Igniting mobile payments starts and ends with two distinct groups: merchants and consumers.
After all, without merchants willing to embrace the concept, consumers won't use them. When it comes to enabling mobile payments solutions, there are plenty of solutions on the market. The trick, of course, is finding a niche that sets one solution apart from the other.
That's exactly what OmnyPay is attempting to do with its white-label checkout solution that comes equipped with an integrated payment, offer and rewards experience, which gets built into a merchant’s existing app. From the merchant perspective, the company's solution is designed to enable them to offer consumers a branded and seamless payment option. In the meantime, the merchant gets the data they need and an instant connection with the consumer.
OmnyPay provides a set of mobile SDKs that can be integrated into the merchant's existing mobile app and, utilizing OmnyPay’s cloud service and APIs, connects the in-store systems, the shopper's device and the merchant's back end together. The low-touch integration at the existing point of sale (no new hardware or certifications needed) allows rapid rollout of the technology and consumer onboarding. It's white-labeled and brand-centric in a way that puts payments in the background and the customer experience at the forefront. It also handles the tokenization within the OmnyPay Secure Vault, thereby completely removing the exchange of any user credentials within the store environment.
"It's a fully branded experience that's under the control of the merchant," Amitaabh Malhotra, OmnyPay’s chief marketing officer, told PYMNTS in an interview.
OmnyPay is the brainchild of the founders and initial executive team of Verifone and is based in San Francisco. Essentially, the folks at OmnyPay are trying to change the in-store retail experience to match the online interactive checkout available with modern eCommerce sites. Or, as Malhotra puts it: "Merge the two checkout experiences so that the user experience across all channels is the same."
Currently, he explained, in-store experiences still vary drastically from the online checkout experience. In store, there's still friction as payment, loyalty and special offers aren't always transparent and consumers don't always know the offers they are missing out on. OmnyPay's solution aims to change that all.
What happens in that case is the consumer takes control of the checkout process by handling it all in-app. OmnyPay sets up a real-time connection between the consumer’s device and the in-store systems, as well as the point of sale, and merges that with the retailers back-end systems and loyalty engines. This provides an unprecedented flow of information from the merchant to the consumer and back, before the act of payment, allowing for a new level of customer experience.
For onboarding, they can pull cards they have on file with the merchant, or they scan an ID, enter their information and, once approved (real-time approval), have a new card automatically captured into a merchant-branded payment solution powered by OmnyPay and ready to use in the future. Digital receipts are also stored there, along with coupons that automatically remind the consumer to use them.
The best part — at least, from a security perspective — is that all of those credentials are left off the device and are in the cloud, coupled with dynamic tokenization of credentials.
From the consumer perspective, OmnyPay introduces a modernized checkout experience that involves scanning a QR code, integrates loyalty and special offers automatically at checkout and even presents an opportunity to open a store-branded payments card during the checkout process to tap into more savings. And it's all done within the app, including the data importing and application process.
This means that the merchant has a better chance of getting more customers on its store-branded card (saving them money) and creating loyal customers without having to physically pitch any products. The app builds those options right in and keeps them updated with what options they have to maximize their benefits.
"The merchants don't want a disintermediation when it comes to the customer. It's their customer, so what they want to do is they want to maximize the loyalty of the customer and maximize the offers they can give to their customers. The more loyal you stay to them, the better. You can only do that within the merchant's experience," Malhotra said.
In this case, OmnyPay targets both the checkout and payments experience in a way that takes the friction out of both. And it bundles the payments solution in a way that leaves the credentials in the cloud and off devices — both on the merchant and consumer side. This can be done online, in-app and in physical stores with software integration that doesn't require extra equipment on the merchant's side. Beyond QR codes, it also works with NFC, beacons, proximity sensors and RFID.
Plus, it's got the loyalty solutions that keep customers on the hook built right into the solution. Which, as seen by companies like Starbucks, has helped a brand build a loyal following, via their own branded mobile payments solution, on a daily basis.
Being able to interact with a consumer before the point of sale is where Malhotra explained mobile payments have the ability to help merchants create a custom-made outreach experience that helps them capture customers in new, tech-savvy ways.
And, as the payments industry has learned, consumers don't care about the act of payment as much as they do about their overall experience with the merchant.
"The actual interaction that occurs between the merchant and a user takes place before the payment," he said. "The payment is kind of the last tail of the cycle. The merchants are missing out on the entire interactive experience before. Right now, they are relying on a store clerk to be that interaction point," Malhotra said, pointing to the obvious flaws of relying on a person to integrate all loyalty options over an app that knows the customer's spending habits.
And that's where the innovation into the marketplace becomes evident.
"We're not only integrating just the checkout but the payment as well. That's two things. Most people are either focused just on the checkout piece, and they open new payment rails that go on it. What we are doing is integrating payments and checkout. We're integrating the loyalty components into it. And we also have the concept of customer steering, which can only happen before they take the payment tender out," Malhotra said.
For now, OmnyPay is piloting its solution, which includes a major merchant that it just signed on last quarter. As for what's next? Malhotra believes the seamless experience will speak for itself and get merchants excited to jump on board.
For more on how OmnyPay works, check out the demo video above.