It’s weird to think that when 2020 dawned, physical retail still towered over eCommerce.
PYMNTS’ October Mastering Multichannel Commerce Playbook: Digital Payments And The Road To Growth, done in collaboration with Citi, publishes at a very different time, and yet it’s only about eight months, really, since the world went haywire and most assumptions about business were tossed out.
“Consumers and businesses are going online in unprecedented numbers to find the products and services they want and need — even if it means procuring them internationally. These shifts carry great significance for established brands and companies, which can no longer view strengthening their online presence and capabilities as a mere side project,” per the new Playbook. “A high-quality digital foundation is essential to maintain market position and forge new relationships with consumers and businesses through channels like direct-to-consumer (D2C), subscription and online B2B commerce.”
CFOs and financial decision-makers must stay apprised of the emerging dynamics of digital commerce, and how they can best develop the emerging opportunities it proffers.
It’s All About The Smartphone
Digital payments and smartphone-centricity are the undeniable direction of commerce. Merchants and financial institutions (FIs) can’t afford to be indecisive about this.
“Smartphones have, in essence, increasingly become the center of consumers’ financial lives, especially for those in younger age groups. Three-quarters of the adult population in developed economies have smartphones — and the share is over 90 percent among those 18 to 34 years old,” the Playbook states. “Smartphone ownership is also on the rise in emerging economies like Mexico, India and Brazil: a median 45 percent of adults possess them in countries with such economies. Mobile devices have the potential to rapidly connect billions of consumers living in these countries to the global banking systems from which they have historically been disconnected.”
It has sped the march of digital payments, which comprise “a significant share of all payments in Europe, North America and parts of Asia. A study found that 10 percent to 25 percent of total transactions in North America were digital in late 2019, as were more than half of transactions in China,” per the Playbook. That progress is crucial for the ubiquity of digital payments.
B2B Payments Benefiting
In need of a top-down overhaul for some time now, B2B payments have finally begun yielding to digitization. It’s having the anticipated effects of improving the end-to-end experience.
“One recent study found that more than three-quarters of SMBs in North America have turned to digital services for receiving and sending B2B payments,” according to the new Mastering Multichannel Commerce Playbook.
“The reasons for doing so were clear,” the Playbook adds, noting that “91 percent of SMBs cited speed and security as important factors in adopting digital payments, and nearly the same share cited transparency as a key factor.”
Also noted in the new Playbook is the belief held by 81 percent of small and medium-sized business (SMB) respondents that switching to digital B2B payment systems resulted in greater customer satisfaction.
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