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The future of ecommerce payments: 3 ways open banking is ready to challenge card payments

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By TrueLayer

One key motivation behind open banking is to enable the growth of alternative payment methods. With the continuing growth of online retail sales and the card network’s ageing infrastructure, there’s an opportunity for the ecommerce industry to embrace open banking payments. 

Here are three reasons why open banking is ready to challenge the dominance of cards:

1. Open banking payments are growing fast

Open banking payments are growing consistently, with payment volumes rapidly accelerating in the last year. Successful payments made using open banking providers increased from 280,000 in July 2020, to 3.9 million in January 2022.

While open banking is a relatively new development, there are already over 5 million open banking users in the UK. On its current trajectory, 60% of the population will be open banking users by September 2023. The growth of open banking payments in ecommerce should follow suit.

2. Ecommerce payments are also growing

Two trends in retail payments have created an opportunity for more open banking payments in ecommerce. Cash has declined as electronic payments have grown. This means ecommerce sales as a share of retail purchases have increased, highlighting the need for smooth customer journeys. 

Ecommerce payments are more easily optimised than point of sale payments because they don’t require merchants to upgrade physical infrastructure, so open banking payments can be integrated into the ecommerce journey relatively easily. 

3. Greater competition from open banking payments will benefit merchants and customers

Without alternatives to cards, merchants face high fees for accepting electronic payments, as well as high rates of card-not-present fraud. Competition from open banking payments can improve the situation, with:

  • lower fees: open banking payments can offer lower and more predictable merchant processing fees than card acquirers, and they don’t involve additional card costs, like PCI compliance and chargeback processing. 
  • greater payments security: SCA has been implemented for open banking using secure APIs to ensure banking credentials are only shared with the bank, without the need for risky information-sharing.

The findings in this article are from our Future of Ecommerce Payments report. Get your copy

Connect, Manage, Optimize: The three pillars of payment orchestration explained

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Payment orchestration is getting more and more buzz in the digital payments world. It will soon become a requirement in the software stack of businesses trading internationally. This article from BridgerPay will walk you through the three principles that make payment orchestration the invaluable tool it is…

Payment orchestration is not just a buzzword. It’s a layer of software that works between the end-user and the Payment Service Providers (PSPs, find more about those here) to keep every transaction seamless, secure, and provide the best possible customer experience. All businesses must operate with a customer-centric logic, and our years of research and experience have shown that the client’s confidence in the payment process is the number one reason for a successful conversion. This is exactly what a payment orchestration software does, and BridgerPay does it better than anyone else. Keep reading to find out what payment orchestration is all about and how it will benefit your business from day 1.

Connect

While it is true that the world is growing increasingly globalized and connected, local geographies (not to mention individual user preferences) are more relevant than ever. This axiom is especially true when dealing with payments. When money is involved, customers want to feel comfortable and safe in spending it. Our extensive data analysis has shown that being comfortable with the purchasing flow is the number one reason for successful conversions. BridgerPay gives you access to 350+ PSPs with just one API integration, this allows you to:

  • Choose the PSPs that offer the best features and rates in any given situation. This allows you to improve your margins on each and every sale
  • Offer your customers the local payment methods they know, love, and feel safe using. Make your transaction experience finally user-centric in just a few clicks
  • Shift towards a fraud-proof payment infrastructure by using local payment methods (read about the risk of cross-border transactions in our article here)
  • Increase safety with our PCI Level 1 compliant checkout. Eliminate the costly need for PCI scoping and add a cool-looking checkout with your brand’s look and feel
  • Bridger Safe is our advanced tokenization technology to safely store your customers’ data. It will never travel through your servers, enhancing security and adding to your users’ peace of mind

Manage

There is nothing worse than having the best tools at your disposal and not being able to manage them. This is also true when it comes to digital payments. BridgerPay not only gives your access to a world of PSPs but also lets you manage them to make them fit perfectly into your business logic.

