Q&A with Ricky Hodge, Account Director at Ingenico Enterprise Retail
Interview by Glynn Davis:
In what key ways is the payments landscape changing?
With the rise of digital payments and online shopping, convenience and speed are clear priorities for customers. Customers are also increasingly concerned about the impact their purchases are making on the environment and are looking for more ethical ways to shop. So, the payments landscape is changing to accommodate customers’ preferences and protecting the planet and, as a result, becoming increasingly cashless.
How is the mix of channels through which people pay changing?
Thanks to the surge towards more convenient, ethical practices, we’re seeing a rise in mobile and digital payments. In fact, the market is projected to grow at an annual rate of 33% between 2019 and 2026, reaching $457 billion in 2026. As such, we expect to see this preference for seamless transactions increase, making use of environmentally friendly payments terminals such as Ingenico’s TETRA 2020 range, giving customers the option to pay with the method they prefer while keeping the environment in mind.
How do you see your role in physical stores changing?
The retail experience no longer takes place solely online or in a physical store. Instead, it is increasingly omni-channel, with customers able to access online reviews on their phone while in a store, or able to make an online order after assessing a product in person. Because of this, we are seeing the rise of in-store mobility, in which the role of the sales associate is dramatically changed, becoming more connected, and thereby informed, in order to aid the retail journey.
In addition, the traditional checkout is no longer stationary, as mobile terminals become more and more common and the experience in physical stores moves towards the customer, quite literally. Customers no longer need to queue, or shop in a purely physical or online way. Now, they can combine their experiences and pay on the spot.
What is driving these market changes?
By 2026 it’s predicted that cash will be used for just 21% of all payments. This increasingly cashless nature of payments is becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy as the less cash that is required, and the more digital payments are accepted, the more consumers look for convenient, easy payment methods.
Ultimately, consumers tend to choose to shop in stores that offer their preferred, convenient payment method, and in order to compete other stores must also provide the same options or up their game in another way. We provide over 200 payment methods online and over 300 payment methods in-store, so merchants can cater to any consumer preference.
How are you reacting?
We are constantly adapting our solutions, using data from the seven billion transactions that are facilitated by our omni-channel solutions every year to best understand customers’ preferences and behaviours. Just as it’s vital that merchants do not fall behind in the race to adopt a cashless future, we must stay a step ahead of merchants, using our understanding of consumers to create the solutions merchants need, before they know they need them.
What are the challenges facing Ingenico?
Security risks are rife as merchants battle to provide an increasingly frictionless, digital experience. So, it’s our responsibility to ensure that the rate of innovation keeps up with security standards, keeping consumers’ data private and secure. This often requires a balancing act and is precisely why we are the trusted payments partner for so many large organisations who need to outsource their security concerns. Ultimately, change is occurring faster than ever before and it’s our job to ensure that this does not compromise consumers’ data.
What represents the opportunity for the company?
Despite the risks involved with change, every step of innovative progress is opening the door to the cashless, seamless society we’re dreaming of. For us, the opportunity to be at the forefront of the evolving face of payments is an extraordinary privilege that puts us in a position to change the course of history.
Of course, with this comes great responsibility that we take very seriously. We are extremely aware of the role we can play in shaping the future of payments to look after the environment, and we are thrilled that our innovations are enabling both societal and environmental change for the better.
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