Posted May 11, 2022 by FreedomPay

How the Convergence of Payments and Tech is Leading to Connected Commerce Models

By: Peter Georgopulos, VP of Sales, Omni-Channel Payments at FreedomPay

It’s 2022, and once again consumer behavior has changed due to circumstances outside the control of your organization. Geopolitical events, pandemics, inflation & social media noise have all influenced consumer behavior while retailers have been in a tailspin for the last decade trying to keep up with new competitive pressures from major online providers, ever increasing compliance regulations, and the daily threat of a data breach.

In many cases, technology investments have been made to solve for these types of challenges with the promise that they would also enable omni-channel sales experiences. When the crisis de jour arrived, many organizations could only respond with broad tactical payment solutions. Alternative payments, BNPL (Buy Now Pay Later) payments, and Contactless payments were the typical response. This “one-size fits all” approach provided some benefit, yet did little to enhance the relationship customers had with their favorite store or restaurant.

Indeed, many retailers soon figured out that their investments provided a multi-channel payment solution, not an omnichannel one for the customer. Multi-channel solutions focus primarily on being able to take a payment at various sales channels, tokenize it, and securely transmit it to the processor/acquirer of your choice. Simply put – these abilities are table-stakes in today’s digital world. A true omnichannel payments approach puts the customer at the center of it’s strategy.

Knowing, quite literally, “who” is buying, “what” they are buying, “when” they are buying, and “where” they are buying can be a burdensome task for many companies, but it is critical in today’s world. The challenge providing this solution often lies in legacy technology silos within the payments ecosystem (be it your own, or your solution provider’s). Due to the rapid pace of retail and ever evolving changes in the payments industry, many companies have had to boot strap legacy technology silos together to meet near term market demands.

In-Store payments often will use one platform, eCommerce transactions another, and loyalty & incentive programs yet another. Integration between these disparate systems never ends as new payment types and sales channels continue to emerge. So much time, energy and budget are spent on simply enabling data to pass from one system to another that there is no time to focus on the actual customer generating the revenue.

Retailers must be able leverage data from their loyalty systems, POS payment system, mobile App/wallet, as well as their website. Artificial Intelligence driven business data platforms can then provide powerful insights about your business. For example, by juxtaposing customer provided profile data with historical transaction activity retailers can gain deep insights into the needs of the consumer, and subsequently craft unique experiences/offers that align with these needs.

In summary, an omnichannel payments approach puts the customer first. It recognizes that mobile and social media platforms have enabled customers to use channels simultaneously and a coordinated approach to influence this behavior is required. Understanding your customers historical shopping patterns AND providing individualized incentives to influence their behavior is the key to staying relevant in today’s digital economy. Do all of this while providing a frictionless payment checkout and you will indeed have an omnichannel strategy that delights your customers and grows your revenue!

Posted April 25, 2022 by FreedomPay

Does Apple’s Point of Sale Software Mark a New Dawn for Retail Payments?

By: Paul Snelling, Director of Platform Solutions at FreedomPay

Working in Payments — while very rewarding — isn’t exactly showbiz. However, Apple — world leader in ultimate cool tech — could be about to change this by shaking up how we pay. Could my job become a crowd-pleaser?

Apple has a long, substantive history of adopting new technologies and product designs. It hasn’t always developed emerging tech. Instead, pioneering easily adoptable tech and driving it to a mass market, global audience has positioned Apple among the world’s largest and most profitable companies. Apple recently announced its upcoming software update, Tap to Pay, enables iPhones to serve as a card payment terminal, demonstrating the multinational’s latest pioneering, technological focus on the Payments industry.

Could the Tap to Pay iPhone software update become a viable, mainstream alternative to the traditional payment terminal? Will consumer devices and SoftPoS (Software Point of Sale) replace merchants’ in-store hardware?

In my opinion, Apple entering the Payments market is very positive. The move will validate the use case for enabling contactless card payments using consumer devices as payment terminals. FreedomPay customers and partners are lining up to get on board, asking when FreedomPay will enable Apple Tap to Pay. Until Apple’s announcement, I’d considered myself ahead of the curve in my personal approach to SoftPoS: advocating turning Android devices into payment terminals. I’m excited that this vision is a step closer to reality. Nevertheless, the development presents many more questions than answers for the Payments Industry.

