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2015: a year of closer connections

Expectations, and the pace at which they’re changing, are creating new pressures for the payments industry. While the future is always difficult to predict, one thing is certain: we are going to continue to see a lot of change in the industry.

Verifone is at the heart of all of this change because of the technology and services we provide. To get a closer understanding of consumer expectations, we undertook a study with the University of Glasgow to look at how people want to buy from retailers today. The main finding was that the requirements of speed, security and convenience of payments are what consumers still look for above all else – the challenge is to apply and evolve them in a converging, multi-channel world.

For 2015, the overall driver of change is going to be how retailers forge closer connections with their customers, and the role that payments technology plays in that. We see three big trends shaping this.

A seminal year for mobile payments

Firstly, 2015 will be the year when consumers become far more enabled to bring the power of those smart mobile devices into their purchasing journeys. We will see retailers increasingly wanting to deploy mobile-driven features that attract and retain customers. Card usage and transaction volume will keep growing, but the big change will be in far richer experiences for shoppers and retailers. Payments services providers will play a central role in this.

Heightened focus on security and authentication

Next, data breach risks will rise even higher up the retailer agenda. The consumer trust issues are obvious, but such breaches stand to cause lasting brand damage too. This forces a need for strong commitments to security standards such as PCI-DSS, and by doing so raising the bar on the level of holistic data security in place. As a result, we’ll see growing demand for services that manage these needs, such as P2PE and tokenisation.

Enhanced customer incentivisation

Finally, 2015 will be the year when loyalty and payments become much more connected. We’re seeing more diverse but also highly ingenious approaches to make loyalty programmes create more payback for retailers. The amount of venture capital money being invested in this area is an indicator of the potential of things like digital coupon schemes, discount initiatives and cashback rewards. Given Verifone’s massive estate of terminals and the services we provide around them, we expect to partner even more over this. Loyalty providers and retailers’ quest for innovation will be to drive not only change but commercial advantage.

The potential of payments being more connected to multiple aspects of the consumer’s journey in a multi-channel world will be at the heart of the action in the industry this year.

 

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