Why electronics payments mean the future is bright for UK retailers

With contactless and mobile payments now becoming an increasingly common sight across the country, the need for robust and reliable systems to support these transactions is paramount.

Verifone has rapidly become the go-to company when it comes to enabling the next generation of payments, with the firm’s managed services offerings linking up with its POS devices to provide a full end-to-end solution for merchants looking to upgrade their system.

The company has long been established in the UK, working with a number of top retailers, and sees a bright future for the country’s consumers and merchants alike.

"The UK market is an innovative market, and it some sections is growing quite rapidly,” Verifone’s UK MD Kevin Freeguard told ITProPortal. "Consumer needs change and the way in which retailers interact with their consumers both in-store and online is changing." 

"Consumers today want to have the ability to pay when and where they want, be that online or in-store,” he adds, “and Verifone provides the solutions that let merchants develop much richer offerings to their consumers."

The number of electronic payments has skyrocketed over the past few years, Freeguard notes, and merchants are now increasingly looking to offer a richer consumer experience that will help their business stand out.

"Payment is an integral part of the consumer experience," he says, "If you look at it from the merchant perspective, they are looking to drive value-added services, to reduce their costs, to get closer to their consumer, to make their processes similar - and that environment lends itself to working with global partners like Verifone."

"When you're talking about the consumer experience, the opportunity to provide omnichannel solutions, be that online or directly in-store...those solutions start to drive a much stickier consumer experience" 

"Payments are complicated, and merchants want to work with partners with the expertise in how to do this, and do this very well, with all the compliance and regulation that go with it."

The UK has proven to be one of the most receptive markets to these new solutions, Verifone says, with merchants large and small enthusiastically embracing omnichannel payments technology.

This is particularly true when it comes to contactless payments, which Freeguard says have exploded in popularity over the past 18 months. Common use cases such as London’s TfL system and the increasing propensity of taxis to allow contactless payments have allowed UK consumers to quickly become comfortable with the technology, unlike markets such as the US - which still struggles to implement PIN systems.

“The UK retail market has had some challenges over the past few years, but I think retailers have continued to be innovative and drive change,” Freeguard says.

Verifone is now looking to popularise its own Engage platform of solutions, particularly the Carbon POS system (pictured above) it showcased at the recent Money 20/20 trade show in Copenhagen, which will help retailers embrace schemes such as loyalty promotions and more at the checkout.

However Freeguard doesn’t believe that we will reach a truly cashless society - at least not for the time being. "If you look at the growth of electronic payments, that continues to accelerate,” he says, noting that the likes of Sweden and the Netherlands in particularly are making huge steps forward which will soon be followed by central banks.

“But I think there will always be a need for cash!"