Omnichannel payments strategy key to seamless customer experience

An omni-channel payments strategy is key to creating a seamless customer experience for the majority of retailers, according to new research.

A study by ACI Worldwide and Ovum shows 79 per cent of merchants and retailers are committed to a seamless payment strategy covering all of their channels. Different options in different channels confuse customers and detract from customer satisfaction.

The research report – 2017 Global Payments Insight Survey: Merchants and Retailers – also revealed that although EMV has lowered fraud prevention costs for most US companies, fraud continues to shift online. And while merchants and retailers plan to considerably increase investment in payments to improve customer experience (by 50 per cent compared with 2015), more than three quarters of these organisations view security, compliance and fraud management issues as the biggest barriers to their investment decisions.

Principal study findings include:

  • Cards continue to dominate the payments market for retailers and merchants, accounting for 52 per cent of payments in Asia.
  • New and alternative payment tools now account for 10 per cent of global merchant transactions, with contactless cards now accounting for near 2 per cent of transactions in Asia as high sales-volume merchants embrace quick and convenient means of payment.
  • Some 59 per cent of merchants and retailers plan to increase their payments investments during the next 18 to 24 months, up from 50 per cent in 2015.
  • Payments investment is high in all sectors, with 65 per cent of travel and lodging companies reporting an increase in investment levels.
  • Merchants and retailers increasingly expect payments investment to improve the customer experience, but more than 75 per cent indicate security and compliance are the biggest barrier to payments initiatives.
  • Although 52 per cent of merchants and retailers say their card-not-present (CNP) losses are growing, 70 per cent say they are satisfied with their CNP fraud prevention tools.

“As commerce becomes increasingly digital, payments technology is critical to improving customer engagement and reducing costs – with 79 per cent of global merchants and retailers noting that an omnichannel approach is key to creating a seamless customer experience,” said Lynn Holland, VP of ACI Worldwide.

“Although there isn’t one path to payments modernisation for merchants and retailers, the benefits of investing in new and alternative payments methods are increasing – in terms of both merchants’ bottom lines and overall improvement of customer experience,” added Matthew Heaslip, an analyst with Ovum.

“To stay competitive in this changing retail market, merchants and retailers must foster strong payment partnerships with companies that not only understand their market verticals, but can also help them both improve their omnichannel capabilities and reach new customers.”

The study is canvassed executives from organisations across a myriad of retail categories, including general merchandise, foodservice and restaurants, grocery, fuel and convenience, and travel and lodging, in markets in the Americas, Asia Pacific and Europe, Middle East and Africa.

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