The PYMNTS team caught up with experts in the payments field to ask them their views on industry trends, predictions for the coming year and what their ideal payments system looks like — and how far off that vision is.
Here’s our interaction with Commerce Signals COO Sheraz Shere and CPO Russ Schrader.
For Shere, there’s been no more important trend in payments recently than connected commerce.
“There’s a lot of focus on payments, but at the end of the day, the things that can be really interesting in this ecosystem are less about the actual act of paying,” Shere said. “The thing you always hear back is ‘Well, swiping my card isn’t broken.’ It’s about what you can put on top of the act of paying – offers, loyalty and all those things. But connected commerce is really this network that’s fundamentally closed. In the age of connected devices, there’s no reason why people in the payments networks – think about merchants with a connected POS – shouldn’t be connected to the cloud and speaking to cloud services at all times.”
Schrader added that with more connectivity comes more privacy concerns, and the influx of data will help mitigate those dangers.
“The ideas of privacy and security continue to play out, as well as how we can move commerce forward and deliver more than just the taking of money and delivery of goods to give a broader experience,” Schrader said. “Merchants also need help to figure out who are good customers, and how to deal with those customers. Where is the money being spent? Why is the money not being spent? And how can you deliver the value all around, which is where Commerce Signals fits into these trends very nicely.”
2016 And Beyond
Moving into the future, Schrader noted that tying performance back to identifiable metrics will help retailers across the board.
“There’s an old saying, 'Half my money is wasted. I just don’t know which half,'” Schrader said. “In digital advertising, that might be closer to three quarters. And if advertising budgets aren’t being increased for digital, it has to come from other mediums. So how much do you take, and how do you prove that it works? We’re going to be providing merchants with data points that they haven’t really had before.”
Ideal Payment Systems
Like many of the obstacles keeping consumers from fully embracing a new payments system, Shere explained that commercial entities also need time to become familiar not only with the potentials of the technology, but also the obstacles inherent in changing an entire payments ecosystem over to a new framework.
Chief Operating Officer Sheraz Shere is the former head of Wallet Partnerships for Google, and led sales and business development for Google Checkout. Prior to Google, Sheraz led a business development team at American Express.