The world of payments used to be relatively simple. In-store was a simple choice between cash and cards (charge credit and debit) and it wasn’t until the mid-nineties that the first encrypted online payment was made. Early online payment experiences were clunky and cumbersome – a world apart from the slick processes we have come to expect.
Rapid change creates challenges
Rapid development and hunger for innovation is creating its own challenges. “The biggest challenge for retailers today is the growing variety of potential payment methods to be emulated across channels; in-store, online (both mobile and desktop) and increasingly via the mPOS channel that blurs the line between the brick-and-mortar and digital worlds,” said Brad Kean, Account Director at ACI Worldwide.
In an industry that is evolving so fast, it can be tough to keep up. But with cart abandonment rates running at around 70 per cent and the payment experience often blamed for that abandonment, keeping up – tough challenge or not – has to be done.
“The checkout experience is critical. If consumers can’t pay quickly, easily and securely, using the payment methods they prefer, then they will simply go elsewhere,” says Andy McDonald, VP, merchant payments Europe, ACI Worldwide.
Across the industry, omnichannel is widely discussed, but it’s important that retailers formulate an omnichannel strategy based on expectations of where their future business will come from, and on the organisational structure through which it will be delivered. If e-commerce and in-store businesses remain in separate siloes, delivery of true omnichannel will prove challenging.
The benefit of consolidating payment platforms
Although business models vary, and many retailers operate multiple platforms today, consolidation to a single payments platform can deliver real benefits – including faster time to innovate, a single customer view, reduced costs, and a better shopping experience for the consumer. Each company needs to determine the path to consolidation that is right for them, but the ultimate goal should be a payments platform that offers the flexibility to respond quickly to changes and new opportunities.
On the security front, every retailer survey indicates that payments security and fraud are a continuing concern – and our own research shows that these concerns both drive and limit investment. Whatever your view, at ACI we would urge you to see security and fraud prevention as enablers of growth. Instead of limiting your expansion, security and fraud prevention measures that are tailored to your business can enhance customer experience, build trust and drive growth.
Payments is a fascinating business but hasn’t always commanded the attention it deserves among retailers. Today, the opportunity to drive business success through payments has probably never been greater.
Drop by the ACI Booth 78/79 at Inside Retail Live 2018 to talk to our payments and fraud experts and further explore how your payments strategy can drive sales and grow your business. For more information, please visit www.aciworldwide.com/irl