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Cash me if you can: The future of contactless commerce

By Kevin O’Connell, Chief Product Officer at Trust Payments

The increased preference for digital payments over cash is changing how customers interact with money, with direct implications for businesses. From cashless and crypto payments to NFTs and virtual shopping, digital payments have enabled businesses to reach out to customers in novel ways to satisfy their expanding expectations during the last two years.

The impact of e-commerce on the high street demonstrates how critical it is to understand your customers’ demands and respond to changes in their behaviour as soon as possible. It also showcases the need to focus on digital marketing efforts if you want a healthy bottom line.

Thanks to evolving consumer shopping behaviour, the rate of alternative payment adoption is continuing to move at lightspeed and merchants will eventually have to adapt as less cash passes through the tills.

APM: The key to frictionless checkouts

Alternative payments are pushing the boundaries of purchase possibilities. Consumers want choice and flexibility at checkout. With this in mind, retailers must offer various global payment methods, through multiple channels, for a best-in-class blended shopping experience.

Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) gives customers the power to pay for items with credit or interest-free instalment options. According to a recent report, Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) will amount to $680 billion in transaction volume worldwide in 2025. Offering this alternative payment can increase reach and is a solution for customers wanting to make a low financial commitment and pay at a time that better suits them.

The latest eWallets, such as Google and Apple Pay, alongside other digital payment methods, meet demands for contactless options for speed and convenience. These alternative settlement methods make the purchasing process simpler than ever before. Online payments through smartphone applications mean retailers can better target the emerging digital-driven generation with increased buying power.

Online payment systems

Not only is the type of payment method important, but the channel too. Retailers must connect their payment methods online, in-app, and in person. Merchants offering contactless payment connectivity alongside Apple, Samsung and Google Pay capabilities is fundamental.

To seamlessly bridge alternative payment methods across all merchant channels places the utmost importance on partnerships with fintech and tech providers. Retailers can harness their expertise in the industry to establish themselves as market leaders.

The shift towards a cashless society and the focus on data and insights highlights that retailers will have minimal success unless they can evolve. Partnerships will help bring innovation into focus and build shopper loyalty through value-added services.

Cashless commerce

Merchants are starting to combine different value propositions to meet the demand for new and innovative ways to buy. This concept, also known as Converged Commerce, is transforming e-commerce and enabling brands to be resilient to fast-moving trends by layering offerings to maximise omnichannel customer experiences, loyalty and sales.

Retailers can use alternative currencies, online, offline and mobile add-ons and customer data to create powerful and intuitive commerce opportunities. For example, abandoned cart reminder features, discount add-ons and optimised checkouts are essential to personalise purchases. Services and tools such as loyalty management and instant e-commerce, combine to create engaging, new and innovative payment methods.

Today’s consumer is accustomed to the advantages of leveraging both online and offline channels for an effortless, economical shopping experience. Implementing the concept of Converge Commerce into practices will result in a unified view of the customer to deliver deep and meaningful customer relationships long-term.

Rising to the challenge of digital payments

The digital age offers retailers possibilities to improve operational efficiency and customer centricity in their business strategies.

As a result, businesses must keep up with the transition from cash to cards to mobile wallets to wearable technologies in order to remain competitive. This is because the cards and payments business is poised to reinvent itself, as technology provides greater ease and benefits to consumers.

What does it all mean? It undoubtedly emphasises the essential role of customers. The present race in BNPL and much of the FinTech ecosystem is being driven by the worldwide need for increasingly transparent and frictionless payment experiences. While staying ahead of trends is important, the best method to ensure this resilience in product development and design is to constantly take a user-centric approach.

As instalment payments and point-of-sale financing reach new heights, it’s past time for both traditional lenders and FinTech firms to reconsider the lending landscape. By not offering these innovative payment methods, retailers risk missing out on a significant consumer market and increasing checkout abandonment.

Bridging the gap between payments and e-commerce solutions will be critical as businesses attempt to maximise their post-covid omnichannel strategy as physical and virtual buying continues to blend.

By layering seamless integration capabilities, which are essential for the development of adaptable payment products and an efficient payments infrastructure, these businesses will be able to compete for a larger market share and develop faster go-to-market alternative payment choices if they abandon antiquated systems and embrace future-ready paytech.

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