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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 August 23, 2019 by Bernard Clary

Stop Hackers Finding Gold in Your Data: A Quick Guide to P2PE

With so many touchpoints in the customer sales journey, it’s getting harder to lock-down retail payment chains against fraudsters (losses on UK-issued cards totalled £671.4 million in 2018). For many physical retailers, PCI compliance alone is no longer enough to ensure data security, protect customers and safeguard their business and reputation. That’s where point-to-point encryption (P2PE) comes in.

Why is P2PE important?

P2PE provides merchants with one of the most significant ways to minimize the risk of criminals stealing their cardholders’ data during in-store, face-to-face, card-present transactions.

What does it do?

P2PE protects credit card data from the point of sale (POS) as it travels through a merchant’s local network and across the internet before it reaches the payment processing system at the acquirer’s end.

How does it work?

It does this by encrypting data immediately upon entry from a payment terminal connected to the POS device to the third party secure environment where it is decrypted before authorization – from the starting point to the end point – hence its name. This encryption method utilizes complex encryption keys controlled by a P2PE solution provider, ensuring the merchant, or any third party, has no means of accessing the data traversing the network.

Why does this help?

Encrypting card data in this manner, means that even if a fraudster manages to capture it, they are unable to access the user’s ID or card data, without the relevant encryption/decryption keys. So, sensitive payment data can be safely sent through the entire payment chain without risk of compromise.

What about PCI Compliance?

P2PE is like a booster for PCI DSS – it goes further, is more exacting and safer than PCI DSS alone. And it makes achieving PCI compliance much simpler and less expensive too! That’s because it effectively takes the POS system and payment platform out of PCI scope, reducing time, effort and cost of compliance (but only if you use a PCI approved P2PE solution and provider, and follow the correct operational procedures).

Will it stop retail fraud?

No, it doesn’t prevent fraud using lost or stolen cards, but it does prevent criminals from accessing card data at the point of sale or while the cardholder data is in-transmission from the POS device to the payment processor.

Does it stop merchants using transaction data?

Not if you use it in tandem with a tokenization solution such as FreedomPay CardStorTM . This replaces the cardholder’s primary account number (PAN) with a ‘token’. Retailers can use tokens to identify the customer – for loyalty programs or automated form filling – and to supply transaction-based information to CRM systems and for business intelligence.

Is it hard or expensive to implement?

It can normally be integrated easily as part of your payment solution or platform using a PCI P2PE toolkit to provide the relevant encryption keys/pathways. If in doubt speak to your authorized payment provider. Any additional costs can often be quickly offset against time, effort and cost savings from PCI scope and audit reduction.

Still need to be convinced?

Here’s a quick summary of the benefits:

1. Simplifies PCI DSS compliance, reduces scope and cost
2. Extra data security without compromising customer experience
3. Minimizes risk of fraud, data breaches and subsequent fines, loss of custom and reputation
4. Data protection that keeps payment services simple
5. Used with tokenization, won’t affect loyalty programs or other commerce platforms
6. Software-based, easy to integrate – especially with FreedomPay.

Read more about payment security here.

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Posted April 17, 2019 by FreedomPay

Where Has it Gone Wrong for the Brick and Mortar Retailers?

It is always sad to see an iconic British high street name like Debenhams fall by the wayside as several have done in the last few years. While there could still be hope for Debenhams, the latest in this sorry roll call, with a number of players vying to take control and turn it around, it has sent yet another warning message to other high street stores hoping to ride out brick and mortar’s decline.

It is abundantly clear that the brick and mortar model has been struggling for a number of years. Shrewd merchants have been adapting their strategy to compete with e-commerce and align with the ever-changing retail landscape, and those who haven’t adapted fast enough have felt the hit.
The convenience and speed at which online purchases can be made have been key factors in the migration of large chunks of market share from high street to online. Enormous overheads from rising rents (£4.3bn in operating lease commitments in Debenhams’ case) and the need for high numbers of staff, equates to high (and rising) costs with decreasing sales – a formula that even the best chief executives might struggle to work with.

While it would be foolish to say that all brick and mortar businesses are doomed, it is imperative for decision makers to review their strategy even if, so far, it has been working for the last 50 years; consumer needs and wants are rapidly evolving and loyalty programs need to keep pace with their expectations.
FreedomPay believes that connected commerce and customer centricity are the pillars of retail and loyalty programs today and tomorrow.

The importance of personalization and digital data

In order to entice the customer, one has to understand the identity of each person. For example, a vegan may not buy into 50% off sausage rolls. This can be done by analyzing the spending habits on an individual basis, for example, using your systems data to identify who your top-spending customers are and rewarding them. Not only that but by crunching the data to see what they buy from you and when, you can reward them in a way that they will actually value highly, perhaps by offering discounts on the products they buy most often and not the ones they aren’t buying, i.e. the sausage rolls.

