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Can payments really be simple? Depends on whom you ask.

Can payments really be simple? Depends on whom you ask.

According to the experts from Merriam-Webster, the definition of “simple” is fairly, well, simple to understand: 

  • not hard to understand or do
  • having few parts
  • not complex or fancy

When you think of eCommerce payments, does the word simple come to mind? I think the answer depends, based on whom is being asked.  And to be more specific, I certainly think there are different perceptions of payments, whether you are talking to a consumer, a merchant or a payment service provider.

Consumers want any digital shopping experience to be simple and seamless. For them, browsing for goods and services, filling an online shopping cart and checking out, should take place with ease and no disruption. While they may not understand the intricacies and complexities around webshops, fulfillment logistics and payment gateways, they know they want the process to be as friction-less as possible. Consumers want to know that their preferred method of payment is available when they are shopping online or via a mobile device (or even in-store for that matter). And they want to trust every channel in which they shop. Going back to the Webster definition, the process shouldn’t be hard to do.

Merchants likely have a different perspective. They are focused on moving merchandise and selling services and want their customers to have a simple process for paying and obtaining them. Merchants understand that positive or negative shopping experiences have an impact on immediate revenue and long-term growth and loyalty.  While not generally experts in payments processing, merchants know they need have efficient processes in place in order to maximize conversion rates and optimize the customer experience online. And they know they are required to protect consumer payment data from data breach and fraud risk. It is for that reason they often turn to partners to manage all or part of the payment process. Back to the Webster definition, this process must have few parts.

Conversely, payment service providers (PSPs) are experts that understand the complexities of payments as well as other value-add services that merchants need to accept. Similarly, their job is to ensure their customers (the merchants) have the right mix of tools in place to seamlessly and quickly process payments in a secure manner. And they must have the depth of knowledge and experience to help their customers take advantage of in-region and cross-border growth opportunities.  This includes knowing preferred existing and emerging payment types, required acquiring connectors, fraud prevention protocols and multi-language and multi-currency requirements—a daunting task to merchants unfamiliar with this unchartered territory. In order to address the merchant’s eCommerce payment needs, going back to the “simple” definition, PSPs need payment solutions that are not complex.

While simple may have different meanings for different groups and/or individuals, it is a core principal for eCommerce. Take a look at the replay of the Disruption Opportunity eCommerce Summit from June 2. You’ll also have an opportunity to understand how ACI is reinventing the simple approach to payments through its UP eCommerce Payments solution.

UP next:  Processing eCommerce payments in a global world.