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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.

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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.”         

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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.

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Posted September 08, 2020 by FreedomPay

Struggling to Get Executive Buy-In for Business Intelligence? Five Ways to Get the C-Suite on Your Side

Here are 5 ways to convince stakeholders of Business Intelligence benefits

Securing C-level commitment for tech-investment is always a challenge. Strategic priorities, like business intelligence often get pushed off the board agenda by short-term challenges and stakeholder pain-points.

In some cases, it is simply hard to make them understand the competitive advantages of business intelligence. It is not a new IT-fad, the icing on their ‘digital-transformation-cake’, or a ‘nice to have’.  Instead it is now a critical requirement for all businesses that want to respond quickly to change – a prerequisite for survival in a post COVID-19 world. 

In fact, the right business intelligence solution can not only make businesses more successful but can also provide the insight they need to make many of the board’s operational headaches disappear.

What’s preventing the C-suite seeing business intelligence potential?

It may simply be a case of baggage – especially if they have had a bad business intelligence experience in their current role or in a previous organization. They may be anxious about poor ROI, failure to meet expectation, lack of in-house expertise, or creaking legacy systems. Perhaps the company already has a business intelligence system, but it may be outdated and with limited functionality.

They may also be unaware of current business intelligence advancements. These days, next level business intelligence solutions offer near real-time intelligence and rapid return on investment. Deployment over-the-cloud is fast and simple and integrated dashboards and tools make them easier to use and link to martech, finance and logistics.

So how do you shift the decision-maker mindset and build a winning case for business intelligence?

Here are five ways to bring business intelligence benefits to life:

1. Paint a new reality
Start by showing the board what a new, truly data-driven future looks like – and remind them that other organizations are already there. Then explain why your legacy platform simply can’t match this new ambition. Make it clear it is about taking the huge amounts of real-time data (SKU-level data) they already have and making it work even harder.

2. Fast-forward expectation
Old legacy business intelligence systems processed data in batches, so intelligence was historic. With a real-time business intelligence platform, you can move the clock forward and start making decisions based on real-time data. Ask your C-team if they are happy knowing what customers, resources and stock were like yesterday when they could see how things are across their operations, right now, today?

3. Secure a smooth business intelligence partner
Reduce decision-friction by making the business intelligence journey as smooth as possible. That means making sure you choose a partner with the expertise to set KPI, SLAs and ROI right from the start. They can help minimize disruption, optimize return and provide a migration path that lets you wrap around all your existing technology stacks (Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Marketing etc.), and integrate third party data as well.

4. Create compelling use cases
Focus on areas that are important for your business and are already on the management agenda. Whether that’s getting customers to choose short-life or high-volume stock items, encouraging upselling, reducing queues and walk-aways, enabling in-the-moment personalized push-offers, keeping track of partner franchise operations, spotting fraudsters faster, or building feedback loops to support better product development. There is a myriad of ways to highlight the value of a new business intelligence system – just make sure they’re relevant! 

5. Show it is easy to get and share
Finally, illustrate how easy it is to get from ‘theory’ to ‘reality’. And emphasize that their buy-in and commitment is the first step to get there. Reassure them by demonstrating the dashboards, customizable fields and automated reports that help them dig deep into their business – across channels, locations, partners, and parameters. Let them see how easy it is to get the exact information they need and to share it with others.

To discover more about bringing the benefits of business intelligence to life for your C-suite, download our latest whitepaper: How to Unify Commerce Data into Actionable Next Level Business Intelligence

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Posted August 19, 2020 by FreedomPay

Colleges and Universities Welcome Back Students with Touchless Commerce

Colleges and Universities are beginning to welcome students back to campus. Now, more than ever, safety is a top priority. While most top colleges and universities are outfitting their classrooms, dining halls, bookstores and stadiums to accommodate social distancing, many are going a step further by updating outdated commerce technology to vastly improve the safety of the ordering and checkout experience.

Student on campus

With this in mind, FreedomPay is partnering with top fintech service providers and ISV’s to introduce its Touchless Commerce program. The program helps merchants identify solutions that minimize contact during the checkout process. Touchless Commerce solutions provide colleges and universities with a payment experience that is both safe and secure; and may include the use of contactless cards, mobile apps, Apple Pay, Google Pay, eCommerce, and BYOD (Bring Your Own Device).

