We’re two days away from the official start of the halfway mark of the year. And to make sure that everyone starts off 2016, Part II on the same footing, we thought we would bring you a few of the top trending stories, as well as hot data/research topics, that will give you a head start on that all-important planning for 2016 and beyond.
So, we’ve gathered up our top 13 themes of the year, and without further ado, those top 13 are…
Small Business Payments Trends
With the 2016 presidential race in full swing, many important economic issues are being discussed. One of the most significant: the health and importance of small businesses and, in particular, the “mom-and-pop” shops that line the Main Streets and side streets of our local communities.
These businesses — we call them Store Fronts — number 3.8 million, accounting for nearly 37 percent of all SMBs. According to data from the latest Store Front Business Index (SFBI), a collaboration between CAN Capital and PYMNTS.com, these small businesses are growing faster than the U.S. GDP. We talked to hundreds of them throughout this primary season. Read on for what they happen to say about the state of their businesses and the local economies in which they operate.
We talk to nearly 700 SMBs every quarter to get their views on payments and technology adoption. What we learn is that familiarity does not always breed contempt — checks are still a well-trodden way to make a payment — but that new technologies are starting to make some headway. EMV, in particular, is very much on their agenda, to the surprise of many who believed that they would be among the last to get on board. Nearly 40 percent of SMBs surveyed had (or were in the process of) deployed EMV, with another third planning to do so in the next 12 months.
Get all of the details here.
Consumers are moving to the Web to do their shopping, and the tool of choice that they are using is their mobile phone (or tablet). There’s just one problem: 40 percent of the sales that those shoppers intended to make are lost due to the massive frictions that they encounter on the way to the checkout. We identified more than 40 different variables that contribute to checkout abandonment and then shopped at 650 online sites that account for more than 70 percent of eCommerce traffic to see how well merchants are doing. The bottom line: Not so great.
The next index will be published on June 7.
To add insult to injury here, the Census Bureau’s accounting for online sales as a percentage of retail sales may not be keeping up with the reality of what consumers are doing. The combination of increasing volume and decreasing sales in an environment where retail is under significant pressure to perform calls for retail reinvention of the highest degree.
Everyone said that fraud would move online in the U.S. post-EMV, and we now have proof that it has. The latest report by PYMNTS and Forter shows that the rate of online fraud attacks has jumped by 11 percent since October and by 215 percent since last year. This Global Fraud Attack Index shows how and where the attacks are happening, who’s most at risk, what merchants can do to hold fraudsters at bay and how much those attacks cost merchants.
As the banking shift brought about by the rise of FinTech startups continues to disrupt the traditional brick-and-mortar banking experience to make it more seamless, more convenient and richer, we’re seeing all sorts of interesting partnerships and technological adoption.
Traditional banks seem to realize that their vibrancy — let alone their survival — hinges on embracing technology, to do what they already do — but better, faster and more securely – while also adding new features and offerings that will give their customers a next-generation, all-in-one bank experience. The latest edition of the PYMNTS Digital Banking Tracker profiled new players, as well as the latest news and expert commentaries.
The good thing about authentication that relies on your retina, fingerprint or face is that it doesn’t need to be alphanumeric and cryptic. That is secure convenience in a nutshell — to be able to pay for candy by staring at a screen or deposit a check with the swipe of a finger. A major overhaul in the world of digital identity is the decided death of passwords. The PYMNTS Digital Identity Tracker tracks the road to it and the players who are shaping its future.
Karen Webster’s column on that subject shows that “the path to faster payments in the U.S. doesn’t have to be paved with a 500+ person task force analyzing what the world would look like if we were starting from a clean sheet of paper, competing propositions for who’s going to build and operate a new set of rails or even what sort of spiffy software can make existing rails faster.”
“Instead, we could do something right away — or almost right away — that would make payments between consumers and businesses faster,” she wrote. “And focus the ‘faster’ payments initiative on what really matters: getting rid of the friction that prevents payments among consumers and businesses from being better and more efficient.”
