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
Slam the Brakes on Gas Pump Fraud and Rental Car Scams This Memorial Day Weekend
The process of secretly reading data off credit and debit cards (aka skimming) could be netting criminals as much as $3 billion a year in the US, according to Bankinfosecurity.com.
As we look forward to Memorial Day weekend here in the U.S., travelers are getting ready for road trips to their favorite destinations. Whether it’s a beach party in Miami, snorkeling in Catalina Island, or even a staycation, payments – and more specifically, payment fraud – is a huge consideration for travelers, especially during the holiday weekend. I sat down with one of our payments fraud experts, Seth Ruden, to talk about what travelers must look out for regarding payment fraud and how they can keep their money safe. Here’s what he told me.
Despite the Hype, Machine Learning, Models, Behavioral Profiling and the Customer Experience are Still Fundamental
Think about the last time you got a fraud decline. Where were you? In the grocery store? Buying airline tickets? On holiday? Shopping in the same place you’ve been a dozen times, but across the border? How frustrating was that, what did it do to your perspective, your mood, your confidence in your financial institution? This can be embarrassing and inconvenient, stressful and alarming for the consumer. There are few things that can be more disruptive in our day-to-day lives then the lack of access to your funds, or the care taken by your financial institution after a fraud occurs. According to ACI’s Global Consumer Fraud Survey, 20% of people may decide this is too much and move along to another financial institution.
Cross-Border eCommerce Expansion: A Fraud Perspective
For merchants that are expanding their online presence overseas, enabling the right locally-preferred alternative payment methods and connecting to local acquirers can be a critical determinant of success. But without considering fraud management strategy in tandem with payments strategy, the road to cross-border success could be a bumpy (not to mention costly) one.
The 12 Biggest Security Threats to Payments
Consumers ask a lot of you in terms of convenience, speed and, above all, security. This puts the pressure on you to offer a pain-free consumer experience that is also highly secure. And when you accept payments, you need to secure all parts of your organization. Here’s an actual example: one major breach occurred when an air conditioning vendor was hacked, allowing hackers to access the corporate network and finally the point of sale network. This highlights the importance of understanding the threat landscape we face today.
Fraud Awareness Month Canada
A couple years ago, I penned a blog post to commend the Canadians on what made their culture so resilient to fraud that it developed the lowest fraud rates in the Northern Hemisphere. It got a bit of circulation and created significant positive feedback. This time, I would like to bring awareness back to Canada about a potential threat as it relates to the increasingly popular Tap payment channel.
Securely Growing Online Sales in 2018: An Australian Perspective
Back in November 2017, I participated in a panel discussion for NORA (National Online Retail Association), where I looked at fraud trends in Australia over the previous holiday shopping season and made predictions to help retailers prepare. Now looking back, I am sorry to say that my predictions were painfully accurate.
When Is Processing Payments in The Cloud More Secure?
Back when I started my career, “Jessie’s Girl” by Australian rocker Rick Springfield topped the charts, the federal funds rate was 20 percent and most organizations were reliant upon one or more mainframe computers that were hosted in an internal “computer room.”
More than Half: the Story of Cyber-Attacks and Global Organizations in 2017
Three words. It might not seem enough to cause a rethink of your 2018 cyber-security strategy, but it should. Why? Because according to the latest Forrester report, “Top Cybersecurity Threats for Retailers in 2018,” attackers breached more than half of all global enterprises in 2017.
More. Than. Half.
The Seasons Are Changing (And So Are Fraud and Regulations)
If you smell the air, you can sense the seasons changing; a little crispy cold moving in suddenly, the leaves are reddening and the winds of Faster Payments and PSD2 are kicking up. Smooth transition, right? So, yeah, seasons change, and so do regulatory regimes. In the US, we’ve been largely left to our own discretions about how to run our fraud shops, with some regulatory oversight regarding disputes handling. Historically, financial institution processes around authentication and fraud monitoring (including analytics and strategy) could be anything or nothing, depending on an institution’s risk appetite. Like the seasons, this might be in transition.
Learning Lessons from Large Scale Breaches
At this point, there’s no ignoring it: our financial security is compromised daily. And no doubt, many reading this wouldn’t hesitate to recount all the breaches they have been a part of as consumers; merchant breaches in which replacement cards forced you to update your linked accounts, or data compromises where personal information was stolen and identity theft protection was provided, forcing you to consider freezing new credit originations.