Commerce changes – and with it, POS expectations

By Kamran Hedjri, CEO, Kalixa.

Blink and you could miss it.

Commerce is undergoing a massive transformation and becoming a hot-bed of rapid revolution. It’s where you see some of the most exciting new ideas come to fruition and incumbent providers failing to innovate being replaced by players embracing new technologies.

The movement is driven by changing consumer behaviour and expectations that completely alter the payment environment and experience at a point of purchase.

The shift in approach shows that customers may engage with a retailer in a number of different points of sale, so ensuring a consistent payment experience across multiple touch points is key. It’s all about creating the best value for clients, irrespective of how and where they shop. A customer may purchase online, change the order via mobile app and refund in-store.

In other words, consumers are becoming smarter and more convenience-focused: they are used to shopping wherever and whenever they want. To keep pace with what shoppers are doing, payments have become an almost invisible part of the purchase and are adjusting to the rapidly changing idea of a point of sale.

Blending channels

The point of sale is undergoing a major transformation – customers pay on the shop floor, in-store on mobile devices, kiosks or via an app (and everything in between). Channels are ubiquitous, and it is becoming almost impossible to draw a clear line between them anymore.

In fact, in-store mobile payments in the US will reach $128bn by 2021, reflecting a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 40% between 2015 and 2021 according to BI Intelligence.

Similarly, mobile point of sale revenue around the world is expected to reach almost $50bn in 2021, (from just $6.6bn in 2016) and one in every three point of sale terminals will accommodate mobile according to Juniper Research. The rise of mPOS solutions attracts big payment players looking to gain foothold in this channel and round out their portfolio. An example: PayPal announcing the deal to buy iZettle, a Swedish mobile payments company, for $2.2bn – its biggest-ever takeover.

Convenience is key

The buying process starts with research: customers are keen to invest time in finding the right product and as a next step, they decide where and how to purchase it. However, the decision is not driven by price or geographical factors anymore but the speed and convenience – a completely new paradigm in choosing the preferred point of sale. This has been a game-changer.

As an example, 43% percent of British consumers feel equally comfortable buying high-value items, like vacations and electronics, on a mobile device as they do conducting small transactions, like purchasing bus or train tickets (41%) according to Visa.

With the Internet of Things and solutions like Amazon’s Alexa or Google Home performing the research for us, the trend will continue even further and fuel the payment disruption.

Frictionless experience

Mapping the customer journey across all channels and ensuring a consistent payment experience across multiple touch points is key. There are numerous products supporting a seamless payment experience, including tokenisation, one-click payments, right payment option mix and customisable checkout pages, to name a few.

As consumers get more convenience-focused, completing a purchase in just a few clicks is vital. Often that means setting up a preferred payment method and defaulting to it for every purchase. That’s how top of wallet is decided these days and a convenient, frictionless purchasing process can be created.

End-to-end payment services

Whatever the channel, customers need a consistent and reassuring service to help drive conversion and boost profitability. That is why it is crucial for businesses to get a clearer picture of what lies ahead and future proof their payment solutions.

Harnessing the full potential of payments can help reinvent the digital journey and gives businesses of all sizes a massive opportunity to grow the bottom line as a result.

With its global omnichannel platform Kalixa can help merchants stay ahead of the curve and keep up with the constantly changing world of commerce. With their smart solutions Kalixa can help solve challenges and eliminate all the costs and issues that come with a fractioned payment experience.

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