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The ‘phygital’ experience as protection against the virus… and the financial crisis

960 640 Guest Contributor

By Limontek

Over the last several years, the ‘phygital’ marketing strategy (i.e., physical plus digital) has been gaining ground. This trend in the retail world aims to provide consumers with an enhanced in-store shopping experience that reaches into the digital world. Entirely focused on customer requirements, this strategy is geared to enrich physical outlets with digital technologies.

As only part of a system that employs techniques to increase customer knowledge, the phygital solution is a vehicle for achieving greater customer loyalty, thereby leading the way to the omnichannel experience.

Whether during lockdown, at the end of lockdown, or during the transition back to work, we’ve found that brands that have started offering digital payment transactions are doing much better than others that haven’t. Considering the health safety rules applying to shops and businesses, keypad payment has become problematic, and its days may be numbered.

Some players in the payment world are offering turnkey solutions allowing consumers to manage all their transactions and payments, whether online or in-store, including all online and offline payment methods that can use contactless technologies.

Contactless payment systems: more secure than credit and debit cards

Contactless payment ceilings are strictly limited on bank cards simply for security reasons. With the increase in fraud over recent years, many users have lost confidence – and so have financial services. Fraud compensation is clearly becoming more and more difficult. Conversely, payments by NFC and QR codes require unlocking a smartphone using either a fingerprint, optics, or a code to validate the transaction.

Contactless payments – Added value or an economic recovery mechanism?

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

By Limontek

Because of government imposed lockdowns, the popularity of transactions through digital payment systems has increased steeply, heralding the emergence of QR code and NFC technologies. Given the health restrictions imposed on physical stores, retailers should take advantage of this opportunity to go digital and push for the contactless customer experience…

During the current worldwide health and economic crisis, banks have raised the buying limit on contactless transactions (France, for instance, raised it from EUR 30 to 50 on 11 May, and ABN AMRO announced on 24 March that it is raising the contactless payments to EUR 50). This policy may appear insignificant considering today’s situation; but it nevertheless marks the beginning of a new era: the widespread use of contactless payment.

While the technology was often available for credit and debit cards issued by major retail banks, smartphone-toting consumers are resorting to this new kind of transaction in ever greater numbers. Though new to some, contactless payment has been totally second nature to other consumers for some time now.

Contactless payment through a personal mobile device may be commonplace in many countries such as China and a myriad of Asian and African countries, but consumers elsewhere still favour credit card payment, cash, transfer, or cheques. However, with sanitary measures deterring the use of PIN pads, contactless transactions using NFC and QR code technologies are enjoying unprecedented popularity.

www.limonetik.com

The three main eCommerce business challenges

893 595 Stuart O'Brien

Global commerce is heating up. There’s more competition for merchants than ever before, but also more opportunity – if you can handle its challenges.

In this blog, Igal Rotem, CEO of Credorax, discusses how merchants in the global payments market can overcome the three main ecommerce business challenges of cross-border payments and increased transaction rates.

Facing the trials and tribulations

COVID-19 has exacerbated the global payments challenge. Now more than ever, there is an urgent need for universal, real-time payments across global markets – especially when it comes to cross-border transactions.

International consumers purchasing across borders increasingly expect transactions online to happen in real time, but not all merchants have in place the payments system to provide this.

So, as you make responding to customers’ eCommerce demands a priority, so too must you look out for, and, solve the following three main payment ecommerce business challenges, to succeed:

Challenge #1: Payment acceptance

First and foremost, you will want to make sure the payment cycle is completed successfully and with a valid payment method. This might seem obvious, but the fact is,

some merchant approval rates are as low as 50%!

This is because issuers and acquirers often struggle to identify when cross-border transactions are genuine, triggering all the warning signs for no good reason.