  • Bridger Admin lets you connect to any PSP in a matter of minutes. Just a few clicks, no coding required
  • Manage all refunds, payouts, and subscriptions directly from Bridger Admin or from our API. No need to login into every PSP’s back office
  • With Bridger Router you can choose what PSPs your users see during checkout based on their location, currency, sale amount, and dozens of other custom filters. Boost your conversion rates by giving your customers exactly the payment method they want
  • Should you have any problems, our world-class customer support will be there for you. When we say “any problems”, we mean it. You won’t need to access any of your PSPs’ support centers anymore

Optimize

Like with any operation, once it’s up and running, you have to keep striving to achieve perfection. BridgerPay empowers you to do that for your payment stack. Optimization is the most powerful part of payment orchestration and lets you be always in control and constantly improve your margin and boost your revenue.

  • Rescue transactions declined for technical reasons with Bridger Retry™. Our proprietary technology automatically submits a declined transaction to a different provider until it’s processed. Rescue more than 20% of declined transactions. Your customers won’t notice a thing, so you will be able to increase both revenue and retention!
  • Empower your customers to take control of their spending. PayWith™ lets your customers split their purchase across a few different PSPs, while Split Payments allows them to complete the purchase in installments. Flexibility is something everyone loves, and your users will surely be happy to have it!
  • Get centralized insights with Bridger Reports. Our reporting engine lets you do in one click what would normally take a huge spreadsheet full of complicated formulas. Report on all your transactions, independently of the source, directly in BridgerPay, without the need to download separate reports and collate them. Make the right decisions in a fraction of the time
  • Bridger BI gives you world-class intel. We analyze millions of transactions worldwide to give you industry-leading data that will help you choose the best PSPs for any given scenario, ultimately boosting your conversions, revenue, and customer retention

There it is. Payment orchestration and its three fundamental pillars. Take control of your payments, cut costs, and increase revenue with BridgerPay.

Payment orchestration is a software layer that is quickly becoming the standard for businesses that wish to expand, grow, and be future-proof to be able to face all the challenges presented by digital payments. Many businesses of all sizes are already adopting it with incredible success (a few examples are here and here) Don’t get left behind, start orchestrating your payments now.

Get in touch now, we’ll show you around and we’ll get you started with a free trial.

FREE GUIDE: Automate your ecommerce operations to drive growth

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By Linnworks

As your sales increase and your operations scale across multiple channels, automation is key to keeping control as you drive growth.

To continue finding new customers and growing sales, retailers need to be wherever their customers want to shop. To deliver a frictionless and convenient experience from product discovery right through to fulfillment while scaling your ecommerce operations, it’s essential for businesses to automate processes to drive omnichannel success. Implementing a centralized hub with best in class automation capabilities gives you control over your brand as your sales grow.

Get the Linnworks Total Commerce guide to Automation to discover:

  • how to scale and manage  listings to get products visible in your sales channels at the push of a button
  • how automating inventory management ensures you have the right product in the right place and stock at optimum levels
  • how connecting sales with warehouse inventory and projected stock levels can drive efficiencies and speed in the fulfillment process
  • how visibility on order progress and automated communications can reduce costs and increase customer satisfaction

Automation is about customers, not just processes. Overselling, wasted marketing budget, dissatisfied customers and overburdened customer service staff are just some of the outcomes for businesses that lose control as their selling channels expand.

Automation is essential to building a competitive customer experience and being able to capture every sale. Download the guide to find out how to take control of all corners of your retail operations to drive growth.

Get the Linnworks guide to Automation now 

INDUSTRY SPOTLIGHT: Magento 2 + Thunes

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Magento is a powerful e-commerce platform that offers both an open source version for smaller businesses and the enterprise level offering for more advanced sellers. Built on top of industry leading technologies, choose simplicity with this free integration of our Magento 2 plugin.

The rise in online shopping has been exponential. To keep up with this constant evolution, e-merchants must innovate and open their payment portfolio to a wider audience by adapting it for different target populations.

Split payment, gift card, meal vouchers, payment initiation or even mobile wallets… Choose from more than 40 payment methods by connecting Thunes to your website built with Magento 2.

https://www.thunes.com/magento-2-thunes/

Take back control from rising payments costs

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E-com payments survey results by Trustly

More and more people are shopping online every day. In the increasingly digital world of commerce, there’s no room for poor experiences that lead to unnecessary costs. Especially when it comes to payments.