Does Tap to Pay mean that Apple will penetrate Merchant Services?
No. Or at least, not yet. Apple has announced partnerships with payment goliaths such as Stripe and Shopify. Apple will retain consumer control through Apple Pay, and merchant control through Tap to Pay.

However, there is nothing to prevent the tech giant cutting out the traditional acquirers and processors if they acquire a merchant services license. Akin to the recent acquisition of Credit Kudos, a British company which enters Apple into the world of Open Banking and replacing the need for a partnership like it’s one with Goldman Sachs in the US, to be able to offer device financing.

It seems that Tap to Pay could financially benefit merchants by reducing the costs associated with accepting payments.

Merchants highly value a straightforward, seamless payment experience for their customers and team. They tend to care less about the players involved in the transaction ecosystem than about receiving timely, secure payment into their account for goods or services provided.

If SoftPoS providers can simplify and reduce the cost of customer-present payment acceptance, mass adoption is a distinct possibility.

Is SoftPoS Secure?
Handling of consumer payment data using traditional payment terminals must comply with P2PE, a secure strict standard set by the Payment Card Industry Council. A P2PE-approved solution is table stakes for a provider to bid to sell or rent payment terminals to merchants. This requirement becomes even more stringent with sizeable merchants.

P2PE does not apply to SoftPoS. The PCI Council recently defined new standards for the secure capture of card details and authentication credentials, such as PIN numbers. The measures are under review by a limited industry audience, with an aim to make them visible to all industry stakeholders towards the end of 2022.

Defining standards to protect our data across devices within an open ecosystem like Android can be an arduous and complex task. Apple’s closed ecosystem has a distinct security advantage. But as it is not regulated by an independent body, what risk could Tap to Pay pose to consumer data?

Will SoftPoS replace traditional payment terminals?
An industry shift towards SoftPoS won’t happen overnight. Major merchants utilize integrated solutions across thousands of PoS and PMS. On the other hand, many SMEs do not own their payment terminals.

Payment terminals typically cost $200-$800 to buy or $15-$40 a month to rent. Whether a merchant owns or rents a number of devices impacts heavily on the cost of changing to a SoftPoS.

Configuring an iOS or Android device with an NFC reader into a secure payment terminal may reduce costs associated with payment processing and impact a merchants’ bottom line.

At technology evolves, merchants may eventually be forced to replace their terminals, just as we’ve swapped our Nokia 3210s for smartphones.

Disruption is rife throughout the payments industry. Options that challenge the use of scheme branded cards to settle transactions at a Point of Sale are emerging. Companies like FreedomPay, with its agnostic approach, are set to benefit greatly. Additionally, Biometric technology and QR Codes remove the need for NFC readers and can offer consumers secure payment solutions.

From a consumer perspective, there are huge disparities in the readiness of consumers to embrace payment technologies such as contactless payments, digital wallets, and SoftPoS. This can vary by geographic region or demographic. Tapping our cards against smartphones and other consumer devices could become commonplace over the next 5 to 10 years. Or will a wave of alternative payment methods drown out the SoftPoS revolution entirely?

FreedomPay was the first to market with a P2PE approved EMV solution for North America, as well as the first QR code-based BNPL in-store solution in the US. FreedomPay is closely following the PCI Council’s assessment of the MPoC security standards. This industry standard for SoftPoS is scheduled for release later in 2022, after which FreedomPay will be ready to add this proposition to our Next Level Commerce Platform.

As an industry, we must approach technological changes with positivity and collectiveness. With any industry, change is inevitable, but it’s not the change that matters. It is how we adapt and embrace it that will ultimately determine how the future of payments unfolds.

Posted July 12, 2021 by FreedomPay

Women of Color Magazine – Top Women in Fintech 2021

FreedomPay is proud to announce two employees have been honored by Women of Color magazine as Top Women in Fintech 2021. Mugdha Vaidya, Senior QA Analyst, and Justine Inton, QA Analyst, have been recognized for their accomplishments across the financial technology sector and their success and leadership at FreedomPay.