But think of that huge effort you’ve put into marketing. You’ve used a variety of means and valuable budget to bring traffic to your website, and put in an enormous amount of energy to ensure the traffic is of good quality. Yet, when the customer eventually gets to the checkout, instead of a successful transaction, they see a ‘your credit card company has not authorised the transaction’ notification.

This scenario is disastrous. Not only do you lose that transaction, but you will lose the lifetime value of the potential customer – and their connections to even more potential customers as well.

Whether it’s thousands of failed transactions or just one, completing the payment is crucial to your business’ success.

Challenge #2: Foreign exchange

Let’s imagine you are a German merchant whose sales have boomed beyond Europe over the past few months. Now, customers across the world are searching for your products, so you’ve localised your services to allow them to buy in their native currency.

Suddenly, you have customers paying in Taiwanese dollars, Japanese yen and Russian roubles – but you’re based in Europe; your operational expenses are mostly Euro linked. Therefore, you want to be paid in Euros, without losing the FX conversion and associated expenses. What to do?

This is a big challenge. Especially as many companies operate at very thin and compressed margins. If you work at around 5% EBITDA margins, for instance, the fact is that you may sometimes lose that 5% on FX alone, and without even realising that you’re losing it!

The key is to work with a payments provider that will let you settle in your local currency, and one that keeps conversion rates low.

This will enable you to offer multiple currencies for cross-border transactions, without getting stung by unfair FX charges or administrative complications.

Challenge #3: Technology

Many eCommerce providers often run promotions, campaigns and activities to broaden their exposure. When these campaigns go live, the number of transactions per second can suddenly skyrocket – because everybody loves a good deal!

So, you need to make sure that your payments provider can withstand rapid transaction volume increases, and scale to process them on the fly.

If not…

your system could crash in the middle of a campaign, costing you both advertising money and future customers.

Ready, steady, grow

“With the majority of commerce now taking place online, I cannot underestimate how important it is that you work with a provider who can scale to suit your needs so that you are prepared for any situation.”  “It’s the only way to minimise the risk of payments failing, protect your EBITDA margins, and ensure you continue functioning when operating globally.”

If you’d like to hear how Credorax can help you overcome these ecommerce business challenges, visit our website: www.credorax.com or get in touch at: grow@credorax.com.

Ordo, reshaping payments with Open Banking, enabling low cost, real-time transactions across the UK

960 640 Guest Contributor

By Ordo

In March, the World Health Organisation (WHO) proposed contactless payments as a countermeasure of COVID-19. The effect is the ever-faster rise of digital payments on web platforms and mobile apps. Digital and contactless payments have seen an increase in usage by more than 50%, and experts are claiming that these new forms of payments are here to stay.

Are you ready to switch for the best alternative in the market?

With the further lockdowns becoming more widespread and threatening everyone’s Christmas, we’re offering three tangible reasons to start using Ordo today. 

1. Saving 90% or more on each transaction: it’s true.

If you’re still using card payment processors, you are likely to be paying high fees: around 2-4%. That means that every time you make a sale of £200, you could be paying around £4 – £8 in transaction fees; that’s the cost of a lunch, every time you process a payment. Why not save all these lunches for yourself and your loved ones instead?

Using Open Banking technology (ed. it helps securely and safely move, manage and make more of your money), Ordo can process your payments at a fraction of the cost (20p as a single flat fee, no matter the amount). Learn more 

2. Real-time payments: it’s like cash, but safer.

With widespread concerns about delayed or cancelled orders, businesses are experiencing a high volume of cancelled transactions. Card return and chargeback volumes are starting to see significant jumps which can become a key concern for many companies. Ordo can help your company at no extra cost – when you receive payments through Ordo, they are irrevocable, it’s just like you’ve paid cash into your bank account, nobody can take them back again. Plus, all the Ordo payments will hit your bank account in real-time, as soon as your customer has paid, 24/7, no matter what.  As cashflow becomes tighter, every single payment will count even more, and Ordo could be the partner you were looking for.

