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Sustainability in Payments: Embracing Eco-Friendly Solutions

Steve Gilde June 6, 2024

Over the past few years, sustainability has become more than just another buzzword. The UN’s sustainability goals are now a critical consideration for industries across the globe. The payment industry is no exception, with a growing focus on integrating environmental considerations into payment operations, processes, and technologies. 

Eco-friendly payment solutions are gaining traction, revolutionizing how transactions are conducted and contributing to a greener planet.


Sustainability in financial services is no longer a “nice to have”; It’s a key part of today’s drive to combat climate change, achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, and create fairer societies.”

- EY


The Need for Sustainable Payment Solutions

The environmental impact of traditional payment methods is often overlooked. From the materials used in payment cards to inefficient operational processes and the energy consumption of data centers processing transactions, the payment industry has a significant carbon footprint. 

Addressing these concerns is essential for creating a sustainable future. The industry is now well on its way toward making sustainable progress. 

In fact, according to Capgemini, there’s an increasing focus on integrating environmental considerations into payment technologies, with eco-friendly payment solutions gaining traction. This includes everything from the materials used in payment devices to the operations of payment systems.

Sustainability in payments is not just a trend but a necessity. By embracing eco-friendly payment solutions, technologies, and tools, the industry can significantly reduce its environmental impact while fostering innovation and efficiency. 

In the next section, we look at some key eco-innovations in recent years. 

Key Innovations for Sustainability in Payments

  • Eco-friendly payment cards: Traditional plastic cards are being replaced by alternatives made from recycled materials, biodegradable plastics, and even wood. These eco-friendly cards reduce the environmental impact and promote sustainability.

  • Digital wallets and contactless payments: Digital wallets eliminate the need for physical cards, reducing waste. Contactless payments further streamline the process, minimizing the use of paper receipts and promoting efficiency.


“One of the most ubiquitous fintech trends today driving Sustainability is contactless payments.”

- FinTech Magazine


  • Green data centers: Payment processing requires substantial energy. Companies are now investing in green data centers powered by renewable energy sources to reduce their carbon footprint.

  • Improved operational speed, efficiency, and accuracy: The use of virtualization, automation, and agile development technologies will significantly improve the productivity and therefore the sustainability of payment processing operations. 



Benefits of Sustainable Payment Solutions

Adopting sustainable payment solutions offers numerous benefits, including:

  • Environmental impact: Reducing the carbon footprint of payment processing helps combat climate change.

  • Cost savings: Sustainable practices often lead to cost savings in the long run, through energy efficiency and reduced waste. 

  • Regulatory compliance: As regulations around sustainability tighten, adopting eco-friendly solutions ensures compliance and mitigates corporate risk.

  • Brand image: Companies that prioritize sustainability can enhance their brand reputation, attracting environmentally-conscious consumers.


How Paragon Can Help Improve Sustainability 

As a long-term supplier to the payment industry, Paragon Application Systems has developed solutions that help financial services organizations upgrade and enhance their payment testing capabilities with modern, web-based tools and simulators.

  • We recognize that it has become increasingly difficult to put the right resources in the right place at the right time to ensure that required testing is completed on schedule and budget. Our solutions support remote and hybrid workforce strategies by providing 24x7x365 access to testing assets.

  • Our server-based architecture and centralized database make it easy for resources to share test data, cards, results, and reports, facilitating more effective communication and collaboration.

  • Paragon solutions use virtualization and automation technologies to significantly speed up the payment testing process, improving both productivity and accuracy. Published APIs make it easy to integrate payment channels with other enterprise applications and systems, further boosting organization efficiency.


While sustainability is an extremely broad topic, Paragon can help payment industry participants meet their sustainability goals in several ways:

  • Improve operational speed, efficiency, and quality

  • Enhance employee communication and collaboration

  • Adopt new technologies (like contactless cards) more quickly

  • Choose the most cost-effective and sustainable deployment options, e.g. cloud

  • Support remote workers and minimize the need for dedicated test lab and office space

Interested in learning more about how Paragon can help your organization improve the sustainability of your payment testing operations?

Reach out to our team of experienced and skilled payment testing experts today. 


Request a Consultation

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