Thank you, Women of Color Magazine for recognizing our Next Level employees and congratulations, Justine and Mugdha!

Justine Inton, QA Analyst at FreedomPay
Justine Inton is a software quality assurance (QA) analyst at FreedomPay, a pioneer in payments technology. A recognized force within the QA team at FreedomPay, Justine has a demonstrated history as a quality assurance professional in financial technology. Her problem-solving skills have made her a valuable asset for FreedomPay and the delivery of its advanced commerce platform and enterprise solutions.

Read more about Justine here.

Mugdha Vaidya, Senior QA Analyst at FreedomPay 
Mugdha Vaidya is one of FreedomPay’s rising stars. She is an integral part of FreedomPay’s Commerce Academy, training production support and technicians on new products and features, system setup, and configuration.

Mugdha has over ten years of experience in quality assurance (QA) and software testing. She is active in facilitating brainstorming sessions and working with cross-functional, multi-cultural project teams to determine how effectively the QA process can be improved to promote ongoing business new business development.

Read more about Mugdha here.

Posted April 29, 2021 by FreedomPay

Next Level Commerce: The Intersection of Business Intelligence and Analytics

Business Intelligence can empower merchants to adopt data-driven decision-making, but selecting the right BI solution to meet a company’s needs is not always as simple as making an A, B or C choice. There are factors to consider, including how a particular BI product improves decision making with a businesses’ data.

Making the right call can be the difference between a smart approach to increasing revenue and creating an enhanced consumer experience or continued struggles with siloed data that prevents growth. Jason Vargas, Product Owner of FreedomPay’s Business Intelligence solution, revealed that there is no magic to Business Intelligence, but rather strong data analysis powered by a smart integration with a company’s commerce platform.
When companies look for a BI solution, what they primarily desire is access to their customer data. By analyzing this data, companies become better equipped to implement informed strategies to take their business to the Next Level.

They initially need to answer the data availability question to progress to leveraging BI for insights.  This need is not always addressed with 3rd Party BI Products.  Often, industry BI Products focus on features and functionality as opposed to the data.  This may distract organizations from what is a much larger decision-making process.

“The more complex and innovative this industry gets, the more esoteric these solutions become,” Vargas said. “You’ll find these solutions get exasperated. Realistically, adopting BI is a cultural decision more so than a technical decision. And that is really the beginning of a journey that an organization is taking, as opposed to, ‘We are going to now buy something that is going to do something cool for us.’
After a company establishes a Business Intelligence solution need, it is critical to find a solution that integrates well with its commerce platform. FreedomPay’s BI solution works seamlessly through its Next Level Commerce™ platform to make the most out of a company’s data, and it ties in with the functionality of its other commerce payment tools.

When Business Intelligence is fully integrated into one’s commerce program, generating business enriching competencies such as BI Reporting, Enterprise Performance, and Data Driven Decision making is attainable, because the data is populated, curated, and analyzed into the areas a business chooses, not ones chosen by a BI platform vendor.  This in turn accelerates the journey from understanding to action via Loyalty Offers and other demand generation activities. 

BI as part of a Commerce Platform accelerates your journey to BI Maturity and puts the right tools in place for reaching your Next Level goals.

Posted April 14, 2021 by FreedomPay

Research Recap: How Contactless Technology is Transforming the Hospitality Industry Forever

Liesl Smith, SVP Marketing & Sales Enablement

A person uses a cell phone at a payment terminal to make a wireless payment.
Consumers are embracing contactless technology as a result of the pandemic.

Living our lives in a pandemic is challenging us all right now and no more so than folks in the travel and leisure sector. We are seeing businesses of all sizes forced to pivot their operations not only to survive, but to cater to the changing needs of their guests.

Prior to the global pandemic, millions of Americans were steps behind the global commerce ecosystem when it came to payment technology—making purchases via card swipe, chip and pin entry, and even writing personal checks. A 2018 study by A.T. Kearney found that US contactless acceptance was at just 3%, while the UK was at 65%, and South Korea had a massive 98% acceptance. Digital wallets and contactless payments existed as huge opportunities for growth but were not as widely accepted across the US.

