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The Future of Payments in Retail

08 December 2015

The Future of Payments in Retail

David Baker,
Head of Card Payment Innovations,
The UK Cards Association

In looking at the future payment landscape it pays to take note of the habits of our children, the so-called millennials or Generation Y. The future primary economic units of the mid 2020’s have a very different outlook on the world; they are the true digital natives having embraced the connected technology that is increasingly available to them. Watch them as they live their lives through their mobile phones, see how they interact with each other through social media and importantly how they access the services they want and the goods they want to buy. It becomes clear that they have very different attitudes to commerce, demanding instant access to the things they want and getting frustrated with the legacy systems that support commerce today.

To aid the development of a vision of commerce in the future we must also look at the compelling evidence of today’s successful digital service providers. Look to the likes of Shazam and Blipper with their revolutionary user interfaces, in the success of the digital content providers like Netflix and Spotify, in the popularity of one click payment solutions from PayPal and Amazon and in new age payment service providers like Stripe. All of these have grown out of developments founded on the needs of the digital natives and none of whom conform to the normal ways of doing business today.

For retailers, responding to the changing face of commerce has become the biggest challenge they have faced since the introduction of the supermarket in the 1950s. To compete for the digital customer retailers must provide solutions that allow consumers to engage through whatever channel they choose. They must be able to navigate seamlessly through the shopping process with the fewest interruptions to fill forms or register details. The search for a platform that does this drives omni-channel programmes that blur the distinction between online and traditional retailing. Successful customer engagement platforms are now being enhanced by connecting all of the back office functions to deliver truly connected services.

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