This topic is also detailed each month in the PYMNTS Faster Payments Tracker.
Just a few months ago, at PYMNTS’ Innovation Project 2016, PayPal CEO Dan Schulman told Karen Webster that “financial inclusion is really about financial health.”
Acquiring that financial health means financial institutions are able to not only know, but also accurately identify, their customers.
But for many financial institutions, the use of credit as a determining factor on whether to provide access to banking products or not transforms the decision from one based on identity to one based on credit — a choice that can subsequently lock millions out of the financial world. Individuals who may not have traditional access to credit — millennials, immigrants, the unbanked, etc. — may be unable to participate in the banking system and all it has to offer.
Johnny Ayers, cofounder and SVP of business development for Socure, argues that being able to have a traditional savings account or demand deposit account (DDA) is a basic financial right that should be afforded to all.
Much of the experimentation surrounding the Internet of Things (IoT) today is focused on security aspects and creating consumer value … but we wonder if perhaps a lot of it isn’t misdirected.
Joe Jensen, VP of the Internet of Things Group (IOTG) and general manager of the retail solutions division at Intel Corporation, tends to agree. In a recent conversation with Karen Webster, he observed that part of the problem is that IoT — in contrast to other transformations that are taking place in payments and retail, such as mobile technology and EMV — remains such a broad topic that it’s difficult to nail down.
Why? Read on to find out.
The mPOS space is rapidly evolving into mobile capability far beyond mobile payments. And the restaurant industry is a hotbed for mobile, which is having a profound and transformative effect on the space. Mobility in restaurants has the potential to improve everyone’s restaurant experience, from customers to staffers to owners. And it’s not just about paying with a mobile tablet; it’s an experiential and operational overhaul.
For this particular tracker story, PYMNTS spoke with Steve Fredette, cofounder and president of Toast, an all-in-one, cloud-based POS and restaurant management system. The discussion dives into the evolving restaurant experience and how technology is catalyzing the evolution. Here’s a sneak peek.
Omnichannel is such a huge buzzword across the retail and payments landscapes that it’s easy to forget how significant the decision is to go down the multichannel path.
While some may see facilitating omnicommerce as a requirement for merchants, new research shows that what’s good for the goose may not always be what’s good for the gander. ACI Worldwide lets PYMNTS in on what the retail merchant marketplace really thinks about omnichannel payments and if merchants really need omnichannel payments.
What is Payments-as-a-Service anyway?
It’s when payments providers enable merchants to integrate other services into their payments solutions. These services can include loyalty and rewards programs, data and analytics, as well as all sorts of other technologies that are increasingly being integrated into robust, multifaceted payments solutions.
Think of Payments-as-a-Service offerings as high-tech Swiss Army knives of payments services (without blades … yet). The PYMNTS Payments-as-a-Service Tracker, powered by Cayan, features the latest news related to the players moving and defining the category.
Automats delivered a roast beef and mashed potato dinner from coin-operated vending machines in the 1940s and 1950s. Today, self-service restaurants deliver quinoa via sleek display cases and accept plastic cards and mobile wallets via unattended checkout stations. “Vending machines” — AKA unattended retail — has come a long way, baby, and now fuels a $120B segment of the retail market.
The PYMNTS Unattended Retail Tracker, powered by USA Technologies, tracks all the trends and profiles 14 of the movers and shakers in this red hot space. Catch the latest.
When it comes to optimizing cross-border commerce opportunities — in both developed and emerging markets — every merchant knows that they must think mobile first. Beyond that, they must think global. And how does one think global? According to Howard West, senior director of global strategies at Digital River, that means thinking local.
Going local means thinking and optimizing for: languages needed, supported currencies, regional logistics, regulation and then, of course, payments and payments processing. On top of that, merchants have to think about how they are going to push their marketing strategies globally.