Additionally, FreedomPay provides merchants with the ability to promote touchless payment acceptance right on the device screen. This encourages adoption and underscores a commitment to safety, as students and faculty don’t have to physically press any buttons or swipe a card in order to pay, reducing potential harmful exposure to COVID-19.

North Carolina State University is taking their commerce solutions and campus safety to the Next Level with FreedomPay’s Touchless Commerce program. Students and faculty making purchases at NC State will be instantly presented with contactless payment acceptance messaging right at the point of sale, encouraging a safer, and swifter, way to pay.

“NC State is looking forward to welcoming students back to campus, but with that comes the responsibility of keeping our students and faculty safe,” said Chris Dunham, Systems Administrator at North Carolina State University. “With FreedomPay’s Touchless Commerce program, students can pay safely through a series of touchless and contactless methods and will also be reminded of these options right at the point of payment.”

Contact us to learn how introducing Touchless Commerce can take you to the safer Next Level.

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Posted July 22, 2020 by FreedomPay

Business Intelligence: Actionable Commerce Data

Why millions of merchants fail to manage and optimize their Business Intelligence

1. Stay on top of customer demands

With enhanced Business Intelligence and smarter understanding of transaction-level data, merchants can improve their visibility of product cycles. This is essential for reducing waste, streamlining business operations and reducing costs. Enabling smarter business intelligence is a great way to boost profitability without impacting service quality or user choice.

In today’s world advanced machine learning and modern tech is emerging to make understanding customer demands in near real-time easier. This revolution in Business Intelligence means that management and optimization of data will become second nature; it will be simple, just plug-in and play.

It will have a profound effect on strategic business decisions and for the end user.

2. Why should businesses boost promotion and cross-selling

Product-level insight enables businesses to improve market basket analysis and unlock previously unseen cross-selling opportunities. It is also more straightforward to analyse the impact of promotions and loyalty incentives more effectively. The results will predict and influence future behavior.

3. What can merchants do to exploit near real-time data to keep ahead of competitors

With near real-time data on products and stock units, businesses can also flag important trends as they happen. It suddenly becomes a lot easier to initiate a fast response to optimise an opportunity. Overall predictive services will be more accurate, and the business can operate initiatives like dynamic pricing strategies more effectively.

4. Build Business Intelligence feedback loops to support product development

Transaction-powered Business Intelligence that’s full of stock-keeping unit data gives businesses better visibility of factors like product performance, trends, and insights. With this kind of understanding, businesses can manage and market product offerings based on greater insights. They can also develop new products, create new product bundles and ultimately generate sharp uplifts in revenue. But surprisingly 87% of companies do not have business intelligence capabilities and tools.

5. Capture unexpected events and prevent fraud

Near real-time transactional data doesn’t just help businesses establish patterns for ‘typical’ behavior or product demand cycles. It also helps spot unexpected events, making it much easier to identify fraudulent activity. Equally, this capability can be used to catch and react quickly to a sudden spike in demand.

6. Learn how to explore fresh outlooks with third-party data

Finally, you can also synchronize your transactional data with other third-party data to achieve richer and contextualized analysis. Businesses can overlay transactional data with a third-party weather app to find out if the weather is triggering sales behaviors. Ultimately, you can use this kind of analysis to predict demand, drive seasonal promotion campaigns, and achieve a new level of profitability and efficiency.

To talk about how Business Intelligence can be used for your enterprise, or to discover more about Next Level Commerce™ click here.  

Business Intelligence Solution with transactional data report

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Posted May 21, 2020 by FreedomPay

How to Protect Your Customers with Touchless Commerce

As global consumers are changing their daily behaviors to adhere to social distancing and self-isolation guidelines, businesses, too, are being forced to reimagine operations and change how they reach and sell to their customer base. This unprecedented crisis has created major changes in the way we buy and sell goods, and for many merchants and customers, this means technology innovation is now a priority.

