While momentum may be a relative term, in the eCommerce space, it is clear that there is momentum with more consumers choosing to shop online.
In the mobile wallet space, momentum is an aspiration instead of a reality. In-store, mobile wallets are a tough slog, and adoption has been lethargic. Online, it’s a mixed bag, with established player PayPal expanding its lead online while contenders such as Visa Checkout, Masterpass, Apple Pay and Android Pay increase their efforts to, well, establish momentum.
Momentum that Vantiv is hoping to help stimulate as part of a program it launched: the Android Pay Accelerator Program.
“We’re starting to see momentum in digital wallets being picked up by merchants,” Bill Cohn, head of eCommerce products at Vantiv, told Karen Webster. “It’s important to say ‘starting’ because it hasn’t been overwhelming.”
Vantiv’s Android Pay Accelerator Program is intended to make it easier for both developers and merchants to design solutions that have Android Pay as a payment option.
“Making it easy for merchants is really one of our key objectives,” said Cohn. “Because we’re at a stage where the data is not compelling enough to pull through the demand for these options, making it easier for merchants to integrate these wallets helps them justify the return on that investment.”
Cohn said that Vantiv has designed an offering that offloads as much of the integration from the merchant to Vantiv as possible. And the initiative will also involve the tech giant Google at certain points in the program.
“Merchants are looking at a combination of factors: ease of consumer adoption, the data on conversion and their own efforts to integrate,” said Cohn. “And then there’s the analysis of which to do first.”
This three-pronged juncture is where Vantiv and Android Pay’s Program comes in.
“The program is like a build-at-your-own-pace online course,” said Cohn. “Particularly for merchants that are already integrated to Vantiv — and a specific course designed around what their desired use cases are.”
Cohn says Vantiv will support merchants through the course and “hold their hands,” so to speak, making available subject matter experts, both from the implementation and solutions sides. With the one-on-one relationships, consultants will address and understand the merchants’ desired use of the product, making sure that they’re connecting the pieces and seeing the easiest path to their desired destination. Including the developer in the process is also key to the success of the implementation, both in the short and long term. The bottom line idea is to streamline the checkout experience, offering customers a quicker in-app payment experience.
Google is also involved, as it is holding special events connecting industry experts and program participants at its offices in San Francisco and New York.
Ultimately, the program’s entire concept leans heavily on eProtect™, an end-to-end payment security solution that uses tokenization to help merchants achieve safe, simplified integrations.
According to Cohn, “eProtect is an end-to-end tokenization solution, and by end-to-end we mean from the point at which a consumer enters their card information into a browser or mobile browser, it is tokenized. When the customers enter their credit card information they’re actually interacting with a Vantiv-hosted interface.”
Basically, this means that the security risks are reduced and the compliance is enhanced, due to the card number never touching the merchant’s system.
“Ultimately we’re reducing the integration effort for the merchant because they don’t have to handle a different cryptogram,” said Cohn.
Vantiv’s program — in both the short and long run — intends to help the merchants to understand how to interact with their customers in a channel-agnostic way.
“We help our merchants see the opportunities to increase their sales by having options,” said Cohn. “A lot of this is sharing use cases to see connective tissues between the systems.”
When the consumers are comfortable with multimode commerce, it remains imperative that merchants meet them where they are in order to keep up in this changing world of payments.