Smart payment solutions: What is the payments industry doing to keep up?
We’ve come to expect certain levels of safety, security, and convenience when it comes to payments. Today, consumers are using their phones, watches, and even their cars to pay for various goods and services. Recently, the Mercedes-Benz Stadium, home of the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons and MLS’ Atlanta United, switched to only accepting credit and debit cards and mobile pay methods – effectively doing away with cash. Eliminating the costs of handling cash, minimizing security exposures, and effectively speeding up transaction times for customers are just a few of the core demands for today’s payment experience. The emerging trend of leveraging smart devices to improve the customer experience is growing at tremendous rates, and the payments industry is strategically poised to deliver on the demand.
Consumers want a frictionless experience.
Consumers are increasingly expecting technology to play a role in everyday experiences. Time remains an incredibly valuable asset, and one that consumers value most. Technology can help streamline a more efficient and frictionless experience to let consumers make the most of their time in a day. Smart payment solutions play an important role in providing that frictionless checkout experience by allowing customers to pay with their preferred method of payment. (credit or debit card, Apple Pay, Alipay, Samsung Pay or contactless credit card – to name a few.) Software firms and device manufacturers continue to align with payment providers to ensure an effortless payment transaction whenever a customer is buying a product, service, or subscription.
What does this shift mean to the payments industry?
With the staggering growth of smart solutions, everyone from municipalities to merchants are looking at how technology can drive a connected experience. The payments industry plays a critical role by supplying the infrastructure that offers payment options consumers want. The range of connected devices available to the industry is growing rapidly. Everything from smartphones, to smartwatches, to the refrigerator; offer up the potential for payments to integrate.
According to Pew Research, 77 percent of Americans now own smartphones, and approximately 32 percent have made a mobile purchase – with that figure expected to increase. While there are some misconceptions that smart payment solutions might not be as secure as using a more traditional payment method, card issuers are taking steps to help calm that fear. Contactless cards are a stepping stone that act exactly as a mobile wallet, but mirror the experience of using a credit or debit card. The payments industry can help in alleviating some of the unknown by demonstrating the increased security that many of the smart payment solutions offer.
How will sales partner channels be impacted?
The trend of consolidation in the payments industry signifies the shift towards offering solutions that will help drive an engaged experience that consumers are starting to demand. Because of this consolidation trend, sales partners will be better equipped with full suites of solutions that they can offer to merchants in a variety of industries. As sales partners continue to search for advantages in the market, smart solutions will offer a more connected experience for both the merchant and consumer.
New innovations in payment methods are making it easier for consumers to pay for goods and services. If merchants want to create value and drive customer loyalty, they’ll want to integrate value-add services and technological advancements to offer a frictionless and connected payment experience.