For merchants thinking of taking their business across borders, traditional payment methods can cause more headaches than anything. Modernising legacy systems, understanding new payment methods and wrapping your head around local payment preferences all adds to  overwhelming complexity. Not to mention the uncertainty around rising payment costs.

With all this in mind, we surveyed 1000 merchants across seven key European markets to find out the key challenges they face and possible solutions. Discover the findings in our report and the eye-opening role that Open Banking Payments can play in detangling many payments challenges.

Click Here To Download Report

SCA is on the horizon: what happens next?

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By Rob Crutchington is Director of Encoded

After several delays, the new deadline for implementing full Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) compliance[i]for e-commerce transactions is now on the horizon. From 14 March next year any merchant that fails to comply with the requirements could be subject to Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) fines.

Since the deadline was extended, the FCA has been encouraging e-commerce merchants to work with card issuers to implement SCA. There is a risk that if an e-commerce transaction doesn’t meet the SCA requirements, it could be declined by the card issuer/bank. The result of high numbers of declined transactions could increase costs and complaints, reduce customer confidence and lead to possible reputational damage (as well as the FCA fines).

Protecting merchants and customers from fraud

SCA is a positive change and protects both the merchant and the customer.  If a customer pays online for goods using an SCA process, but later claims it was a fraudulent transaction they will have to prove that the transaction wasn’t made by them. In the past a fraudulent transaction meant the merchant had to refund the money and incurred chargeback costs before any investigation into the transaction’s legitimacy had begun.

What are the costs of implementing SCA?

Implementing a 3DS2 (3D Secure 2.0) enrolment check API and reacting to the outcome before each authentication is something most merchants don’t want to deal with. They have to get an authorisation code from the card issuer/bank to proceed with the transaction. These secure checks can be costly and complex, requiring expert resources to manage and implement.

An alternative way is to work with an established payment services provider (PSP) like Encoded, which means the transaction process and administration is managed by the PSP from start to finish.  The merchant captures the customer transaction and the PSP carries out all the secure checks required by the acquirer to verify the card with the card issuer behind the scenes. With checks authorised, the PSP issues a secure link that takes the customer through the online process to complete the transaction.

Choosing the right payment service provider early is an investment for the future. Now is the time to start thinking about how to protect your business from fraudulent transactions and comply with the new regulations.

[i] https://www.fca.org.uk/firms/strong-customer-authentication

How subscription boxes can help retailers bounce back post-pandemic

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Retailing is one of the largest sectors of the UK economy, with 306,000 shops employing 2.9 million people and with a (pre-Covid-19) annual sales volume of £394 billion. However, there’s no doubt that last year brought significant challenges.

Whilst supermarkets were deemed essential and saw demand increase, many non-food retailers were forced to close at various points in order to comply with government guidelines and keep customers safe. For those without an online presence, this proved costly. Even the biggest household names felt the impact, with Primark going from making £650m in sales each month to nothing.

However, this time of hardship was also one of resilience. Many retailers adapted to the ongoing situation and refocused their efforts to meet new demands in consumer behaviour. As such, the entire industry witnessed a rise in the popularity of subscription boxes.

Despite restrictions easing, consumer buying behaviours and, therefore, the retail industry have changed forever. But a more resilient future is within our reach.

We sat down with John Phillips, General Manager, EMEA at Zuora, to discuss how and why subscription boxes have boomed in popularity over the last year…

Why do you think subscription models within retail are so popular?

Against our current backdrop of change and uncertainty, subscription-based models have emerged as a key for businesses across a range of different sectors to ensure a stable revenue stream and for consumers to get the products they want in a convenient, low-cost way.

From groceries and meal-planning boxes to coffee delivery services, the number of people signing up to subscription-based models is steadily increasing and COVID-19 has only highlighted their resilience. In fact, Zuora’s Subscription Impact Report – which took data from March – May last year – found that more than half of subscription businesses had not been impacted by the pandemic, while one quarter actually saw subscriber acquisition rates accelerate. Meanwhile, the latest edition of the Subscription Economy Index revealed that subscription companies continue to outperform their peers by wide margins. Last year alone, subscription revenues grew 11.6%, while the S&P 500 sales declined -1.6%.