As a Brit living and working in the United States, it was clear to me on arrival in 2018, how the payment process was so much stickier than in Europe, where checks and card swipes were not the norm. I’d often walk into a store, gas station, or venue in Philadelphia or New York City and not know what payment experience I would have at check-out. In fact, the merchants had no idea whether their payment hardware was contactless/touchless enabled or even how to identify a contactless/tap to pay symbol, and it was surprising to me as someone working in fintech that most of the merchants didn’t really care about my experience as, ‘Ms. Consumer’.

Fast forward to 2021, and we’ve experienced a seismic shift towards online, touchless, and contactless commerce across the nation. Merchants are much more aware of the changing needs of the consumer. Certainly COVID-19 acted as a catalyst for this change, the push for a faster, more secure customer experience. The new normal in the United States is now a payment experience far more convenient and faster than the last—and I suspect there is no going back.

A graph depicting 10 years’ growth of US e-commerce penetration in 3 months, from 2019 to Q1 2020.
McKinsey saw 10 years’ growth in e-commerce penetration in 3 months, from 2019 to Q1 2020.

It is, therefore, unsurprising to see a significant adoption of touchless commerce and contactless solutions across the United States. Consumers have become heavily reliant on the internet, and online consumption is accelerating rapidly. A recent study by McKinsey revealed how US eCommerce penetration has seen 10 years’ growth in just 3 months.

In our recent white paper, “The American Payment Revolution: Next Level Commerce,” we outline commerce changes and opportunities across sectors, including hospitality, where guests now expect to have control over their experience from booking to check-in to payment.

How hotels can leverage contactless technology to enhance the guest experience:

  • Contactless check-in & check-out: When first arriving at a resort, many hotels have now implemented contactless check-in. Guests can now let the hotelier know they’ve arrived through an app and some can even generate a mobile room key. When checking out, guests can review charges and make any final payments through an app or web link. It is even now possible to check-in and check-out without any human face-to-face contact.
  • Amenity access: When it comes to resort amenities, new apps have emerged that allow guests to book seats at the pool or beach, or reserve a spa appointment all completed via a smart device. This gives the guest complete control over access to the amenity sites while ensuring proper social distancing.
  • Enhanced customer experience: With in-app capabilities, guests now have full control over their stay. For example, they can add late checkout, provide room preferences, and add extras to their stay.
  • Customized loyalty: Through innovative technology, hotels can use their guest’s data to push loyalty and rewards in real-time. They can encourage their guests to dine-in by sending a 10% off restaurant coupon or fill seats at the pool by providing one free chair with every booking.

Most industries have been hit hard economically including the hospitality industry, which has suffered one of its toughest years on record and is arguably the most challenged vertical when it comes to enacting COVID-19 safety protocols. There is no doubt that implementing new, smarter commerce technology will become the norm as guests’ higher expectations demand not only safety and security but also frictionless and highly customized experiences.

“The American Payment Revolution: Next Level Commerce” was published by FreedomPay in 2020. Read the full white paper here.

Read the original feature published by Cornell here.

Posted January 13, 2021 by FreedomPay

Next Level Security: PSD2 SCA

To make online and contactless payments more secure, we are seeing new rules and regulations fast approaching. Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) is the new European regulatory requirement to reduce fraud and make payment online safer. These additional authentication checks will start on 1 June 2021, with the final enforcement date set for 14 March 2022.

What is SCA and 2FA?

Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) is a legal requirement defined in the Payments Services Directive version 2 designed to help protect consumer accounts and reduce payment fraud. Customers making purchases will need to provide additional forms of identification, a process known as Two-Factor Authentication (2FA). SCA requires authentication to use at least two of the following three elements:

  • Something you know (ex: password or PIN)
  • Something you have (ex: one-time password sent to your mobile device)
  • Something you are (ex: fingerprint or face recognition)

Are All My Sales Transactions Affected?

