Over the years, merchants have been continually forced to adapt to the changing needs and preferences of consumers. Now more than ever, we are living in a consumer-driven economy, and with evolving technologies, the power of the consumer has filtered all the way to the payments experience. As consumers increasingly use digital tools to shop, they now expect to be able to pay how they want, when they want, anywhere they want.
The evolving consumer demands will dictate how merchants must shift to remain relevant, and it’s up to merchant services providers and resellers to keep pace with the latest solutions and counsel merchants appropriately.
PAYMENT EQUIPMENT HAS CHANGED
Due to long lines and wait times, customers have consistently reported that making a purchase is the most painful part of the shopping experience. To address this, over the last decade we’ve seen a dramatic evolution in payment technology and a plethora of advanced experiences being introduced. Payment equipment has evolved from bulky credit card terminals with limited capacities to inexpensive mobile readers and POS systems.
Now, merchants can equip their employees with mobile POS devices, effectively eliminating the cashier counter and long lines. Employees can access product specs and inventory information on their devices, so there is no more running back to storage. Dispersion of shoppers creates a better overall customer experience, allowing staff to take their time providing top-tier service.
THE POINT OF SALE IS SHIFTING
In addition to upgrading equipment, some retailers are going one step further by eliminating the traditional checkout experience entirely. This has facilitated “tailored-to-me” shopping experiences.
Developments in omni-channel technologies are redefining how payments are accepted, most obviously with the proliferation of e-commerce as well as hybrid features like online order ahead with in-store pickup. In addition, integrated payment technologies now allow businesses to accept and manage payments within existing software, turning most any PC, tablet or smartphone into a point of sale. And, as “smart” software is integrated into more varied hardware, from parking meters to laundromat washers, more products are becoming points of sale able to accept credit transactions.
The multiplication of integrated payments offers great opportunities for innovative payment technology and merchant services providers who are able to help businesses re-envision their customer’s experience.
THE WAYS TO PAY HAVE MULTIPLIED
The shift to EMV chip cards a few years ago provided a major incentive for merchant services providers to consult with merchants and encourage them to upgrade their equipment. Now, the ability to accept EMV chip cards, online payments and NFC/mobile wallet solutions like Alipay, Apple Pay or Samsung Pay is common. The market will continue to expect merchants to keep pace and accept payment types that each individual consumer deems to be the most convenient.
PREPARING MERCHANTS FOR THE FUTURE OF PAYMENTS
While some cutting-edge solutions aren’t appropriate for every business, a reseller can advise merchants on what technologies suit them. Evaluating solutions like implementing contactless/NFC payment acceptance or setting up a mobile POS system may seem daunting for a business, but a knowledgeable reseller can make it easy. For instance, North American Bancard offers a comprehensive product suite, with many free options, enabling merchants to get started quickly and add solutions as they grow.
As a merchant services provider or reseller in this ever-evolving marketplace, aligning yourself with a payments technology partner at the forefront of emerging solutions is necessary to keep your merchants successful.
For information on how you can help merchants be better positioned for the future of payment acceptance, please visit www.gonab.com or call (888) 229-5229.