Businesses, especially fine dining and quick service restaurants have shifted gears quickly to ensure they are meeting the needs of their valued customers. Many restaurants are now taking advantage of Touchless Commerce, offering mobile ordering and pickup options to eliminate contact but also streamline delivery and service times.

To make the process even more frictionless, restaurants are implementing, and recommending, the use of contactless payments when placing a pickup or delivery order. Portable payment terminals can accept payment curbside safely and securely, allowing customers to complete payment by accessing digital wallets on their smart phones or tap their contactless card.

Mobile and eCommerce transactions enable the same swiftness and ease, with a customized, uninterrupted checkout flow that can be made quick and seamless by enabling digital wallets. Undoubtedly, contactless, mobile, and eCommerce payments provide vast benefits to the customer including convenience, flexibility, and top-notch security.

In just a matter of weeks, the effects of COVID-19 have forced businesses and restaurants to re-evaluate in-house operations and digitally transform to meet their customer’s needs. With the buying and selling of goods and services happening predominantly online to promote social distancing practices, we have quickly become a marketplace powered by eCommerce. But what are the long-term social implications of these practices? Will online purchasing and mobile payments become our new standard of shopping and dining? How will businesses respond to the explosion of online living?

As we pivot to a highly tech-focused consumer world, the push to order and pay online or through mobile has become engrained in our daily activity. It is anticipated that in a post- COVID-19 world businesses will continue to supplement their daily operations with fast and frictionless payment technology. The opportunities in promoting a consumer-centric experience driven by technology are untapped and this is just the beginning!

Read the original article here.

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Posted January 30, 2020 by FreedomPay

What Does the Future Hold for Self-Service Kiosks?

Kiosks can be used in more places and do much more than ever before – from fast food ordering in restaurants (e.g. McDonald’s) to integrated transport and entertainment ticketing.

Devices are now more robust and resilient and, as a result, are popping up in more locations. Kiosks are now being developed as hyper-efficient, with low energy requirements and instant sleep/wake up modes, some even offer solar-powered options that allow them to operate off-grid.

Kiosks come in all shapes and size too, with a whole raft of integrated features and functionality including touch screens, full-color displays, multimedia, voice activation and more. The one common capability they share, however, is that they can accept payment whether it be by card, contactless, and even by mobile.

Technology is reimagining unattended payments

Kiosks will have to work harder to deliver what modern retailers need (new revenue opportunity) and what consumers want (even more convenience). Luckily the technology needed to facilitate this is already here.

We now have internet-enabled kiosks, supported by managed platforms and run from integrated connected gateways, using cloud-based services. These are opening new opportunities and functionality for kiosks. Here’s a taster of what’s in store:

• Tokenization will play a star role

Kiosk owners need ways of letting customers feel in control of their experience but still being able to ‘connect’ with them. Increasingly, tokens will be used to customize the consumer’s journey and encourage uplift in sales by pushing real-time promotions and loyalty incentives.

• Kiosks will power cross-brand/location marketing

By using payment gateways to pick up tokens, retailers will be able to follow consumers outside their own channels and across multiple-brand journeys, creating ‘bundled’ experiences. For instance, a car park ticketing machine could alert nearby retailers and restaurants when a visitor arrives so that they can send an automated email, text or proximity alert for local offers and promotions to their mobile phone.

• Connected platforms will deliver hybrid virtual/physical services

Self-service installations will increasingly be used to straddle digital and physical worlds and provide hybrid services. Internet connectivity and touch screens allow users to browse inventory as well as order, pay, and redeem available rewards. Add-on devices and AI could be used to enhance the consumer’s experience, for instance, virtual mirrors for fashion and cosmetics.

• Smart kiosks will respond to real-time shopping patterns

Connected installations mean that data, software, and updates can be delivered to kiosks remotely, enabling retailers to be more in control and responsive to customer needs. With insights from kiosk-generated real-time reports, retailers can customize services remotely by switching functionality on and off and adding new features to reflect local trends, seasonal patterns, special events, etc.

