Retail Technology Show 2024: A Vibrant Showcase of Innovation

02 / 04 / 2024

Explore our highlights of this year’s Retail Technology Show, a hub of innovation and networking in the retail tech landscape.

3 min.

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The Retail Technology Show 2024 unfolded this April, marking yet another year of groundbreaking advancements and networking opportunities in the retail technology realm. As the doors opened, it became clear that this year's event would be exceptional, attracting over 12,000 attendees from major brands and industry players. The atmosphere buzzed with positivity and enthusiasm as attendees eagerly explored the latest innovations and trends shaping the retail landscape.

Worldline stood at the heart of the RTS, drawing crowds to our booth with our showcase of advanced payment solutions. From Tap on Mobile to Smart Engage, we demonstrated our continued commitment to driving innovation and empowering retailers and hospitality providers with cutting-edge technologies. Arnaud, our Parisian caricaturist, added a fun twist and got people talking, while the drinks reception provided the perfect setting for some great networking.

Trends and talking points

As the retail landscape continues to evolve, so too do the technologies that underpin it. This year saw a surge in vendors offering in-store kiosks, self-service checkout, and unattended payment solutions, with many integrating payment capabilities to streamline the customer experience and foster customer loyalty. SoftPOS, or Tap on Mobile, emerged as a key talking point, particularly among large retailers keen on exploring innovative use cases such as queue busting and assisted selling. For instance, Tabesto has recently introduced an all-in-one ordering and payment kiosk utilising our Tap on Mobile technology. However, discussions around Open Banking payments took a backseat this year, possibly reflecting regulatory delays.

Throughout the two-day event, several key themes resonated strongly among attendees. From enhancing the customer experience to unifying payment acceptance across omnichannel sales channels, there was a palpable sense of urgency to adapt to changing consumer preferences and behaviours. The growing emphasis on merging online and offline channels to create a seamless shopping journey highlights the importance of integrated payment solutions. These solutions play a vital role in bridging the gap between physical stores and digital platforms, ultimately enhancing the overall shopping experience.

Moreover, discussions revolved around optimising Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) flows, embracing new payment methods, and addressing fraud and loss prevention challenges using technologies such as network tokenisation. Notably, there was a growing trend of retailers establishing central payment teams, signalling a shift in responsibility beyond the finance function.

ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) initiatives emerged as a prominent theme at RTS, with companies like ReceiptHero leading the charge. Their focus on sustainable payment practices, like digital receipts to minimise paper waste, reflects their commitment to environmental responsibility. Switching to digital receipts reduces carbon footprint and enhances the customer experience by providing easy access to receipts anytime, anywhere—a small yet impactful step toward a more sustainable and customer-centric business model.

Similarly, our partner, Pennies, addresses ESG concerns through innovative payment solutions. By partnering with businesses and payment providers, Pennies enables customers paying by card or digital wallet to round-up or top-up their purchases for charity at the point of sale. In 2021, Pennies launched with Worldline in JD Sports stores, raising money through customer micro-donations. Their contributions support young people in local communities through the JD Foundation, showcasing Pennies' dedication to improving ESG standards through payments.

During RTS, we saw firsthand how augmented reality (AR) technology transforms the retail experience through virtual try-on and interactive product visualisation. We, along with several exhibitors, delved into integrating AR into the payment process, enabling virtual payments within AR-powered shopping experiences.

Enterprise retailers and payment providers uniting for retail excellence

Enterprise retailers flocked to the RTS with a clear mission in mind—to stay ahead of the curve amidst the rapid evolution of the industry. From gaining insights from industry peers to forging partnerships with both current and potential providers, attendees seized the opportunity to arm themselves with fresh ideas and strategies to drive their businesses forward; the event also served as a valuable platform for reconnecting with former colleagues and connections.

One of the highlights of the show was the impressive lineup of payment providers. From leading acquirers and gateways to payment networks and device manufacturers, the exhibition floor was teeming with industry giants and innovators alike. However, it was intriguing to note the absence of Verifone, with the spotlight instead on the unveiling of Android-powered SmartPOS terminals by various players.

Final thoughts

RTS 2024 showcased cutting-edge innovations and highlighted the collaborative spirit and forward-thinking mindset of the retail industry. From advanced payment solutions to sustainable practices and immersive shopping experiences, the event underscored the importance of embracing innovation to meet evolving consumer needs.

Looking ahead, the momentum from RTS triggers ongoing collaboration, experimentation, and transformation within the retail ecosystem. Events like RTS provide crucial platforms for knowledge exchange, partnership building, and collective problem-solving. By harnessing technology and fostering innovation, the future of retail holds limitless possibilities. Businesses can not only meet but exceed customer expectations in an increasingly digital world. Together, we can shape a retail landscape that is innovative, dynamic, inclusive, sustainable, and customer-centric.

Lee Jones

CEO of Worldline Merchant Services UK Ltd.
Lee is the Chief Executive Officer for Worldline Merchant Services UK Limited and, alongside his team, has an unparalleled track record of helping organisations deliver a reliable, secure and fuss-free checkout experience. Having held a variety of leadership roles with market leading technology companies over a 20-year period, Lee is passionate about driving solutions that deliver real value to his customers. Leading Worldline into new markets, where the introduction of cashless payments is just starting to emerge, while supporting existing customers in their ambition to meet and exceed shopper expectations, is something which highly interests Lee. Lee is proud of the trust customers have placed in Worldline and his team. Being able to help organisations reduce the cost, complexity and burden of PCI while assuring their revenues and enabling them to increase their customer satisfaction scores is at the heart of Worldline’s strategy.

Retail Technology Show 2024: A Vibrant Showcase of Innovation