Sending money for payments and businesses is easier than it has ever been, but we are just at the beginning of a digital payment revolution. New startups continue to make transactions easier and faster, and that will enable commerce to move at a faster pace—both online and in brick-and-mortar businesses.

Once you give it a try, you may find it hard to go back. 2016 may be the year where digital payments really take off, and cash and checks start to become a thing of the past. But only time will tell how fast consumers make the move.

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