Key enabler to drive a competitive advantage
The payment area has been undergoing a significant transformation in the recent years. Over the past two years, COVID-19 has not only reinforced payment trends that were already under way, but also changed major facets of the consumer experience. Consumers who were previously not buying items online, started to do it on a regular basis while continuing shopping and buying in-store. Because of this, the consumer expectations have changed regarding how they shop and pay. Nowadays consumers can easily switch between digital and physical transactions which make retailers to adapt their businesses and accept payments through any channel, if they want to stay ahead of the game. Leading companies such as Amazon, Uber and WeChat have already made substantial investments to launch successful payment strategies. These companies are building the future of shopping through a consistent and cohesive consumer payment experience.
But that is more easily said than done; at the era of the globalized shopping, retailers need to provide a variety of offline and online payment methods over different channels for their customers making them at the same time consistent with the company branding from start to finish. This requires not only increasing payment options but also rethinking the consumers’ shopping experience, making transactions simpler and easier and working with payments providers to keep the technology up-to-date. On the other side, seamless payments can provide companies an opportunity to create an offering which will meet the actual needs of their customers, create a single view to maximize the customer data, provide unique personalized experiences and therefore increase sales and enable more sustainable and valuable consumer relationships.
Our 30 seconds introduction:
''Seamless payments is a technology, which allows to minimize the payment touchpoints and integrate the payment process into overall customer experience reducing the inconvenience and making the purchase process hassle-free or “unnoticeable” to a consumer. Seamless payments provide flexibility to consumer to choose the checkout medium and conduct transactions in whatever way suits them best. No matter which payment channel customer prefers, their experience should be seamless, streamlined and secure. As a result, a merchant gets a unique opportunity to leverage the customer data, provide personalized experiences, increase sales and conversion rates."
Empower Consumer Self-Service Experience
It wasn’t that long ago since self-checkout was considered as a big step forward for retail. The possibility for consumers to maintain their checkout procedure allowed retailers to decrease costs, improve employee productivity and transform customer experience. However, with the development of the technologies such as computer vision, sensor fusion, AI & deep learning new value propositions have emerged which eliminate completely checkout process. That means choosing, scanning and paying for the purchase with nothing but customer’s own smartphone. It allows customers at brick-and-mortar to complete their purchase without any human interaction and save time.
- Enable customer loyalty programs
- Data driven, personalized recommendations
- Detailed product information
- Zero-queue mobile payment
- Greater variety of payment methods
- Scan & Go/Shop & Go
- Just Walk out Technology (technology by Amazon)
- Grab & Go
- In Store App Clips
New payment systems which transform a smartphone into a payment acceptance device are entering the market. The era of Point of Sales (POS) is evolving and being replaced by Point of Interaction (POI) which means that payment does not need to have any specific location anymore. It allows to remove the customer inconvenience of standing in line to pay at the cash register. It also helps staff to free up the time and allows to support the customer and take payment without delay. What is more, this emerging technology will allow to convert a smartphone into a payment terminal and provide a much easier and cost-efficient sign-up and onboarding for small and medium businesses who don’t need to invest into the traditional type of payment infrastructure.
- No hardware required/less equipment & maintenance costs
- Various Payment methods
- Improved employee productivity and efficiency
- Tap on phone/Tap to pay
- Mobile POS
Seamless payments can become extremely useful for the retailers who want to understand their customers better, find the best moments to engage and create personalized services that can help to drive loyalty. Apps with embedded payment functionalities will become more common, where the customer is recognized through an app that needs to be installed on their smartphone. However, this is not the only way the payments can be automated in-store. There are also other methods of customer recognition, such as facial or voice recognition. Put simply, seamless payments can be integrated to one platform which gives singe view of customer interactions while delivering an engaging personalized and consistent customer journey across any shopping channel.
- Single view of customers
- Customized offers, products & services
- Increase sales & conversion
- Offer loyalty programs though integration of rewards management into the checkout process
- Biometric transactions
- Buy now, pay later digital & in-store
- Super Apps
- Voice payment
- One-Click payments
- Scan & Go/Grab & Go/Shop & Go
Thanks to new technologies and innovative approaches, the payment sector is no longer prevailed by traditional payment systems – such as cash, credit cards and bank transfers. Covid-19 had also a huge effect on the investment into the new payment methods. Contactless transactions have risen significantly, and this trend will inevitably continue. By embracing the power of digital payments, retailers can maximize data and deliver consumers a seamless experience wherever and however they choose to shop. As a result, a volume of consumer data that will be generated, is going to be immense. All payments partners will have an opportunity to use this data to meet customers’ needs and create more personalized products & services. However, there are still consumers who prefer to pay with cash or credit cards. That’s why, a fair trade-off between those who want to remain anonymous throughout the overall customer journey and those who want to enrich their experience and share data will become one of the biggest challenges for all the merchants, whether it’s a brick-and-mortar, kiosk, online retailer or a mobile merchant.
- Automated customer recognition (biometric transaction)
- Further digitalization of payments (BNPL in-store & digital, omnichannel payment system, prepaid cards)
- Social Payments
Further topics to be considered
- Data security
- Digital IDs
- Blockchain & Cryptocurrencies, e-currencies
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