3. Reconciling: stop wasting time!

A recent survey showed businesses spend nearly 10 hours per week on payments admin. Now more than ever that is time you need to spend on driving your business. With Ordo you include a reference with your payment request that means something to you and that will always appear on your bank statement with the payment, exactly as you entered it. This reference can also link back the payment to accounts software like Quickbooks, Sage, or Xero. Also with these accounting packages you need to spend even less time doing payments admin, as Ordo will create your payment requests directly from the customer and transaction information you’ve entered into your accounts, including the invoice. Learn more

The change is here: more payments security for you and your customers.

Even if you’ve avoided the costs of card payments, are you exposing yourself and your customers to fraud by just using stand-alone bank transfers?. Common scams emerging include impersonating as relevant authorities and financial institutions to demand payments from unsuspecting consumers, and fraudsters hacking into emails and changing account numbers on invoices to their own. Where you can’t be sure of the owner of the account you’re sending money to, the result is an increase in fraud – to the tune of £451m in 2019 alone, with £114 million of that being invoice frauds.  

With Ordo you are taking positive actions now while there’s still time to avoid the embarrassment, the damaging headlines, the explaining, the compensation and the rebuilding of your business, customer base and reputation you’ll need to do if you just hope that you and your customers will be lucky.  Ordo has been designed and built with privacy and security as part of its DNA. It protects all you and your customer’s data at all times using the latest security techniques and messages go across our own secure channels to and from banks. This means that the whole communication is secure and less vulnerable to hacking and fraud.

What about your customers: are they ready to switch?

We’ve all lost things in 2020, for some it’s been deeply personal, for others it’s been equally as dramatic in other ways finding their jobs gone, the loss of childcare and teaching has meant trying to do two full time jobs at the same time along with the pressure of re-learning algebra; support networks have gone virtual and our freedom has been curtailed with the need to remember your mask if you just want to pop to the shop, or the chore of booking in advance whether you want to go for a quick drink or a swim. 

The things that we once did freely have become complicated and everyone has some kind of trouble on their mind.

Ordo makes it easy and convenient for your customers to pay you, within just a few taps from their phones, all secured by their own bank. 

Your clients can tap and pay without the need to register, find paper bills, login to portals with memorable information they instantly forgot, or look up references to ensure payments get credited against their account with you. You make it as easy as possible for them to pay you meaning you are at the top of their to-do list. Learn more

How we could help you

Ordo is the payment solution you cannot afford to be without. We are regulated by the FCA (FRN 836070). Nationwide Building Society is an investor, and along with CGI and AND.Digital partners, it will make your billing and payments easier.

Its free to trial, for smaller businesses can be used independently and with QuickBooks, Sage or Xero. For larger businesses Ordo can be integrated with any systems with our simple suite of APIs and robotic automation tools.

You can learn more, book a demo or signup here.

www.OrdoHQ.com

The Hidden $20.3 Billion: The cost of disconnected payments

960 640 Guest Contributor

By Checkout.com

How can your payments perform better? And what can you do to stop leaving money on the table? Checkout.com decided to find out.

In partnership with Oxford Economics, Checkout.com analyzed data from 5,000 consumers and 1,500 merchants to piece together this complex puzzle.

Black Boxes and Paradoxes: The True Cost of Disconnected Payments

Checkout.com’s exclusive report shines a light on the biggest untapped payments opportunities for companies today. It reveals what customers are willing to pay for more secure transactions and how fast-growing brands like Deliveroo and TransferWise, approach payments.

Report insights:

  • False declines cost merchants $20.3 billion last year, with $12.7 billion given away to competitors and $7.6 billion -written off
  • 60% of merchants don’t think that their payments data that they receive is robust enough to inform their business strategy nor their innovation
  • Super high growth (41%+ year on year) companies are more likely to have an authorization rate of 96-100% than other businesses

Who are Checkout.com?

