Navigating the changes in payments processing

30 / 01 / 2024

In the dynamic landscape of retail, technological advancements are driving a transformative shift in the industry. This evolution, driven by changing consumer behaviours and technological innovations, positions the selection of a payment provider as a crucial strategic decision for businesses.

3 min.

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The Changing Landscape of Payments

In recent years, the dominance of cards in payment transactions has increased significantly, with a 2% rise from 2021 to 2022, reaching a 59% share, as reported by UK Finance. The growth in cashless transactions reflects a consumer preference for convenience. This paradigm shift emphasises the critical importance for businesses to adapt promptly, or risk falling behind in an increasingly competitive market.


Beyond Transaction Processing: A Strategic Decision

Choosing a payment provider is no longer a tedious operational detail; it's a decision that resonates throughout a business requiring multi department involvement. The impact extends beyond mere transaction processing and back-office financial processes, influencing competitiveness, customer experience, brand reputation and ultimately, profitability. To stay ahead, retail businesses must select payment providers offering a comprehensive range of solutions, from traditional card payments to modern e-wallets.


Three Pillars of a Robust Payment System

In selecting a payment provider, businesses should prioritise three key pillars that align with customer expectations and form the foundation for a robust payment system:

  • Stability is essential for smooth transactions, reducing disruptions, and preventing downtime that could impact customer experiences. While payment providers aim for stability, unforeseen outages can happen. Businesses should choose a provider committed to preventing issues and quickly resolving disruptions when they occur.
  • Flexibility is crucial for a provider to adapt to new technologies in a timely manner, while ensuring operational continuity in diverse circumstances—a key differentiator in the face of changing market needs and heightened consumer expectations.
  • Security perhaps the most critical factor, entails safeguarding customer data and strengthening defences against a criminal attack. The recent 25% rise in cyberattacks on payment platforms emphasizes its significance in protecting against potential threats.

By committing to these pillars, a payment provider not only meets fundamental customer demands but also empowers businesses to navigate confidently through a changing retail landscape.


Common Perspectives about Payment Systems

Perspective 1: Cash Transactions in Modern Retail

The decline of cash transactions is evident globally, with a shift towards a more cashless society. QR codes, particularly in regions like Brazil and India, have become pivotal for facilitating digital transactions. The World Payments Report predicts a 12% CAGR in global non-cash transactions, driven by consumer preferences for digital payment methods accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Perspective 2: Meeting Evolving Retail Needs

Existing payment infrastructures may not meet the demands of omnichannel retailing, a strategy crucial for providing customers with a seamless shopping experience across various platforms. Adapting to consumer preferences is essential for retaining and attracting customers in a highly competitive retail landscape.

Perspective 3: Adopting New Payment Systems

Rapid adoption of new payment systems may not guarantee smooth transitions. Proper planning and execution are critical, as swift implementations can lead to unexpected consequences. A comprehensive strategy involving detailed planning and thoughtful system design and thorough testing is recommended.


Conclusion: A Strategic Reassessment

In the rapidly evolving world of retail technology, a strategic reassessment of payment providers is essential. Stability, flexibility, and security should be the guiding principles in the selection of a payment provider. Recognising the trend toward a cashless society, embracing omnichannel retailing, and approaching new payment system integration with careful planning are crucial for success. Establishing the right framework from the start ensures a seamless customer experience in the evolving commercial landscape.

James Stark

Account Director NER, Global Sales Vertical, Worldline
James is an experienced payments leader who has spent over 12 years within the payment industry in client focused roles. During his time with Worldline, drawing on the expertise he has gained throughout his career, he has been playing a key role in supporting the company developing its retail business – retail being one of the company’s key verticals.