Digital is influencing the way consumers want to pay for their purchases. Retailers that offer alternative payments options can help reduce friction and enhance the customer shopping experience.
BY SEAN C. TARRY
THE world is changing all around us. Technological developments continue to influence the way we interact with things and the way we approach daily tasks. And this couldn’t be any more true than it is within the retail industry. The proliferation of digital, and everything that comes along with it, is impacting the retail shopping journey and the ways consumers want to make purchases. And the businesses that ensure the availability of alternative methods of payment will take a crucial step toward meeting the needs and preferences of today’s digitally-connected consumer, while removing unnecessary friction from the purchase process and elevating their engagement with them.
Canadian Retailer magazine sat down recently with David Berube, Executive Director, Client Consulting with Chase Merchant Services in Canada, to discuss the trends driving today’s consumer purchasing behaviour and the need for businesses to offer them the tools and solutions to make the retail experience more seamless and enjoyable.
Chase is the leading provider of merchant services with over $1 trillion in annual processing volume and has been serving the world’s largest brands, new e-commerce start-ups, and thousands of small businesses for more than 25 years.
Canadian Retailer: Considering the digitization of our world—a digital revolution that continues to influence the way we all live and interact with everything around us—what trends are you seeing with respect to the way consumers want to pay for their purchases?
David Berube: Consumers are seeking a seamless experience across all channels. They want to be able to pay for their purchase in the moment, whether in-store, on their computer, or on their mobile device. We’re experiencing the continued expansion of the digital wallet and the ability to support a seamless and ubiquitous payment experience across all channels. And we’re also seeing significant growth in consumers’ want for alternative methods of payment outside of debit or credit cards. And then you have forms of payments like WeChat and AliPay and consumers who visit our country and prefer to pay for purchases using the same method they use in their own country.
CR: How can Chase Merchant Services help its clients meet the needs and preferences of today’s consumer?
DB: We help merchants of all sizes get ready to accept any type of payment their customers want to use, including digital wallets and alternative methods. And so, it’s really just about providing them with the tools they need to compete and continue to grow their businesses. When it comes to payments, we are a one-stop-shop to help merchants transact safely and securely, make it easy for their customers, and make the settlement process seamless. We have experts in all forms of payments and we serve retailers in all industries locally
CR: How can the payment solutions that Chase Merchant Services provide help remove friction from the shopper’s overall retail experience?
DB: When e-commerce started to grow, there were concerns about complicating the checkout process, leading to shopping cart abandonment. The same concern holds true in the the digital omni-space where retailers want to interact in-app, online and in stores— and customers expect the same experience, regardless of the channel. If there’s a complexity in the steps required to complete a purchase, consumers will go elsewhere. It’s about eliminating unnecessary additional steps that slow down a consumer’s payment experience and removing the friction.
CR: Where do you see the world of payments heading? What will the payment experience be three to five years down the road?
DB: There will be continued growth in the Internet of Things where payments are embedded in everything that we do. Ordering groceries through your fridge and ordering laundry detergent and fabric softener by touching a button on your washer will become a pervasive reality. It will provide a convenience factor, especially for products we use every day. In addition, knowing that convenience is a critical factor for consumers, there will be widespread adoption of technology like augmented reality in the digital space to allow consumers to feel more comfortable making customized and personalized purchases, like clothing and furniture. These kind of technologies will continue to become more accessible to merchants of all sizes, leveling the playing field and further enhancing the retail payment experience.