August 21, 2018

Seamless payment: making the complicated simple

The race to digital is rattling the payment ecosystem with more choice for consumers adding complexity across the payment value chain – from merchants to consumers and everyone in between. This blog post is the first in a series that will unpick the characteristics of a winning payments strategy that gives consumers what they need, without sacrificing safety, and gives payment providers the confidence to compete.

The “SMART Payments” series will provide insights on the components that are essential for any organisation wishing to succeed in digital finance and some examples of best practice – i.e. Seamless, Mobility, Agile, Robust and Technology.

1. Seamless payment: making the complicated simple

New research commissioned by SMARTASSISTANT found that 72% of online shoppers in the US, UK and Germany have ranked being able to trust their favourite retailer or brand as their biggest concern, followed by receiving honest and personal advice (68%) and support to resolve issues quickly (66%). According to the Humanizing Digital 2020 report 54% of shoppers have stopped purchasing from a website because it is too difficult to find the right product, while 71% switch to a competitor that provided an easier product-finding experience[1]

For payment providers this is a critical challenge. Making payment seamless is about making the complicated simple – a skill needed more than ever across all areas of business, as digital causes a proliferation of choice for customers and increases the risk of choice ‘burn-out’.

While innovation has a part to play in this, it’s not just about introducing new technology for the sake of it. It’s important not to let ‘innovation’ get in the way of what works. First Direct as an example of remote banking pre-dates the internet and certainly internet banking, but remains arguably the best, most successful example of branchless virtual banking. Sometimes old fashioned might be better than shiny and new – the order should be problem first, solution second, technology third. If in doubt, see what happens when the order is reversed.

While the customer comes first is a truism from the information age that idolises previous customer experience as a means of product improvement. As the digital age enters adolescence this is extended into the future with the technology available to understand, learn and predict what customers need now and might need in future. Take Amazon Prime, for example, which has been built on a track record of reliability and trust, that shows customers relevant services and products as it gets to understand customers and what they pay for better.

The payment industry is beginning to wake up to this. Identifying a customer audience looking for flexible payment terms, Klarna developed a solution that effectively replaces credit cards by taking on the merchant risk to enable instalment payments. This gives the consumer a great experience, and at the same time helps Klarna’s vendor partner, the merchant, to feel more secure, knowing they are getting paid.

Innovation is important to payment-intensive businesses because it enables efficiency, scale and speed at volume at little additional cost. It’s therefore critical in a world of disappearing margins. Consumers like the sound of innovation – but they like the results (when its implemented with them in mind) a lot more – think of Uber where the innovation is about not having to think or do anything about paying. Seamless from the moment of ordering a car to arriving at your destination.

As payments industry veterans, RS2 has a long track record of identifying the workflows that go into making payment, and its associated processes, seamless – from merchants to end customers. But in order to do this, our key focus in case of licensed customers is on the users of our platform. While we bring a platform that offers a vast range of issuing and acquiring features, we have taken great care to design it so that it is easy to use and easy to deploy – with personal guidance and support every step of the way. In the case of Managed Services, RS2 will be taking care and ensuring seamless payment processing throughout the whole value chain

Interested in knowing more? Email me at david.amato@rs2.com to arrange a call to discuss how we can help your business navigate payments.

– David Amato Head of Sales and Implementation, RS2

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[1] Humanizing Digital 2020, report by Researchscape for SMARTASSISTANT