The PYMNTS team caught up with experts in the payments field to ask them their views on industry trends, predictions for the future and what their ideal payments system looks like.
Here’s what Rob Cameron, Chief Product & Marketing Officer at Moneris Solutions Corporation, had to say.
“There are three main trends,” says Cameron. “The first was hurry up and wait for EMV and then lately we’ve seen a big push. Now we’ve seen an uptick in demand for EMV and EMV-ready solutions. There was a lot of talk about it earlier, but people didn’t start work with the urgency you’d expect until closer to the deadline.”
He remarks, “The second half of '15 was about that push, because merchants actually started to ask for it.”
And with that integration has come some unexpected early results. “We have some merchants in the U.S. doing big volume, several big mall retailers are seeing 60 percent of transactions coming in chip, which is more than we expected,” Cameron says. “We didn’t know there were that many cards in market, but that’s what the data is telling us; people are showing up with chip cards and expecting to use them.”
The second trend Cameron points to is integrated solutions, saying “Today if you look at our portfolio of 250,000 small to medium sized businesses in North America, about one-third of them are integrated in that small-medium category, which means their point of sale directly connects with whatever payment or cash register solution their using. Another two thirds are using a standalone terminal where they have to key in the amount and at the end of the day they have to add them all up.” But that’s changing quickly, says Cameron, “What we’re seeing now is as many as two-thirds are going integrated. Historically it was the exception, now it’s the rule.”
Lastly, Cameron points to “the move toward mobility, the move toward tablet-based solutions, solutions connected to an iPhone or Android phone.” “In 2014,” he says, “we started to push and market those solutions and in 2015, 40 percent of the new customers we board are coming in integrated to a tablet or mobile device, up from 5 percent the year before. It’s just a huge change, everyone expected it to happen and now we’re seeing the demand. People want a tablet, they want something that looks cool sitting on the counter.”
Preparing for 2016 and beyond
“The three trends will continue. The piece that I add to it is now that we have the three different options to load cards into your phone — call it 80 percent of customers being able to load cards if they want to — I think it will become much more ubiquitous. As much as 2015 was supposed to be the year of a lot of these things, I think 2016 will see a lot of momentum.”
“The other thing you’ll see,” continues Cameron, “is other people will start to put in other values like loyalty point collection or other things. From a consumer standpoint, it’s pretty easy to take my card out and tap it versus taking your phone out and tap it. But if I can take my phone out and tap it, the way Starbucks does for example, and earn a few extra points toward a coffee, I’m going to do it.” He adds, “So we’ll start to see mobile payments become more mainstream. Today, it’s still pretty niche.
Ideal Payments Solution
“I don’t think we’re very far away from it, and I think it’s a solution that isn’t just about payments anymore,” Cameron says confidently. “So when merchants call us I’m not trying to sell them a terminal and a rate anymore. We’re asking questions to try and find out what kind of business you are. What do you need?”
Cameron continues, “We’re providing a business solution, a solution that might include inventory management, time keeping. We’re providing value to their business so that we’re a business partner to them. We’re no longer just the cable company, just providing a pipe, we’re actually trying to listen and be a company that provides value to a couple areas of their business.”
Cameron ends on this thought: “These will be the people who move up in the business chain and actually provide value to their customers."