Payment Experts Discuss ‘New Normal’ Powered by Open Commerce Platforms and Tech Innovation
FreedomPay, the leading commerce platform held an inaugural transatlantic roundtable to understand the future of payments in America and Europe.
12 months ago, the world shut down overnight as people entered lockdown and businesses closed down for the unforeseeable future. Now, as businesses begin to reopen and resume a sense of normalcy, FreedomPay Live: Next Level Commerce roundtable event brought together industry leaders from six trailblazing tech companies who are fueling the global economic recovery.
Hosted by Dale Laszig, Senior Staff Writer at the Green Sheet, the discussion highlighted the transformative power of Touchless Commerce and how payment technology has transformed the customer experience.
John Mansfield, SVP of Global Business Development at FreedomPay, acknowledged the existing shift for merchants to a next level commerce environment with a focus on payment tech and that this change has been vastly accelerated by the pandemic. The shift, John says, is driven by several factors including the prioritization of digital channels, the importance of data needed to understand consumer behavior, and the implementation of open commerce platforms that can easily adopt these new technologies.
The importance of an open and integrated commerce platform, especially from a consumer behavior viewpoint, was reiterated by Dan Rodgers, President and Founder of QikServe. “As the hospitality industry accelerates towards digital, operators acted quickly to plug digital gaps. What that means is “now operators have a lot of disparate systems sitting around. Integrating all of the new tech together is a massive opportunity for the hospitality industry that will exist in 2021 and beyond.”
Integrated tech is also key to the consumer experience, as considered by Marilyn May, Head of Product Management, Payments & POS at IHG. The real focus now is to integrate these safety features such as contactless payments to be more about convenience for the demographic who prefer them, but not necessarily something that must be used to have the full hospitality experience.
Bhavin Asher, Founder of GRUBBRR, highlights the importance of integrating across an enterprise, whether that be hotels for restaurants, and the importance of tech to benefit the customer. “The customer journey now interacts with the front of house, kitchen prep at the back of house, and, so as a business, how do you complete the journey and feedback to the customer to say thank you?”
Knowing your customer is not just important when it comes to experience, but also when it comes to security and fraud. As businesses quickly implemented a new digital customer journey, controls were not put in place to identify a good customer versus a fraudulent one. “There are thousands of touchpoints in this new customer journey where fraudsters can attack and do brand damage and steal value,” explains Rich Stuppy, VP & Chief Customer Experience Leader at Kount, an Equifax Company. “The key to understanding your customer is using and collecting the appropriate signals throughout the customer journey and plugging in the control to react to those signals,” therefore providing a seamless checkout experience.
Another key theme was the rapid adoption of digital wallets and contactless payments, a trend that is not expected to slow down soon. Alisa Ellis, VP of Payment Innovation & Emerging Products at Discover Global Network reported the Discover Network contactless volume in the U.S. equates to growth of 225% year over year for in-store transactions. “We are finally moving from the realm of novelty to everyday usage” when it comes to contactless payment acceptance, exclaims Ellis.
Revisit the roundtable discussion here.