Setting the Table for Success in the New World of Merchant Payments
Once upon a time, not so very long ago, creating a payments journey for your customers was as simple as calling your bank, choosing from one of two (maybe three) terminal types that would enable your business to accept mag stripe cards. And then perhaps deciding whether to offer your customers American Express acceptance.
How things have changed!
The pace of this change was brilliantly encapsulated recently at ACI’s first Merchant Payments Breakfast Forum, which took place in Sydney. Payments professionals, representing more than 40 of Australia’s leading merchant retailers, gathered to hear from ACI experts – and to discuss with each other – how the payments journey has changed and what merchants need to do to succeed in this new world of retail payments.
John Gessau (ACI’s Product Management Lead for Merchant Payment Solutions) opened the forum with an enlightening TED-style presentation on the evolving role that payments play within the customer experience. What really struck a chord with me were his examples of ‘seamless’ and ‘right-sized friction’ payments through demonstrations of virtual gift cards, alternate payments, QR codes and queue-busting technology. One of the key points was that perhaps a completely frictionless payment experience isn’t what every merchant is actually looking for. In the emerging IoT (Internet of Things) and voice control assistants’ world, do we really want our fridge ordering a new case of beer without first asking us for confirmation?
John concluded by challenging merchant retailers to dream big and devise the ultimate payments experience in accordance to their own customers’ expectations. In order for this to happen, it is up to payment providers (ACI Worldwide included) to provide the rock-solid payments infrastructure as well as the flexibility that can turn these big dreams into reality.
Dhun Karai, Payments Advisory Leader at Grant Thornton, was also on hand to share her extensive experience and help the audience understand the rapidly shifting landscape of new payments players.
There were a few ‘mega trends’ in particular that really got the forum attendees' attention, worth repeating here as they are will be relevant for merchant retailers globally:
- Mobile Apps are killing the counter-top checkouts: Will PIN on glass be the end of dedicated POS devices?
- Uniformity across physical and online channels: The future is unified payments, one customer view of all payments no matter what device is used.
- Invisible payments: Confirming payment through behavior such as ordering an Uber is a brilliant customer experience, and sets the new ‘unicorns’ apart from legacy businesses.
- Data analytics and privacy: Data analytics are core to payments strategy but how will privacy standards affect the ability of businesses to utilize data.
- Faster real-time, data-rich transactions in retail payments: How will the schemes respond to real-time immediate payments in the retail environment?
Dhun also highlighted that the five biggest ‘Unicorns’ (amazon, Alibaba, Airbnb, Uber and WeChat) have all revolutionized customer engagement by taking control of the payments journey. All her examples showed how the payments experience was at the heart of the products – and incredible growth is the result.
One thing was clear by the end – there is simply no place for a painful checkout experience in your customer experience. Oh, and that the future is voice control! Perhaps I am just a payments nerd, but it’s events like this that really bring home what an exciting industry we all work in. The rapid growth and advancement in technology, the passion of today’s retailers and the possibilities for the future of payments are more profound than ever.
I will see you at the next ACI Worldwide Payments Breakfast Forum, for more #paymentsforbreakfast
Related Blog Posts
What Can the Re-Regulation of Other Industries Tell Us About Open Banking One Year On?
UK Open Banking just reached its first birthday milestone (on January 13 to be precise) and given my own commentary – including in the ACI blog – on this topic, the first anniversary of Open Banking in the UK certainly won’t pass without a debrief on the progress that’s been made and what challenges lie ahead.
Around The World: Taking Stock of Global eCommerce in 2019
As I head to #NRF2019 in New York City next week, I’m excited to see how some of the biggest retailers and merchants see the industry evolving over the coming year. What trends they think are going to shape 2019, and which of 2018’s buzzwords can be put to bed.
A Pointless Credit Card World (Sound the Alarm, Ring the Bell, Freak Out… Le Freak, see'est Chic)
Mark, we were slightly prescient a few weeks back when our rantings touched on credit card points. Based on some news over the past weeks related to rewards, perks and sweet deals, do I now sound the alarm or do I stand down?
19 for 2019 (Payments Predictions Galore!)
As I’ve bid adieu to 2018, once again mumbling my way through Auld Lang Syne (reciting Burns poetry was never really in my 'wheelhouse,' as they say) I’m squarely focused on 2019 (and beyond), and the payments prognostications that typically accompany the start of a new calendar year.
How Fresh, First-Hand Research Leads to Interfaces That Make Users Feel Understood
In 1890, my great-great-grandfather fled Czarist Ukraine for a new home in London. Amongst the few possessions that he brought with him was a book that had been given to him in 1860 by his grandfather.
Success Speaks: How Roanoke College Simplified Higher Education Billing and Commerce
Campus commerce has quickly become the ultimate test for payment software providers, IT professionals and administrators. Technology stacks and service offerings are continuously challenged by rapid innovation, just as budgets have begun to shrink. And to top it off, cybersecurity threats lurk around every corner, and even a single breach can destroy student confidence in their institution of higher learning.
Monetizing Real Time and Open Payments A Global View from Leading Banks
Payments experts from Bank of Montreal, Lloyds Bank and Rabobank lead a discussion on #NewPayments use cases.
During Sibos 2018, I was lucky enough to moderate a panel of payments experts from around the globe, including banking leaders representing three key phases of the real-time evolution; early adoption, go-live and ‘wave 2.’ Here, I’d like to share insights from these experts, outlining the challenges and rewards for banks in the new real-time and open payments ecosystem.
All I Want For Christmas (Or Any Holiday) Is… Instant Payments Gratification
Mark, some of us are fast approaching the end of the holiday shopping season, some of us are fast approaching that time of year when we consume too much egg nog, and some of us are fast approaching too many viewings of Die Hard or It’s a Wonderful Life or Love Actually or Christmas in Connecticut (I’ve disclosed too much about myself). To segue slightly more than slightly, I was at Target over the weekend, braving the holiday shopping crowds, to buy toilet paper, paper towels and tissues… and I took advantage of the 5% off that I get from using my Red Card. I surveyed the throngs of other consumers in the nearby checkout lines and not once did I see another store card. During this, the biggest shopping season of the year, why wouldn’t consumers use loyalty/rewards cards when making purchases?
Fraudsters Don’t Wait for Peak, So Neither Should You: 2019 Fraud Strategy Starts Now!
In existence for barely two decades, eCommerce has transformed not only the way we shop, but also how retailers plan and execute their marketing strategies around the peak shopping season. Now that we’re deep into this period, retailers will have prepared for changes in buyer behaviors, relaxed their strategies to be within the limits of manageable review rate, and most important of all, put strategies in place for increased fraud attempts.
Instant Payments in Italy – And Beyond: Lessons from Il Salone dei Pagamenti
ACI was invited back to Il Salone dei Pagamenti – Italy’s premier payments event organized by the Italian Banking Association (ABI) – to participate in a panel, “SEPA Inst – the Future.” As expected, the session was packed with stats and advice for a more efficient roll out of instant payments – in Italy and beyond.