Checkout.com’s flexible payments solutions help global enterprises — like Samsung and adidas — adapt, innovate and thrive with more value from every transaction flowing through your business. They’re on a mission to empower merchants by building the connected finance they deserve.

Download the report now to discover the hidden value of payments.

Five considerations to help you find the right payments processing solution

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

By Lauren Joseph, VP of Business Operations, Credorax

As most people continue to navigate some sort of altered version of reality due to COVID-19, here’s a situation you might recognise. Ever spent an hour or more scrolling through Netflix trying to find something to watch? With thousands of movies and TV shows to choose from, it’s impossible to decide which one you might enjoy the most!

The psychologist Barry Schwartz called this the paradox of choice– the more options you have as a buyer, the harder it is to commit to a single choice. Any decision comes with anxiety over missing out – the shopper’s FOMO.

It’s a feeling you might be familiar with if you’ve ever looked for a new payments processing solution. There are so many offerings on the market that sorting through them all is a full-time job. Not to mention the endless volumes of payments jargon – all the complex terms and obscure three-letter acronyms that look like you’d need a PhD in economics to decipher.

The right payments processing solution can open the door to a smoother customer experience, more sales, and specialist data insights that help improve your business. But finding the one that works for you can be challenging, especially with so many providers vying for your business.

To help narrow it down, here’s a checklist of things you should consider when looking for a payments provider:

  1. Understand your needs

It might sound basic, but it’s so important. What challenges are you trying to solve? Consider this and you’ll figure out what you need from a payments processing solution. For example, you might want to improve your optimization rates; or you might be looking to expand into new markets and need to support additional payment methods and currencies.

Knowing what your priorities are will help you sift through any offerings that aren’t relevant.

This will not only help you streamline business operations but will also enable you to provide a better service to your target audience.

  1. Talk to providers who want to understand your business

Good payments processing providers are good listeners. They want to hear you talk about your business – your unique challenges, your goals, your customer base, your business model, your growth strategy – so that they can tailor a payment solution that really suits you.

If you’re the one doing most of the talking at the start of a sales conversation, that’s a good sign.

At the end of the day, an expert in payments is no use if they apply a one-size-fits-all approach to your unique business. Whereas one who takes into account your individual KPIs, target market and business structure, and creates a bespoke solution in accordance with these, can add a great deal of value to your existing model.

  1. Find someone that provides additional support

Make sure there are provisions for proactive, continuous support and advice from your provider. It could be guidance on fraud and regulations. It could be help identifying conversion rate drops and finding ways to optimize them in the right direction. Especially at a time when business, as usual, is being disrupted, this kind of support will make a world of difference.

Payments are multi-faceted and consumer/ industry demand is always variable, whether that be season-to-season or in response to a global economic shift, as is the case right now.

Accessible support to cater to changes such as those above is vital to be able to continue delivering a high level of service to customers, as well as to maintain internal operations.

  1. Be wary of offers that are too good to be true

At first, a quote from a payments processing provider might look very attractive. However, what sometimes seems like the best offer could have hidden fees buried inside. Or perhaps it has loopholes that don’t cover all of your needs in their pricing. Of course, it’s important that a solution is competitively priced, but keep in mind that cheapest doesn’t always mean best!

  1. Beware of jargon

The payments industry is rife with jargon and it’s not your job to be fluent! If there’s anything you don’t understand or need clarifying about a payments processing solution, a good provider will take the time to help you understand it fully.

Be wary of anyone that throws around too much jargon without explaining what the words actually mean. An experienced professional will be able to guide you through complex explanations and what’s more, they’ll want to.

The more they help you understand, the better you can collaborate – it’s a partnership after all.

How Credorax can help

At Credorax, from the second you engage with us, we partner you with a Director of Business Development or an Account Manager, as well as a Solution Architect and a Sales Operation Manager. Each of these people is dedicated to working specifically with you, understanding your needs, and shaping the technical solution to your requirements.