Whilst the new legislation identifies certain transactions as exempt from these new rules, changes to the way in which exemptions will be treated, may lead to a request for additional authentication which if not satisfied, will be declined. Contactless payments, online commerce and merchant initiated transactions such as those that use card information stored ‘on-file’ are all within scope.

How Can FreedomPay Help You Meet These Requirements?

Merchants can be reassured that in working with FreedomPay we will advise you on your options to help you comply with SCA legislation and will help guide you through sector specific best business practice in mitigating the impacts of SCA.

  • If you’re a retailer or quick service restaurant and it’s the latest SCA compliant contactless EPOS or MPOS payment solution you need, then FreedomPay’s solutions come SC ready ‘out of the box’.
  • If you’re operating one or more shopping websites, FreedomPay’s fully integrated 3D Secure and Fraud Management solutions will enable you to ensure that any step-up authentication challenges are met and the maximum number of transactions, authorized.
  • If you’re operating payments based on cardholder credentials held on file, then you can be assured that FreedomPay can securely deliver the data required to meet the authentication standards.
  • If you’re in the Hotel & Travel sector, FreedomPay has one of the largest hotel merchant portfolios in the world and can help you configure our payment solution to your specific use cases.

To learn more about the requirements of SCA and how FreedomPay can help, download our FAQ.

Posted November 17, 2020 by FreedomPay

Ensuring Confidence and Growth in the Future of Payments

Seemingly overnight, the landscape of commerce, hospitality and retail changed in 2020. According to a study conducted by FreedomPay, U.S. eCommerce has seen “10 years of growth in just three months.” The simple art of the transaction became an enormous struggle for people and businesses all over the world. 

As a result, touchless technology and other digital solutions rose to the occasion to step in and solve the global economy’s most pressing problem – continuing transactions in a healthy way. Though this new tech helped save industries and businesses worldwide, it also presented new problems and pain points for customers as consumers struggled to intuitively pivot to a new form of payment. Additionally, customer trust in the process wavers with new digital tech, and brands have struggled to retain their loyal customer base amid doubt and fear.

Restoring Confidence in Payment Solutions and Exciting Innovations

With the central issue of restoring confidence in consumers at the core of developing new tech, touchless payments and eCommerce transactions continue to develop in real time. As we look forward to a future economy more deeply embedded in eCommerce, payment security is the prevailing character in America’s payment revolution.

Whether shopping at a restaurant, airport or online, technology should enhance hospitality, not replace it. Though digital solutions make transactions easier, they lack the human element and experience that shoppers so enjoy. In the age of COVID-19, online shopping and in-store pick-up has been one solution that delivers a seamless user experience.

Still, this method of commerce presents room for fraud. As a solution, merchants have banded together to share customer data in efforts to identify unusual shopper behavior and tamp down fraudulent transactions. The result? Customers who shop confidently and feel safe.

Lasting Changes in the Wake of COVID-19 and the Payment Revolution

Digital technologies are, without a doubt, becoming commonplace. Any possibility of a reversion back to old shopper behavior seems to disappear on the horizon more and more each day. But every customer is different, and each will adapt to new technologies in their own time.

For this reason, it is important to meet customers where they are at. The guest experience should be seamless for everyone, no matter how fluent they are in digital tech. Touchless technology, for example, is brand new to many shoppers, and adapting quickly to this change presents frustrations. As a solution, retailers should provide the customer with choice, and not force the transaction down a single path.

Though touchscreen transactions faltered for a short time amid fears of shared surfaces, many customers are finding familiarity, comfort and confidence with touchscreens and continue to embrace it as their primary method of purchase.

Mobile apps and QR codes have also erupted onto the eCommerce space as a novel solution to touchless transactions. They let people shop in a way they are used to while changing just one element of the purchase process. As a result, mobile apps are reshaping the user experience, intersecting technology and eCommerce in a way that adds value to the user. 

Looking Ahead at the Future of Payments and Trust

With touchless payments becoming more and more commonplace, it’s clear that digital-first technologies are the future of retail, hospitality and commerce. At the heart of the development is the issue of trust. As these technologies evolve, brands should maintain a laser focus on being transparent with customers and using data to provide rich value back to the consumer.

