In financial services, the term, “omnichannel,” is too often limited to the perspective of the retail experience. Does the consumer see a consistent experience every time they use a bank or retailers various channels – online, in person or on a mobile app.
However, omnichannel in payments extends beyond a consistent user experience. True payments omnichannel also requires the backend process to be streamlined so that every payment option used is processed, protected and reconciled in the same fashion. It should not matter whether the payment is made via a mobile device or an EMV-enabled chip, payments providers are wasting time and money by patching together disparate solutions to handle every different payment source.
In order to provide a streamlined approach to payments, payments processors need to start from the ground up. Here are three key areas to focus on when building an omnichannel approach to payments:
Drop Disparate Solutions
While offering omnichannel payments is the ideal for today’s retailers and financial institutions, making seamless multiple-channel payments the standard requires all payments industry patrons to make some dramatic changes to how they’re processing payments.
Today, payment processing presents a major challenge as businesses embrace the omnichannel model by way of selling through mobile, in-store point of sale (POS) and e-commerce. Most merchants usually end up with disparate payment processors and back-end solutions to facilitate mobile, e-commerce and POS transactions. This not only creates a headache for the merchant, but also confusion for the customer if they have a different experience with each channel.
By providing a single payments platform, payments service providers can play a vital role in providing the omnichannel payment solution that would help drive transactions from all channels.
Cohesive and Compliant
Providing customer-centric solutions should be a primary focus when providing payments solutions. Equally important is ensuring solutions are compliant and secure. The financial industry is riddled with various regulatory bodies to which processors must abide. In addition, there are certain certifications that processors need to obtain, such as EMV.
While EMV has proven to be an increased level of security for transactions, the US faced and continues to face challenges with utilizing EMV to its full capacity. The process was slow from the start and was complicated to the end user. As for the processor and merchant, being able to accept EMV transactions is both time-consuming and costly, and this does not count the multiple certifications and protocols for digital channels.
In order for a processor to provide an EMV certified true omnichannel approach with ease and minimal costs is by working with a third party that are veterans in providing an omnichannel solution that simplifies the certification and compliance with regulatory standards and also allows the processor to focus on higher priorities for their business.
Streamlined and Secure
Security is one of the biggest concerns when it comes to payments in general. If a processor is utilizing multiple disparate systems, it is easier for fraud to slide under the radar, which could cost both their company and their customer a loss of money and trust.
Another advantage to making payments cohesive across channels is the reduction of cart abandonment when making mobile and online payments. If solutions look and feel the same through multiple payment venues, the consumer will have more trust in the channel that their payment is secure.
Another thing to be cognizant of when providing secure payments and omnichannel solutions is the amount of friction involved. While in most cases, the more secure a consumer feels, the better. There can be too much friction for the consumer when it comes to security. If they feel the transaction has become too cumbersome, they will abandon their purchase and seek out an outlet that is easier to complete the transaction.
This means a true payments omnichannel solution must have the right balance of security and user experience that builds trust without pushing the consumer away in frustration.
Providing a great payments experience is an ongoing juggling act that should start the minute the consumer decides to make a purchase. By providing a robust omnichannel payments solution, businesses can turn their focus to the most important aspect of their businesses: meeting the demands and needs of their customers.