Throughout every stage of the process, from initial conversations to onboarding. to years into a relationship, Credorax’s team continues to support you with advice, business intelligence, insights, and our dedicated approval rate optimization team proactively monitors your transactions to identify opportunities for improvement.

To learn more about how Credorax can help you supercharge your payments processing, get in touch at grow@credorax.com.

www.credorax.com

Chargebacks should be a crime

960 640 Guest Contributor

By Utrust

Every year, businesses lose $40 billion in chargebacks. A lot of them are fraudulent, but the banks hold all the power. If business owners want protection, they have to pay for it. Every bank, every card, every contract, has different rules. And your business is in the crossfire. It’s one of the most anarchical and outdated practices in payments.

We have decided to fix this.

Utrust uses the power of the blockchain to completely cut out the middleman. You deal directly with your customers, and all sales are final. No chargebacks. Period.

Simple as it should be.

Reach out to us by clicking here.

Getting paid during the post-virus crunch

960 640 Guest Contributor

By Ordo

Many businesses spent lockdown offering a lifeline of payment holidays while customers financially struggled. With cash tight, now is the time businesses need efficient, effective, but polite, payment processes.

The country went into lockdown and businesses were asked to provide financial healthcare for customers. Many businesses rose to the challenge, despite staff working remotely, reduced work forces due to furloughing and accommodating colleagues left with zero childcare. That generosity has come at a cost…

Generosity hits revenue

There were plenty of offers, discounts and payment deferrals, and now that generosity is showing on the bottom line; businesses need to be smarter when collecting payments.

Existing bills may remain unpaid and/or take longer. Cashflow is more important than ever.

How to ensure you get paid

As businesses knuckle down, tricky payment conversations are inevitable. Here Ordo’s top tips for getting paid:

  1. Keep customers happy: make it easy for them to pay, straight from their phone without having to look up amounts and references, give them no reason to delay paying;
  2. Get money instantly and ensure automatic reconciling – new payments regulations mean payments services can be slick and efficient, meaning businesses are paid instantly, with money landing in your bank account immediately, and automatically reconciled;
  3. Cut costs – especially the hidden ones – do you know all that you’re paying to receive payments? Companies often take a percentage of the value of every transaction, 1-4% typically, and on a £2,000 bill that’s £80 – nearly a year’s worth of Netflix you’re giving Visa, Mastercard, PayPal or Stripe on every Make sure you know what you’re being charged, work out what the percentages really cost, including any rental/subscription for card readers or minimum/standing fees, and decide whether you’re happy; and
  4. Stay safe – think holistically: physical, mental, and online. We still need to be physically (not socially) distant from those outside our household, we need to keep active and try to forget the biscuit tin, and connect with people however possible. But the fraudsters are profiteering too – hackers fish for emails attaching invoices, the account details of which they change to their own, meaning when your loyal customer pays, it’s the fraudster that benefits leaving two innocent victims – in 2019 UK fraudsters made >£114m from invoice fraud. Find a secure platform that allows for secure bill sending, giving you and your customers confidence money will end up in the right place.

The post-COVID go-to payment method

Ordo is an end to end encrypted request-for-payment service, and is making getting paid easy. It’s free to trial, and can be API integrated with any system or used independently; with instant payment and reconciliation together with fraud prevention and low costs, it’s the game changer for businesses trying to survive the impact of coronavirus.

Find out more at www.ordohq.com/enterprise or try for free at www.myordo.com.

Embrace the future of payments with Utrust

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

By Utrust

When the time comes to select a payment service provider, there are questions to be asked. What fees will you be paying? What markets do they open up? Are they worth it? Sometimes, the answers are as opaque as the services themselves.

Utrust is the partner you need and we add value to your business.

There are over 50 million active digital currency wallets in the world right now. These are clients you need to reach. And with a guaranteed 1% flat fee, we will cut your fees by over 80% while you do it. Reach everyone. Embrace the future.