FreedomPay published a White Paper The American Payment Revolution: Next Level Commerce  which is designed to help merchants of all sizes understand the need for technological advancement at the point of sale and why businesses should respond to the catalyst of change caused by COVID-19 to enable America’s economic recovery. Click here to download the report.

Posted October 30, 2020 by FreedomPay

Payments and the Pandemic: Enabling America’s Economic Recovery

On October 29th 2020, FreedomPay hosted a virtual roundtable discussion with some of the most innovative leaders in payments who are navigating and disrupting the world of commerce. Read some of the great insights provided by our partners at Delaware North, Forter, Grab, HMSHost, Mashgin, Mastercard and Ready.

Restoring consumer confidence

Courtney Kelly Peters, Director of Business Development at FreedomPay acknowledged that restoring consumer confidence has become the focus for both merchants and technology providers. “Whether you’re going to a restaurant, to the airport or to checkout some items, everywhere you turn there is a touchpoint and that touchpoint is commerce. Introducing a way to make it a touchless checkout amidst the pandemic has never been more important.” she said.

Giving consumers choices

For hospitality businesses such as F&B, innovation is more important than ever and merchants need to create a frictionless, safe and secure experience for both customers and employees in order to stay relevant in the emerging and rapidly evolving digital ecosystem.

“Restaurants and retailers that are succeeding are those offering a variety of choices and not forcing every consumer down a single path,” said Jeff Livney, Chief Experience Officer at Grab.

Virtual kiosk is one example of an innovative, next-generation e-commerce platform that provides a safer, easy-to-use and touchless alternative to the traditional hospitality order-and-pay solutions. “When Delaware North and Grab introduced virtual kiosks at Atlanta International Airport in July 2020, 40% of the overall transactions were coming through the virtual kiosk which is an adoption rate we didn’t expect. Also, 90% of the people using that technology were first-time users,” added James Clayton, Payment Solutions Product Owner at Delaware North.

Permanent changes in consumer behavior

Srini Raju, Senior Director of Application Development at HMSHost said: “The trend of customer expectation for clean, zero-contact safe travel and purchases is here to stay and permanent. When the pandemic happened, instead of being a push for technology, it became a pull from the customer side – they were eager to try, they want it, and they want it now.”

A partnership between HMSHost and Mashgin deploying self-checkout technology across airports in the US found that customers in the grab-and-go markets are comfortable with less interaction. QR-based ordering and state-of-the-art touchless self-checkout are available in the market and becoming part of daily life.

“In terms of adoption, we have already had at least 10,000 people go through the self-checkout machines in the Charlotte airport alone within the first few days after installation, so people are ready to adopt this new technology,” added Jack Hogan, Director of Strategic Partnerships at Mashgin.

Emerging threat of digital commerce

With online commerce and transaction volumes growing rapidly since the start of Covid-19, instances of attempted fraud have also grown in numbers. Angela Whiteford, Chief Marketing Officer at Forter said: “New channels are new opportunities for fraudsters and they realized that when such changes come up there is less security there. Buy online, Pick-Up in Store fraud alone has increased by 55%.”

Having strong fraud prevention systems and capabilities in place will protect merchants against fraudsters across the different touchpoints in a buyer’s journey and allow them to process legitimate transactions while providing optimal customer experience. The challenge for merchants is that the existing fraud prevention systems don’t have the data to accurately identify good users from fraudulent ones. This could result in customer drop-off, loss of transaction and loss of a lifetime value of that customer.

A new initiative from FreedomPay and Forter was created to address this very challenge for merchants. They have established the first joint network for online merchants and banks to instantly detect fraud and enable legitimate consumers to operate freely. With an automated fraud prevention system and coalition of merchants, payment providers and banks, FreedomPay and Forter will help merchants be more effective in combatting fraud and build brand loyalty through an optimal user experience.

User controlled experience

Contactless payment has inevitably reshaped the user experience and relationship between merchants and customers. With contactless order and payment, customers can see digital menus, make orders, review, and make payments without using in-store hardware or services. This is all done on a person’s own phone.

