The evolution of payments has the greatest potential to transform the consumer shopping experience. Paradoxically, this transformation will take place completely out of sight of the consumer. Consumers will simply enjoy an experience that’s completely seamless and, if necessary, contactless as well.
To enable this, merchants must create an omnichannel experience, one in which the consumer engages the same way at the point of transaction as they would when making a purchase online.
Today’s consumers have higher expectations than ever before, and merchants who can meet those expectations will reap the benefits. In turn, those merchants demand a high level of performance from their independent software vendors (ISVs) and payment facilitators (PayFacs). Forward-looking merchants require versatile, all-encompassing solutions.
Thus, the back end of payment processing and underwriting are seeing the greatest transformation. Offering same-day merchant approvals, has become table stakes in merchant acquiring.
Though invisible to the consumer, potential exponential improvements in back end processing provide front end consumers with an omnichannel experience that they are willing to pay for.
Laying the foundation for an omnichannel consumer experience
According to The State Of Commerce Experience, a commissioned report conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Bloomreach, 40% of B2C consumers would pay more for a better experience and, in B2B, the appetite rises to 56%.
Even more telling, the same respondents indicated they would not repeat a purchase if they had a poor experience the first time. What constitutes a “poor experience” will continue to shift over time. Today, for example, a merchant without the ability to save a customer’s basket across all channels and devices would generally be considered to offer a poor experience. Increasing numbers of consumers are shopping on their mobile phones. This is something retailers must actively pursue if they want to grow their market.
An omnichannel consumer experience requires linkage between multiple channels in order to provide that seamless experience. Though simplified on the front end, the process is highly complex for the organization.
Where we see the organizational complexity, however, we also see incredible enhancements in the tools we use for investigating risk, underwriting, evaluating merchants, and processing payments. These innovations have made it possible for organizations to achieve the complexity without taking on the burden themselves.
We have just begun to mine the rich ore represented by machine learning and artificial intelligence. Already, these technologies are having a positive impact for the payment facilitators who use them to evaluate and onboard merchants. What sort of incredible transformations can we expect when these technologies are fully mature?
See our CEO, Dave O'Brien give his opinion on how payments is quickly becoming the fuel that “powers” digital transformation.