Reach out to us by clicking here.

Coronavirus: Consumers ‘ignoring online fraud risks’

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

Consumers in the US and UK aren’t taking the necessary precautions to protect their online identity, instead prioritising convenience and speed of access to online goods and services over personal security.

That’s according to research conducted by YouGov in April 2020 on behalf of Callsign that surveyed more than 4,000 consumers in the US and UK, showing evidence of overconfidence among consumers in relation to their perceived strength and level of protection their credentials provide, with 77% believing their banking credentials to be the most secure, followed by online shopping (74%) and work network logins (71%).

Callsign says this overconfidence may also explain why many consumers failed to update their login details with more than half (52%) of online shoppers admitting they have no plans to update their login details, with this figure rising to 55% with online banking customers and 54% for employees that are working from home, remotely accessing their work’s networks and systems.

Key Survey Findings:

  • Risking It All for Toilet Paper – When in isolation and under pressure to buy scarce, staple items e.g. toilet paper, nearly one in four (26%) consumers in the U.S. admitted to overlooking online security concerns – using third-party online merchants – while one in five (13%) UK consumers admitting taking similar risks.
  • Remote Workers More Mindful of Business Credentials Over Own – U.S. and UK consumers (21%) were also found to be more likely to update work network login details over their own online banking (19%) and shopping (19%) credentials. While the disparity was marginal, this could be explained by employers’ willingness to provide staff with information and tools to update their login details, with almost half (45%) of respondents saying they had received this information when the pandemic hit – a figure that is higher (60%) for full-time workers.
  • Frictionless Digital Reality Still in Question – The research also highlights that nearly two thirds (61%) of respondents are struggling with business networks and systems access, while 60% of online shoppers confirmed a similar experience in the past month. This results in many hours of lost time for employees; it also leads to customers needing to call customer service representatives to resolve their issue – a group who are already contending with a limited crew due to social distancing. However, it appears that bank-grade security and authentication should set the precedent, with over half (52%) of people not having had an issue logging in over the last month.
  • Unemployed Struggling Most With Access – People out of work are finding it even harder than their peers to access services online in the last month, with 65% finding it challenging to log in and pay for their online shopping and 54% struggling with logging into their online banking – a concern when vulnerable groups such as this are the people who need these services most.  
  • Pandemic Weighs on Patience Increasing Churn – With consumer anxiety at an all-time high, there is little patience for a poor online user experience. In the last month alone, 20% of consumers switched to other brands due to a bad online shopping experience (e.g. failed payments, complicated log-in, etc.). While numbers were not as high for banking, churn was still considered significant, with 14% of U.S. consumers already agreeing they would make the switch. Although this was only 4% in the UK.
  • Vigilance Varies Among Markets – Americans were found to be more vigilant than their British counterparts, with one in four Americans updating their banking logins compared to just 13% in the UK. This is further compounded by the fact that two out of three (66%) UK banking customers have no plans to update their banking credentials, compared to 44% in the US.
  • Consumers Indifferent Despite Risk When asked ‘Has the COVID-19 pandemic and increased fraud influenced you to use alternative banking or shopping apps or websites with more secure measures?’, over three quarters (78%) of U.S. consumers stated ‘no or they didn’t know’ with 85% of UK consumers sharing a similar indifference about security.

Amir Nooriala, Chief Commercial Officer at Callsign, said: “With fraud escalating at a staggering rate, businesses cannot afford to sit back and watch. Consumers have enough to worry about regarding the pandemic; their security shouldn’t be one of them. As more and more people shift their lives online, businesses need to take responsibility while encouraging customers and employees to prioritize personal security – without adding in extra cumbersome identity checks. Companies must use technology that allow consumers to log in without having to deal with pesky one-time-passwords via text messages or long forgotten security questions which could result in them switching provider. With businesses on the brink they cannot afford to lose customers that way. Instead, they need to make identification and authentication as safe and easy as possible.”

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