In a world that is rapidly shifting to digital channels in response to consumer demand as well as other external factors like the global pandemic, merchants are seeking ways to up their game, redesigning and restructuring every aspect of the customer journey. This of course includes the payments process, which although an integral part to the shopping experience, has remained relatively unchanged for years.
For many businesses, this has meant a significant adjustment in the definition of what ‘digital commerce’ really entails, with an omnichannel approach presenting the brightest hope for developing new revenue streams.
At the same time, the intricacies of acquiring and ensuring a smooth customer experience have proved to still represent a huge undertaking. Many retailers are still managing thousands of transactions at one time or have a payments function that is set up separately per channel and/or geographical area. As a business scales, they can easily transact on an international or global level with multiple acquirers. However, this can increase risk when it comes to reconciliation or jeopardize connectivity, which could result in multiple failed transactions and revenue loss over time.
Payments are highly complex so it can be tough to know where to begin. Let’s take a look at what merchants can do to take their businesses to the next level.
The technological solutions for acquiring that are shaping the market
The value of acquiring is no longer confined to settling funds and clearing transactions. In the new world of commerce, successful companies are leveraging their payment data to optimize and grow the business across multiple channels.
In order to remove complexities, merchants must look to the market for available expertise that offers centralized reconciliation, a single view, and competitive rates for each transaction made. Crucially, they should look for a partner that will offer the facilities to make the entire payments process as easy as possible. The end result is a seamless payment solution with simplified integration and certification processing, along with eased reconciliation, fast settlement and zero disruption for retailers. Together, this means merchants can focus on what they do best: providing quality goods and services to their loyal customers.
Advanced acquiring is challenging the status quo by providing game changing payments technology to cover all in-store and online needs. With alternative payments becoming the norm in many countries, offering the preferred payment methods in each specific market is vital in order to boost conversions and drive customer loyalty.
However, the multiplication of payment methods across various channels requires a partner able to process and centralize all these payment methods into a single platform while providing clear monitoring. It’s for this reason that the solution provides not only acceptance, but also payments processing. Key for retailers is that this type of advanced acquiring offers increased flexibility, including consolidated reporting, pricing controls, and cross-border capabilities.
Having full visibility over the payments process will mitigate the need to deal with unforeseen fluctuations in consumer behavior, transaction volumes or fraud risks. At the same time, it empowers retailers to better manage costs effectively, thereby increasing room for further growth and profit. Therefore, they should make it a top priority to partner with a competitive acquiring provider who can maintain the balancing act between flexibility, transparency, security, frictionless payments and speed.
Optimizing all payment needs through one provider
Working with a partner who is acquirer agnostic and has global expertise in payment technology, card acceptance and acquiring provides the foundation for a consolidated payments system. Such partners provide merchants with the tools that help merchants manage business performance proactively, keep one step ahead of the game and serve their omnichannel customers, who are keen to buy whenever, wherever and however they want.
This means that they will only need to work with the one provider for all their payment needs, safe in the knowledge that acquirer agreements will be managed on their behalf. The consolidation of all the entire payment flow with a single partner translates into significant cost savings for omnichannel businesses. The right provider should handle all complexities, freeing up their resources to enable them to differentiate in other business areas.
An omnichannel arrangement also provides many advantages for improved customer service. With ecommerce purchases on the rise, consolidating online and in-store payments will help avoid any transaction confusion if customers need to return items, while also offering cash-in loyalty incentives and more. What’s more, amid the pandemic, omnichannel facilitates freedom of movement on smart handheld devices, a great way to ensure appropriate in-store social distancing.
At its core, omnichannel is the ultimate way to analyze how your customers shop, allowing you to upgrade your operations to best suit their needs. This analysis is also useful in tracking any unusual activity that could transpire to be fraud attempts, helping merchants keep their shoppers safe.
Making payments a strategic advantage
The advantages for those merchants that choose advanced acquiring solutions are multi-fold. Not only will they benefit from trusted expertise to assist them in delivering their expansion strategy in their home market or across borders, but also will be supported in growing their footprint by offering the most relevant payment methods for their markets.
And, irrespective of whether companies want to accept payments online or in-store, they can benefit from an end-to-end solution to cover all their payments needs, while improving cash management with some of the fastest payouts on the market. It also means lower acquiring fees thanks to an acquiring engine offering best-in-class scheme fee model, while enabling merchants to keep track of their transactions and settlements into one unified omnichannel reporting solution.
Such acquiring solutions are modular offerings that address merchant needs for a more unified experience, including acceptance, payment gateway and acquiring. This allows businesses to process all transactions, reduce risk and fraud, increase sales and conversion rates, and improve the user experience.
As the commerce game continues to evolve, merchants must plan to adapt to the constantly changing consumer expectations of our connected world, demanding better, easier, and safer ways to pay, using any device or channel they prefer, irrespective of the buyer/seller’s location. As businesses are looking to ease their payments pain points by strengthening their core capabilities, finding tailored solutions that solve their unique challenges is the only way to remain competitive and prepared.
Lee Jones, Director of Sales – Grocery, QSR and Selected Accounts for Northern Europe, Ingenico