• New self-serve ecosystems will embrace third party content and apps

There’s a real opportunity for kiosks to deliver multi-brand services making them important new revenue streams for their owners. Third-party content and advertising can already be enabled by platforms such as FreedomPay’s DecisionPoint Network (DPN). With new commerce platforms, providing separate environments for coding, testing and experimenting with external apps, we could soon see kiosks enriched with customer-facing services – e.g. concierge, curators, maps and travel guides.

Thanks to new platforms and technologies, it’s clear that kiosks now have the potential to become an integral part of the omnichannel sales experience and an important gateway to the new collaborative digital service ecosystem of the future.

 

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Posted January 24, 2020 by FreedomPay

Navigating the Payment Gateway Ecosystem

We live in an open world – open for choice, collaboration, and opportunity. Being open involves connecting and networking in new ways and in the context of the retail environment, that means building and growing new ecosystems.

While most are familiar with the ecosystems that already exist between retailers, acquirers, and banks, a new set of digital and cloud-based ecosystems continue to emerge that delivers a plethora of next-generation, value-added services straight to the point of sale (POS) or online checkout. At the heart of this is the commerce and payment gateways that act as central hubs, linking the various data flows and platforms within expanding retail ecosystems.

It’s time to rethink gateways.

The concept of the commerce gateway as a doorway to an exciting ‘plug and play’ service playground is still new to many retailers. To help them navigate their way through the complexity, we’ve put together a quick guide to help them understand the changing role of the payment gateway in facilitating these new ecosystems:

 

  • Expanding portfolio of APIs and Toolkits

Gateways now offer powerful APIs that allow merchants to connect with thousands of third party scripts and shopping carts while also aiding the development of new applications through toolkits and plug-ins, developer portals and sandpits. With these added APIs, retailers can create their own subscription services, on-demand marketplaces, or even crowdfunding platforms using a range of development languages, including Ruby, Python, PHP, and Java. Some gateways will also support hundreds of currencies and offer features such as mobile payments, subscription billing, and one-click checkout.

 

  • Fast to market plug-and-play marketplaces

Payment gateways are increasingly offering access to their own pre-built app marketplaces – packed with third party offerings that can be used to enrich retailers’ checkouts – from loyalty gamification and e-charity donations to bill splitting and currency conversion. These can dramatically reduce the time to market of launching new POS services, allowing merchants to browse, choose and deploy apps instantly, or remove them, as consumer and market needs dictate. In this way, they can try-out, evaluate and opt for the best service apps for their audiences without committing to long-term lock-in.

 

  • Secure access and sharing

Modern commerce platforms can separate out payment transactions from service platforms, to ensure that sensitive payment data is never compromised within the ecosystem. Equally important is their ability to deliver multiple user support and logins so that service teams and other business functions (including accounts and compliance) can access reports and specifically authorized features. It goes without saying that these also ensure a visible audit trail that links specific actions to authorized users. In addition, gateways can also provide custom security settings as well as anti-fraud capabilities to ensure that the transaction path is secure at all times, protecting against fines, fees, and chargebacks.

 

  • Tracking complex customer journeys

To aid targeting, personalization and more effective loyalty incentives, offers and promotions, it makes sense to be able to track customers and their journeys across retail ecosystems – between brands, channels, and locations. The gateway can aid this using tokenization, to ‘follow’ the customer through various journeys by allowing payment methods to be linked to transaction activity. Through data anonymization, information such as what, when, where, and how purchases and interactions were made can be shared across functions and brands within the ecosystem, without compromising sensitive cardholder or payment data.

 

  • Relationships must be reengineered, too

From Alibaba and Amazon, the development of the retail marketplace as an aggregated website is reshaping the global definition of the retailer and the sales ecosystem. Brands are now squeezing their way in between retailers and their customers, particularly in new e-marketplaces inclusive of review sites and comparison sites, payment providers, loyalty apps, returns companies, influencers, and social media.

 

Retailers can’t afford to wait for the customer to be ready to purchase their product, they need to get closer to them before they decide to buy. Owning or running a commerce gateway allows retailers to build their own ecosystems that put customers’ desires and needs first by enabling them to find new ways to interact (content marketing, geolocation and push services) and to personalize experiences.

Check out our blogs on DPN, tokenization and business intelligence for more ideas on how to fast-track to success!

 

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