Converged commerce: The key to seamless retail payments?

by George Iddenden, Reporter, The Payments Association

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In today’s dynamic retail landscape, providing customers with a seamless payment experience across various channels is no longer just a competitive advantage; it’s a necessity. Trust Payments’ CEO Daniel Holden sat down with the Payments Association’s reporter George Iddenden to discuss the benefits of converged commerce and how businesses are leveraging unified technology to streamline transactions and enhance customer satisfaction.

How does converged commerce facilitate a seamless payment experience for customers across various channels, including in-store, online, and mobile apps?

Converged commerce is helping businesses make customer experiences seamless with unified technology across every digital touchpoint. From the transaction process at the checkout to making inventory management and loyalty initiatives fully digitised, our suite of omnichannel tools meet all business needs.

It’s not just about the payments but also how you approach tracking stock, facilitating pre-ordering and even things like arranging delivery logistics. Every step of the shopping journey must be seamless – not just the payment experience and this has to be complemented by powerful in data analytics. These can be industry agnostic – for instance, we have developed powerful AI tools to help gaming firms detect probability of harm, hoteliers plan for seasonal peaks and crypto providers with understanding of transactional trends with ease.

Can you explain the role of digital wallets and mobile payments in converged commerce, and how they contribute to a more flexible and convenient payment process?

Digital wallets and mobile payments eliminate the need to carry multiple cards or cash, streamlining transactions to be quicker and more efficient. This is especially noticeable in contactless payments, where a simple tap of a phone or smartwatch can process a payment, greatly reducing the time spent at checkouts.

In addition to enhancing in-store payment experiences, digital wallets have the power to significantly improve online shopping. They securely store users’ payment information, eliminating the need for customers to enter their card details for each transaction. This not only speeds up the transaction but also has a role in reducing the likelihood of cart abandonment during online shopping sessions.

Customers remember their checkout experiences, in what ways does converged commerce ensure a unified experience for customers at checkout?

Converged commerce ensures businesses take an integrated approach to every step in the shopping experience, which ultimately allows for a consistent and smooth unified checkout experience, regardless of where or how a customer chooses to shop.

This means that whether a customer is making a purchase in a physical store, browsing through an online marketplace, or using a mobile app, they can expect the same range of digital payment options and overall commerce experience. This consistency is vital in today’s retail environment, where flexibility and convenience are highly valued by consumers.

How are point-of-sale systems integrated in converged commerce to accept a diverse range of payment methods, such as credit cards, contactless payments, and mobile wallets, at physical retail locations?

Point-of-sale systems are the end point of every converged commerce journey – ensuring that the shopper can fulfil their transaction with options to accept a diverse range of payment methods, including credit cards, contactless payments, and mobile wallets.

This adaptability is crucial for physical retail locations to accommodate the varied preferences of their customers. This interconnectedness ensures a seamless and efficient retail experience, both for the customers and the business. By embracing this technology, retailers can ensure they are well-positioned to meet the evolving demands of the market and provide a more inclusive and accessible shopping experience for all customers.

What security measures are commonly implemented in converged commerce solutions to protect customer payment data, and how do these measures comply with industry regulations?

Unnecessary friction can make a checkout experience clunky so optimising a business’ payment process with minimal steps to complete a purchase is how a business can set itself up for success. Converged commerce makes it easier for merchants to consider innovative ways to authenticate payments.

Using two-step authentication with a trusted payment provider will reduce time spent on the minutiae of legislation and focus on growing the business. It allows banks, merchants, and card issuers to share data collaboratively, meaning merchants save time and pass on liability to banks that can deal with fraud complaints.

How does the integration of payment data with other customer information contribute to the personalisation of offers, loyalty programs, and targeted promotions in converged commerce?

Loyalty programs benefit significantly from integrating a converged commerce solution. Payment methods can be tied to loyalty programmes. The combination of payment data allows our platform to track and reward customer loyalty accurately no matter where the customer is or which store they are spending at.

Understanding how customers use different payment methods and their frequency of purchases enables the customisation of loyalty rewards, fostering a more meaningful and personalised loyalty program. This, in turn, encourages sustained customer engagement and repeat business.

How can sellers ensure a cohesive payment experience for customers using converged commerce?

Essentially, it ensures a seamless payment experience for customers across diverse sellers to guarantee secure transactions, implementing robust measures like encryption and fraud detection.

At Trust Payments, we also support various payment methods and accommodate customer preferences by offering consistency in the checkout process, regardless of the seller, we contribute to a cohesive and user-friendly payment experience, across multiple different e-commerce platforms and marketplaces.

We know how important leveraging data can be, how does converged commerce use data to enhance the overall customer experience in the payments space?

In today’s data-driven world, payments data provides businesses with valuable insights into customer behaviour and preferences. Payments are now a real driver for revenue as businesses start to understand consumer needs and wants better. By leveraging payment performance reporting, payment insights and payment journey analysis, merchants can gain a deeper understanding of their customers and transform their customer journey, leading to increased ROI and real-time engagement. converged commerce empowers businesses to use payment data to boost their bottom line while gaining deeper insights into their customers.

What are some of the key challenges and considerations businesses need to address when implementing converged commerce strategies?

When implementing any commerce technology, it’s important to focus on getting the installation and set-up right – especially for those that are cloud-based and run via an application. It’s also important that you are realistic with load management needs and match your tech requirements to your volume – especially if you are looking to start processing payments at a high volume. Match the amount of hardware you adopt to the scale of customers you typically attract by mapping requirements based on your busiest checkout points- helping to gauge the numbers you might need. For a smaller business, your needs should not be particularly extensive, a mobile device and card reader should suffice.

When handling a lot of systems, it is good practice to always maintain availability, and keep a cycle of devices both charged and charging, to avoid any availability problems. To successfully integrate all commerce tools in your business, it is helpful to start looking at how it can work with other aspects of your business.

 In terms of customer expectations, it is important to look at things that they are looking for in shopping experience. For example, enabling Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC) allows an individual to make a purchase in a foreign country using their home country’s currency. Providing this service will allow you to cater to consumers from abroad and widen your potential customers and revenue.

Finally, it’s also important to ensure you have signage showing all the payment methods you accept. Having a customisable payment method section so you can control which you accept means you can meet customer demand and showcasing these payment methods is important as it communicates to consumers that you can cater to their specific payment needs.

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