Payments Fundamentals Vs Payments Innovation: Maintaining balance between satisfying basic customer requirements with trending innovative technologies.
As the world of payments gets more complex, payment providers will need to continue to listen to their customers in order to remain competitive and maintain growth in an ever-changing industry. Proactively innovating and providing responsive and reliable services to retailers remains a fundamental responsibility which ultimately contributes to their growth and success.
Optimizing the Payment Experience
Customer experience still remains central to a good payment experience. Consumers need to know their card data is being handled by a trustworthy source, they need a choice of ways to pay, and the payment process should always be consistent and reliable.
This is where Payment Service Providers (PSPs) need to work with retailers to manage the complexities of Infrastructure (integration, technical architecture), additional features, and banking regulations.
Furthermore, it important for PSPs to be prepared to be flexible, and solutions that inextricably lock enabling and acquiring solutions together will inevitably mean compromises have to be made. In today’s payments landscape reacting to accommodate new technologies is vital, and the potential includes; cross channel payments, (including Face to face, MOTO, Online, Contactless etc), Alternative Methods of Payment, e.g. PayPal, iDEAL and Wallets driven by Chinese consumers such as WeChatPay and AliPay, Digitalization, Mobile, Business Intelligence, Cloud Architecture; the list is ever growing.
Fundamentally, expectations of a payment solution in 2018 are still focused on a seamless point of interaction for the customer, and a solution that offers Speed, Resilience and Security.
Back to Basics
So what should retailers consider as a standard payment solution nowadays that meets these three prerequisites? Reinvesting profits back into maintenance of platforms and researching new ways to improve speed is a vital requirement for payment providers. Can the speed of NFC at point of interaction be improved? Are there more seamless, frictionless ways to process QR code transactions? If consumer devices drives payment completion can we drive this better from merchant POS and PSP infrastructure? Can geo-fencing and beacon technology help with enhancing the consumer experience whilst maintaining speed of transaction? Time is money, so answering these questions over the coming years will help improve the speed of transactions across multiple industries.
Continuous trading in Retail is not a nice to have. Resilience is essential, and pulling together a disaster recovery plan, and understanding the single point of failure in a payment solution could save retailers millions. With such as reliance on technology in 2018, if the network does fail, offline contingency methods and protection / liability for offline processing should all be considered as standard in contractual agreements with retailers and PSPs.
Security of transactional data must be at the heart of any payment solution. Retailers should ensure they are comfortable with the security credentials of all payment types and platforms. The importance of using a PCI Point-to-Point Encryption (P2PE) solution should not be underestimated, and where the threat from fraudsters continues to be ever present in our industry, P2PE should now be regarded as a pre-requisite of any solution. When it comes to PCI assessment investing in a good QSA could prove vital in the long-run to protect business profits. Where brand reputation is at stake, security of card data is paramount.
Using innovation and technology in collaboration with trustworthy and reliable services that continue to improve and evolve, will allow the boundaries of integrated payment technology to keep pushing into the future.