The payments industry has increasingly grown more complex over the last decade.
From credit card companies to retailers and consumers, there are many key stakeholders in the commerce process, both on and offline. Without proper payment processes in place, it’s likely that the entire retail ecosystem would either grind to a halt or favor one side over another. True streamlining of the payments process where all involved parties are looked after is probably the ideal situation in retail.
Is true streamlining possible? Maybe.
As eCommerce pushes its way onward and upward, retailers are continually looking for ways to protect consumer data while providing a quality commerce experience for all parties involved.
Out of the $22.049 trillion in total retail sales around the world in 2016, eCommerce makes up $1.915 trillion, or 8.7 percent according to eMarketer. This research forecasts that digital payments are on the rise, with eCommerce making up 14.6 percent of the total retail spend by 2020 – that’s $4.058 trillion.
Keeping in line with eCommerce’s rise, we’re seeing more companies align themselves with a particular credit card company to increase brand recognition and awareness. Known as Independent Sales Organizations (ISOs), Visa currently has just over 4,300 companies listed. For an inside look, we talked with payment processing firm Anovia Payments’ President and CEO Kevin Jones, who shared his thoughts on ISOs and how they’re being the trend in the payments industry.
“The most notable trend for Anovia is the definition of the ISO,” Jones said. “Traditionally, the ISO was the sales and marketing driver for our industry. Our market environment has become so much more complex because of the evolution of technology, regulation and data security. Because of this, the operational infrastructure needed to enter the game has pushed out many players. The quickly growing segment of players entering the ecosystem as an ISO are those who have distribution and are driving sales and marketing through their technology. Payment facilitation is a major driver and enabler in this end. The ISV/VAR is now becoming the ISO.”
With the number of ISO players on the rise starting to push out others in the payments arena, it’s possible that we may see a shift toward independent software vendors for payment processing options. Unless each retailer can provide some sort of loyalty rewards aspect of their branded credit card, consumers will probably opt for the standard non-branded credit card or one obtained through their bank.
As eCommerce continues to increase, the streamlining of payments will probably become easier for merchants. With the flood of payment processing data entering through a retailers point-of-sale system, whether that be in the store or online, more consumer data is being collected today than in the pre-Internet era.
“There are several merchant-facing technology platforms with strong reporting capabilities,” Jones said. “However, typically strategic partnerships are a department that uses the same processes and reporting. Partnerships need live data, quantitative performance indicators and a more white-glove user experience that adds value to the core relationship.”
With a solid way to collect and analyze data alongside strategic partnerships, the eCommerce payment processing system will continue to see refinements and adjustments. The digital age has thus given the payments arena the closest it will get to streamlining the system.