Recently I wrote a blog post, the first of our Horizon Scanning blogs, that provided key takeaways from the expert panelists at TNS Horizon 2022, on the topics of 5G and PCI DSS. In this our second, and final blog, looking back at TNS’ payments conference we turn our attention to the latest payment trends and the opportunities available to those who embrace digital transformation.
New payment methods, powered by new technologies and changing consumer behavior and wants, spring from seemingly nowhere. No more so than in the last two years thanks to the black swan event of Covid-19, it’s no secret that five years of innovation and adoption were crammed into a matter of months, and the ramifications of that rapid adoption continue to be felt throughout the payment’s ecosystem to this day.
Convenience, Personalization and Accessible Digital Options are Key to Payment Trends
There are some crystal-clear themes within payments – especially given the impact of the pandemic over the last two years. Cash has, undeniably, declined in its use and digital wallets from the likes of Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay have grown in popularity and usage. But, what does the future of payments really look like?
At Horizon our panelists suggested that merchants should focus on three key themes when it comes to the customer journey:
- Convenience – can the consumer pay via their preferred method? Is it simple to checkout whether online or in-store?
- Personalization – the modern consumer expects a personalized experience, oftentimes the customer journey starts online, and they expect to be served personalized offers and experiences.
- Accessibility – omnichannel and consumer expectation have now met, the modern consumer expects a consistent experience irrespective of the channel, and they expect to be able to checkout using their chosen payment method.
The themes above then lead into two key takeaways – the merchants that adopt a digital first strategy, in keeping with the new customer journey that often starts online, will be most successful. However, the successful merchant will also recognize that cash is still relevant and is still the consumers preferred payment method for low value transactions.
That covers the ‘now’ of payments and the trends that have emerged over the last couple of years. The panelists then turned their attention to the future and agreed that digital methods will continue to evolve. There is an expectation that frictionless payments, such as Amazon Go style invisible payments and other queue busting methods such as scan and go will grow in prevalence.
The experts also expect that Open Banking, and Pay by Bank, will become increasingly popular payment choices – and merchants must adapt to this change in consumer behavior.
Digital Transformation – Balancing Opportunities and Threats
If merchants are to adopt a digital first approach to meet consumer needs, and the prevalence of new payment methods will continue to increase, it stands to reason that digital transformation is as relevant today as any time in the past and so retains its place at the heart of merchant strategy.
Digital transformation is a balancing act, and it has no finite end date. The journey is ongoing and multi-faceted affecting different parts of the business from consumer facing operations to supply chain and other back-office functions. The key to support this journey is to have a scalable, secure and reliable infrastructure in place that will support this in long-term journey.
Digital transformation, and investment in the technology stack is vital. But, it is not without risk. As businesses become increasingly digital the risk of new threats grows. In 2021 Fortinet saw 5,000 confirmed data breaches, of which 24% or 1,200 were targeted at retail.
The opportunities for bad actors, who are becoming increasingly sophisticated, are testament to the fact that security should be part of any digital transformation plan from the very beginning. Good security cannot be bolted on at the end.
Unlike our last Horizon blog, which had an eye firmly on the future, the key insights from these two sessions are here, today.
At TNS we’re a trusted, proven, reliable and secure business with a reputation as a global leading infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) organization, a global Level 1 PCI certified network with industry leading uptime and availability.
Our capabilities mean that we can work with you to facilitate greater payment choice for your consumers, and can enable your digital transformation while safeguarding and prioritizing your mission-critical applications. At TNS we accept, connect and securely process transactions globally for businesses just like yours, so you can focus on delivering exceptional customer experience for your consumers.
To learn more about TNS and our solutions portfolio, please visit https://tnsi.com/products/payments/