There are several key players who are already reaping the rewards of this shift. For example, whilst many businesses have struggled to survive the pandemic, Gousto – the subscription-based recipe box provider – announced plans to create 1,000 new jobs as part of an expansion following a 115% spike in sales during the first half of 2020. Several other major retailers including Hotel Chocolat, Nespresso and Majestic Wine – have taken note of this success and now offer subscription boxes themselves. Morrisons, the UK’s fourth largest grocer, also recently joined the movement, launching a new weekly, fortnightly and monthly food box service.

Subscription-based models are proving to be a lifeline for many retailers battling the current period of uncertainty, with recent research revealing that 39% of UK shoppers have signed up for at least one. This demand is only likely to increase moving forward, with Zuora’s latest CPG Subscription Report finding that consumers who have a subscription already are 2x more likely to get another in the next 3 years.

How are changing consumer attitudes creating a more popular market for subscription boxes? 

During the peak of the pandemic, with supermarkets and shopping centres closing their doors and millions of households asked to stay at home, many consumers took to ordering products online. Signing up to subscription-based models became a way of ensuring that they were able to access the goods and services that they wanted and needed. From groceries and meal-planning boxes to coffee delivery services, the businesses already implementing subscription-based models saw an increased demand for what they had to offer.

Despite vaccinations and the government’s new timeline for recovery bringing hope, there is no doubt that the last year has shifted consumer buying behaviour permanently. Earlier this year, Zuora’s End of Ownership survey revealed the pandemic has accelerated a trend we’d already been witnessing; an increasing consumer preference for the use of subscription services over the ownership of physical products. In fact, 77% of U.K. adults have subscriptions services today. This is up from the 58% that had subscriptions 5 years ago.

While they are rising in popularity now, how can we make sure subscription boxes will be here to stay?

While signing up new subscribers will always be important, it costs much less to retain an existing customer than to acquire a new one. Therefore, the success of a business model which incorporates subscription boxes will ultimately rely upon reducing churn. Customers need to feel like they receive ongoing value, a significant shift away from the traditional single-transaction model. Their definition of value is much more than simply a price point. Whilst saving money is important, it will often not be enough to make them stay long term. Instead, the key to long-term success is to establish strong connections through unparalleled subscriber experience.

Today’s consumer wants to be put in the driving seat – therefore businesses who ensure both flexibility and convenience are likely to come out on top. For example, the ability to opt-out or even just temporarily suspend a service is seen as a really important factor. Moreover, the delivery mechanism for the subscription must be more convenient than traditional purchasing. It must take the pain out of tackling the high-street but still provide the experience at home for customers. There is a common thread that the most popular subscriptions will save time, deliver to the home or be something that the customer would struggle to get hold of under normal circumstances.

Customisation is also crucial when it comes to improving the customer experience.  Consumers have higher expectations for a subscription model than they do with a single purchase. Taking unique preferences into account is likely to enable businesses to build a better relationship with their customers, encouraging a longer commitment and lessening churn.

How will Apple Mail privacy updates affect your email marketing?

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By Fresh Relevance

June 2021 has seen a series of new privacy updates from Apple, including the announcement of their Mail Privacy Protection initiative. These measures are designed to protect the privacy of the end-user. The changes will help users prevent senders from knowing when they open an email, and mask their IP address so it can’t be linked to other online activity or used to determine their location.

These changes will affect users who use iMail as their email client and have opted-in to Mail Privacy Protection. Given the wording of the opt-in, industry experts are predicting a near 90% opt-in rate.

Craig Federighi, Senior Vice President of Software Engineering at Apple said: “Every year, we push ourselves to develop new technology to help users take more control of their data and make informed decisions about whom they share it with.” And with growing consumer concerns over privacy and the so-called cookie apocalypse on the horizon, these updates perhaps come as no surprise.

