By : Andy Brown
December 22, 2016 08:00 AM
Rapid developments in technology, payments infrastructure and customer demands have resulted in people having more choice than ever before when it comes to paying for products and services.
In many ways, this is a good thing - it increases choice and convenience for the consumer while opening up new engagement and revenue-generation opportunities for financial institutions (FIs) and payment providers.
However, the recent explosion of payment methods can also be daunting for merchants and payment acquirers that are expected to keep up with the latest innovations. Fortunately, there are services available - such as NCR's merchant acquiring payment solutions, delivered via the Authentic transaction processing platform - that can help businesses deliver what their customers want.
Omnichannel transaction processing
One of the most powerful features of Authentic is its ability to provide a diverse but unified transaction processing service, which allows merchants, payment service providers and acquirers to move away from traditional, silo-based payments handling and towards an omnichannel offering. This is becoming increasingly important, given the changing nature of how today's consumers shop and buy things. It's not uncommon for people to browse at physical stores and buy their chosen product online, or to expect to complete their purchase via an online-only platform like PayPal or with a specialist mobile payment solution.
For merchants, payment service providers and acquirers, it's crucial to have the right technology and support services in place to meet these demands. Otherwise, a potential customer could become a lost opportunity.
Authentic can help you to deliver a genuine omnichannel experience by bringing together the various processes involved in acquiring, authorizing and routing payments. It also enhances efficiency by preventing duplication across your various systems and processes, ensuring maximum cost effectiveness.
Spanning in-store and online shopping
Ecommerce is one of the 21st century's biggest and most influential growth markets, with the emergence of online retail giants like Amazon and China's Alibaba having a transformative impact on how ordinary consumers shop and make purchases – indeed in the UK and China, eCommerce accounts for approximately 15 percent of all retail sales. According to statistics aggregator Statista, retail ecommerce sales worldwide totaled US$1.55 trillion in 2015 and could surpass US$4 trillion by 2020. The online shopping revolution seems to reach a new peak every year, with sales extravaganzas like Black Friday, Cyber Monday and China's Singles Day steadily growing in popularity.
This has all had an inevitable impact on high-street shopping, but it hasn't changed the fact that people still love to visit bricks-and-mortar stores. Hitting the high street is as much about the enjoyment and experience of shopping as the simple practicality of buying things.
Authentic reflects the fact that consumers value choice in how they shop by supporting physical, mobile and virtual point-of-sale devices, meaning the solution is just as suitable for handling transactions from physical stores as online retail outlets. Whatever your business model, you can gain an advantage by deploying solutions that guarantee smooth, secure payments for customers. For merchants, this could prove to be the difference between someone only making one purchase or becoming a loyal customer who returns again and again.