The megalithic online retailers understand the mantra and place the customer at the centre of their business operations. For brick and mortars, the ‘shopping experience’ is an asset they will always have to trump online retailers and should be utilized to assert an advantage. Aesthetically pleasing interiors and helpful employees are simple but effective examples. The experience is complemented by the ability to earn discounts, free samples, exclusive treatment and VIP access to entertainment. A loyalty card can drive repeat purchases and incentivize shoppers to come to stores and the website alike. Loyalty programs have proven to be a powerful experience for customers but it should be evolving to better please customers and retailers need to invest in modern data architecture that helps build a new personalized, customer centric loyalty model.

Find out more about customer centric models, by downloading the whitepaper: Personalization and Digital Identity: The Keys To Unlock Loyalty.

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Posted March 27, 2019 by FreedomPay

Tokenization and data – the value in unlocking loyalty at the Point of Sale

Merchants are no stranger to the transformational power of point of sale (POS) data. They already use it to link demand with inventory, create customer profiles for marketing and to spot buying trends in individual and across multiple locations.

However, the true commercial value of sales data lies in being able to drill down to individual customer’s buying behaviors – what they’re buying, where and when, and how they paid for it while staying data compliant.

Revenue hungry brands are eager to tap into this rich vein of data to re-energize their loyalty programs with seamless access to personalized content and tailored rewards. But, without the technology to link it securely to a specific customer, and across business functions, the prospect of meaningfully monetizing is lost.

Smart and safe: Harnessing data and tokenization

So how to unlock it? For omnichannel brands focused on driving stickier relationships, the easiest way to harness data and ID is using tokenization. This works by generating a customer identifier code or ‘token’ which is linked to the payment mechanism. Data from an individual’s sales journey can then be tracked invisibly, with no friction, and without compromising sensitive cardholder details.

Used in tandem with a connected commerce platform, tokens can be shared across business functions breaking down operational silos and connecting sales, CRM, social and marketing activities.

Near-money loyalty: Expanding tokenization

Not only that but tokenized points are 100% transferable and tradeable so they become a near-money currency across brands and outlets. This lends itself seamlessly for loyalty programs. Loyalty suddenly becomes more versatile, usable and attractive for customers – and a potential source of revenue for the merchant.

Using customer data in this way allows brands to execute loyalty as part of their business operations – as a platform not as a ‘point’ solution.

By doing so they can make the shift to truly seamless customer centric loyalty programs, delivering highly targeted and fluid rewards that flow smoothly between multiple vendors. Creating more value-rich experiences, boosting uplift and connecting with customers for longer.

All of this and more is just sitting on the POS waiting to be freed.

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Posted January 01, 1970 by FreedomPay

Tokenization and data – the value in unlocking loyalty at the Point of Sale

Merchants are no stranger to the transformational power of point of sale (POS) data. They already use it to link demand with inventory, create customer profiles for marketing and to spot buying trends in individual and across multiple locations.

However, the true commercial value of sales data lies in being able to drill down to individual customer’s buying behaviors – what they’re buying, where and when, and how they paid for it while staying data compliant.

Revenue hungry brands are eager to tap into this rich vein of data to re-energize their loyalty programs with seamless access to personalized content and tailored rewards. But, without the technology to link it securely to a specific customer, and across business functions, the prospect of meaningfully monetizing is lost.

Smart and safe: Harnessing data and tokenization

So how to unlock it? For omni-channel brands focused on driving stickier relationships, the easiest way to harness data and ID is using tokenization. This works by generating a customer identifier code or ‘token’ which is linked to the payment mechanism. Data from an individual’s sales journey can then be tracked invisibly, with no friction, and without compromising sensitive cardholder details.

Used in tandem with a connected commerce platform, tokens can be shared across business functions breaking down operational silos and connecting sales, CRM, social and marketing activities.

Near-money loyalty: Expanding tokenization

Not only that but tokenized points are 100% transferable and tradeable so they become a near-money currency across brands and outlets. This lends itself seamlessly for loyalty programs. Loyalty suddenly becomes more versatile, usable and attractive for customers – and a potential source of revenue for the merchant.

Using customer data in this way allows brands to execute loyalty as part of their business operations – as a platform not as a ‘point’ solution.

By doing so they can make the shift to truly seamless customer centric loyalty programs, delivering highly targeted and fluid rewards that flow smoothly between multiple vendors. Creating more value-rich experiences, boosting uplift and connecting with customers for longer.

All of this and more is just sitting on the POS waiting to be freed.

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