Invisible Pixels and Live Content

Invisible Pixels allow marketers to know when their emails have been opened. With the Apple Mail privacy updates, invisible pixels will be banned, meaning marketers will no longer have this ability and what’s more, it will seem as though every email sent to an opted-in Apple device has been opened.

This means if your ESP or dynamic image provider charges you per impression, you may end up being significantly overcharged for phantom opens, as well as having implications for those who measure open-rates and send-time optimization.

The upcoming changes mean that most email content will no longer be loaded at open-time within Apple Mail, which will have implications for the use of live content in emails to recipients using Apple Mail who have opted-in to the privacy updates.

As such, it’s more important than ever to have a real understanding of your customer profiles to ensure your personalized content is as accurate as possible before send.

Want to learn more about how the Apple Mail privacy updates will affect you and how Fresh Relevance can help? Read the full article here.

SCA: Three things every merchant needs to know

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With online fraud on the increase, companies must take action to make sure they meet the updated version of the Payment Services Directive (PSD2) which will mandate Strong Customer Authentication (SCA).  The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has announced the deadline for implementing full SCA compliance for e-commerce transactions is now 14 March 2022.

The first PSD2 in 2007 levelled the playing field for payment institutions in the EU.  It increased competition and set out common payment standards and benefited customers and participators in the industry.  The revision in 2015 resulted in a more integrated and efficient payments market. SCA adds an extra level of protection for both merchants and their customers.

Why is SCA so important now? Here are three things every company/merchant should know:

  • SCA protects businesses and the customer from online fraud

SCA (or multi-factor authentication) assures the card issuer and acquirer that the transaction is genuine. If a customer pays online with SCA, but later claims it was fraudulent, the bank or card issuer accepts liability – previously the merchant had to refund the money and incur chargeback costs. 

  • SCA will become mandatory on 14 March 2022

The new deadline to meet the new PSD2 with SCA requirements is 14 March 2022, for all UK company transactions online (over £45 or 50 Euros).  The FCA will enforce the directive and repeat offenders of declined transactions may be fined for non-compliance, not to mention the possible reputational damage.

  • Working with the right Payment Services Provider helps achieve compliance

With some acquirers, secure checks are carried out separately from the transaction processing – which merchants must handle themselves. This is expensive to set up and requires resources and expertise to manage the mandatory technical and operational interfaces with third parties.

Working with an established payment services provider (PSP) like Encoded means the transaction process and administration is managed from start to finish.  The merchant captures the customer transaction and the PSP carries out all the secure checks required by the acquirer to verify the card with the card issuer behind the scenes. With checks authorised, the PSP issues a secure link that takes the customer through the online process to complete the transaction.

Choosing the right payment service provider early is an investment for the future. Now is the time to start thinking about how to protect your business from fraudulent transactions and comply with the new regulations.

Adam Bromage-Hughes is Technical Director at Encoded and to read the full article please visit Encoded.co.uk

76% of shoppers say convenience is the key priority in choosing an online retailer

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But what does convenience mean to the consumer, and what does this mean for retailers building an online shopping experience?

Today’s ecommerce marketplace continues to grow at an astounding rate. This growth has resulted from an accelerated shift from brick-and-mortar stores to online shopping during the COVID-19 pandemic — creating an ‘always-on’ experience for consumers. In the new, effortless economy, customers expect to shop when and how they want. Whether it’s searching on a marketplace, or discovering new products in their social feed, shoppers are increasingly influenced by convenience and a frictionless purchase journey.

Linnworks latest research whitepaper unpacks the five key customer experience trends that will drive your online selling strategy in 2021. From frictionless interactions at every touchpoint, to payment flexibility and shipping and returns policies on the customer’s terms, discover why convenience underpins the five key trends in ecommerce customer experience, and how optimizing these touchpoints will help you capture every selling opportunity in the new, effortless economy.

Every point of interaction is a chance to win over the consumer – and if a retailer gets it right, your customers will reward you with increased order values,  more frequent purchases and greater customer loyalty.

Get Linnworks’ latest online shopper research whitepaper.