There is some (a lot) of truth to this but it’s also a mischievous comment: I don’t think that any mobile or online payment system provider claimed to resolve all the problems for all the retailers.
However, it is quite possible that by improving the overall purchasing experience, even marginally, a friendly and cost effective payment system will give merchants a small competitive advantage.
Overall purchasing experience is actually the key issue here and payment systems are just one link in the chain. PSPs and their client merchants need to focus on the total, start to finish process. The key to this approach is a totally integrated user interface.
Whether we are talking about payments online or in the real world, serious benefits to the consumer, and therefore to the merchant, can be delivered and a revolution in the way we shop is coming.
While the focus has been at the end of the buying process, this needs to change to the beginning and in fact to every moment of the shopping experience. The process described below applies equally to online or to brick and mortar stores:
The customer enters the store. His smartphone or tablet will greet her:
“Good morning Mrs Jones, nice to see you back at Heavenly Spirits. Is there anything in particular that we can help you with today?”
With speech recognition available on just about every smartphone you respond:
“I need some red wine for a BBQ we are having on the weekend”.
You get the response:
"We have an excellent Shiraz from the Barossa that has just arrived. It’s in aisle 5. Just next door you can also find a Cabernet Sauvignon from one of your favourite cellars,…”
You go aisle 5 and payment is automatic as you take the bottles off the shelf. And there is more:
“We would also like to remind you that it has been a while since you purchased your usual Don Perignon, which means that you’re probably running low”. You pick up your champagne and on it goes.
You finally make it to the check out. Your shopping is already paid for so the attendant just puts it all in a box and offers to take it to your car.
You also get a message saying “235 “Frequent Sipper” points have been added to your account. You current balance is 2,860 points, which entitles you to a free bottle of Johnny Walker Red Label. Would you like to take it now?”
This scenario can be replicated in any store with all the variations and embellishments just limited by our imagination. The point is, payment systems in isolation may not be a big deal, but with a clever start to finish integration they can make a significant contribution to a much improved customer experience.
Feature image from blog.technet.com