Laurent May, Chief Executive Officer at Ready said: “Based on our post-transaction surveys, the overall guest satisfaction increased by 50% because customers have control of their own experience at restaurants. Not only does this bring value and time saving, there are some really interesting opportunities to add value to customers and merchants by adding loyalty features and enabling feedback loops.”

The economic recovery from Covid-19 is going to be a long journey, but the new trend is clear. Customers will expect to be able to control their own experiences and interact with brands and companies the way they want to.  Companies who quickly adjust and open new channels such as enabling QR code and NFC payments are going to recover in the short term and be successful in the long run. 

Digital transformation

During the Covid-19 pandemic, there has been a dramatic shift in the role of technology in people’s lives and spending behavior, presenting a substantial opportunity for companies to increase capabilities through digital transformation.

Stephane Wyper, Senior Vice President Retail Innovation at Mastercard outlined three key trends in digital transformation that have been happening and continue to accelerate as a result of Covid-19. These include the contextualization of retail experiences, unified customer experiences and frictionless commerce.

“Frictionless is not a new technology but we have seen a remarkable increase particularly  in the US in terms of contactless adoption and there is a continued drive as NFC-enabled payments continue to expand,” Wyper said.

Data privacy vs ease-of-use

Data  undoubtedly plays an essential part in driving personalization and contextualization of customer experiences. In terms of how merchants and technology providers can responsibly balance data collection with user privacy without sacrificing the user experience, FreedomPay highlighted the importance and value of working with a strategic partner who can centralize data collection and is able to anonymize customer data with tokenization.

Peters added: “Consumer data is extremely valuable for merchants and FreedomPay has the capability to transform that data into actionable insights to help merchants understand their customer trends and factors impacting their sales.”         

Posted September 23, 2020 by FreedomPay

Top 2020 Trends in Financial Technology

Named one of the Top 25 Women Leaders in Financial Technology of 2020, Courtney Kelly Peters has positioned herself as a key influencer in the fintech space. Her ability to cultivate partnerships, opportunities, strategic relationships and innovative thinking continues to set her apart.

Courtney, Director of Business Development at FreedomPay, shares her thoughts on the leading fintech trends of 2020 and the impacts of COVID-19.

Touchless Commerce

Enabling an efficient, almost invisible interaction with consumers has been top of mind for merchants and consumers alike. With the sudden social and economic impacts of COVID-19, there was an immediate need to understand how to continue to drive revenue through new channels that were not previously prioritized such as eCommerce, or to reinvent the in-store checkout experience.

A successful eCommerce channel is important now more than ever. As the initial impact of COVID-19 has subsided, increased functionality as it relates to ecommerce platforms has opened up the discussion for most verticals.

Businesses are taking advantage of various new Touchless Commerce technologies to best serve the consumer. Virtual kiosks allow for order and payment right in the palm of your hand has helped to keep revenue flowing while providing a sense of safety and security during the pandemic.

Alternative payment types such as Apple Pay and Google Pay, PayPal, Venmo and more allow the customer to easily convert cart to purchase with the payment type of their preference.

When shopping in store, more and more merchants in the US are looking to offer a completely touchless payment experience. Digital wallets are further gaining traction as well as QR-based payments that can be completed swiftly and securely right from your own device.

Business Intelligence

The payments ecosystem has been forced to evolve quickly over the past 6-12 months. There have been major shifts in consumer buying trends that have been impacted by COVID-19 and the associated technologies that support them.

Now more than ever, insight into who customers are and what they are purchasing is at heightened importance but appears to be quite fragmented when merchant look at an entire enterprise. With multiple commerce channels driving revenue potential, there is a growing lack of consumer insight into the full consumer journey.

A fully integrated Business Intelligence tool is key to data success. Merchants can now have a holistic view of the consumer journey, whether purchasing in-store or online. With the aggregation of data, a strong Business Intelligence tool can produce actionable insights at the press of a button – allowing merchants to push discounts and incentives at the point of purchase and much more.

While COVID-19 has been devastating to businesses across the globe, it has encouraged merchants to upgrade their technology to better meet the demands of the modern-day consumer. I expect to see continued innovation in the fintech space driven by advanced technology to facilitate a frictionless, safe and secure consumer experience.