As accounting firms begin to accept online currencies, 80 percent of Americans support “futuristic” payments technologies and money, a survey has found.
Specific technology supported by respondents include sensor fingerprinting, facial recognition, retinal scanning and voice control, and blockchain-based currencies like Bitcoin.
Several tech-forward small and mid-sized firms nationwide do accept online currencies, such as Bitcoin, as payment from clients. As for the Big Four, since last year, EY accepts Bitcoin as payment for any of its consulting services, while PwC, Deloitte and KPMG have invested heavily in blockchain technology to enable the possibility of online currency payments (among other, more sophisticated services such as smart contracts) in the future.
Intuit also allows merchants who use QuickBooks Online to accept payment via Bitcoin.
The survey gleaned opinions on the future of payments and key issues around awareness of payment technologies, as well as perceptions about what will be the most popular and useful tools for paying and getting paid in the future, from 1,000 U.S.-based consumers.
More than half of respondents reported they are paid their wages electronically, and an increased comfort with paperless transactions seem to be driving consumer interest in more sophisticated electronic payments options. Eighty-three percent believe paper checks will be eliminated completed within two decades.
“People are willing to embrace a more convenient, frictionless payments future,” stated Max Eliscu, CEO of Viewpost, the company that conducted the survey. “Paper invoicing and checks are well on their way out in the consumer setting, and more businesses across the spectrum are beginning to follow suit with transactions among their trading partners. But electronic invoicing and payments are just the beginning — the future of the payments industry is highly dependent on leveraging innovation like biometrics, data integration, and a growing variety of payment methods to securely drive more volume with visibility, speed and simplicity.”