New Payment Methods Shape Retail Experience

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A few years ago in most retail stores, close to 100% of the shoppers were paying for goods with cash or by swiping or dipping their credit cards into a contact-only POS terminal. Walk into a retail store today and customers now pay by scanning a QR code or tapping their contactless card, smartphone, or wearable device. Many more don’t even enter a store and purchase their goods online with pickup or delivery options. Gas may even be paid by a car’s computer system!

The Shopping Experience Re-Invented

Although consumers today can purchase goods in many ways via the traditional shopping models, the future shopping experience will go beyond what was once imagined. Here are some unique buying channels on the rise:

Buy Now, Pay Later

E-commerce has taken off and introduced numerous new payment methods such as e-wallets and Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL). The BNPL model started in e-commerce but is now used in brick and mortar stores as well. In the traditional online shopping journey, the consumer pays first, and then the goods are shipped. With BNPL, this paradigm is inverted: the consumer first receives the goods, and then pays. This means that not only is there a new channel to shop in (e-commerce); there is also a new point in time when the actual payment occurs (after the goods have arrived).

Live Streaming

E-commerce takes away the human interaction from a purchase transaction which ignited a new trend that is taking off. Live streaming is the digital equivalent of going shopping with a friend or chatting with a sales associate. Asia is leading the way in social commerce and developing “super apps” that can facilitate digital payments though a one-click e-wallet.

Pre-Checkout Point-of-Sale

In a brick-and-mortar environment, consumers typically end their shopping journey by standing in line waiting to pay a cashier behind a counter, but this traditional journey is evolving. Imagine a consumer tries on a piece of clothing but realizes they want a different color or size. With a POS terminal near the fitting room, they can scan the t-shirt and see that there are also t-shirts in green available in the store. They can tap on “try” on the POS terminal screen, and just a moment later a store employee brings the green t-shirt in their size. The consumer can then select “pay” on the POS screen, and then tap their card to make the payment. In this scenario, the POS terminal eliminates the traditional POS encounter.

Payments Broaden the Customer Experience

In many emerging customer journeys, the act of paying is no longer an isolated event – the payment experience becomes part of a broader customer journey. Think about taking an Uber: at the end of the ride, a customer simply steps out of the car and barely notices payment has been made. New payment methods require less action from the consumer while enabling a more integrated, seamless, and frictionless commerce experience.

Learn About i3 Merchant Solutions’ Payment Solutions:

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