Visa On The Changing Needs Of Merchants At The (Digital) Checkout

Changing Needs Of Merchants At (Digital) Checkout

Merchants’ needs have changed dramatically due to the pandemic.

Digitizing operations tops the list of merchant imperatives, but getting there can be a struggle — especially when it comes to digitizing the checkout experience for a post-pandemic age.

To that end, as Visa Acquiring Partner Relationships Vice President Josh Park told PYMNTS, finding the right tech providers and partnerships can be critical.

“The checkout experience is changing and evolving,” Park told PYMNTS. “The good news is that there are a lot of solutions that were out there to help merchants.”

Overall, the pandemic has forced the industry to pivot toward digital offerings, especially mobile offerings, digital checkout, contactless payments and digital invoicing, a bit more quickly.

He noted that Visa has been seeing growth rates in contactless payments exceeding 100 percent in the U.S. alone — across “everyday spend” categories.
Consumers are also demanding eCommerce payment experiences, he said, and as a result, Visa and Cybersource have seen their partners reach out for assistance in better understanding their merchants’ digital needs as they shift toward helping merchants get online and accept payments.

“We’ve heard firsthand from our partners who need resources and education on how to best help their merchants pivot their models to digital options,” Park explained.

Cybersource and Authorize.Net recently launched a new partner marketing portal designed to arm their partners with the tools and materials they need to help their merchants adapt their businesses.

Amid the offerings for the portal: a marketing content library, featuring product flyers, presentations and sales enablement materials; co-branded creative material; and a video library that includes the latest videos that highlight customer success stories and product overviews.

Elsewhere, earlier this year, Cybersource announced a pilot program for the OAuth 2.0 authorization framework, to help tech partners and merchants securely connect their accounts across multiple software vendors without sharing their passwords.

“There are many great tech solutions out there for a variety of options, but we’ve seen an increase in just using simple account tools like the virtual terminal to accept payments where maybe a small business may not need a full website, but they still need to be able to accept payments either through the phone or using their laptop or another device,” Park told PYMNTS.

Park offered the illustration where a big box retailer sends invoices to customers through mobile means and customers pick up curbside. Those types of technology initiatives are increasingly being adopted by businesses of all sizes, said Park, across card-not-present (CNP) transactions.

He told PYMNTS that as merchants seek to expand their online presence, they should craft partnerships with technology providers to aid and speed integrations but also be mindful about the providers they choose. Having the right tech is key, but so is partnering with a company they trust. He suggested reviewing the company’s corporate and social responsibility policies, ensuring they provide support options and more.

“Business is about people, and everyone should look for a partner who they feel has got their back,” he said.

The demand for omnichannel experiences — order online, curbside pickup — means merchants can best navigate the heavy tech lifting by embracing the partnerships, fraud prevention and other services provided by Visa and Cybersource.

“They’ve got to be protected and make sure their consumers’ data is protected against phishing attacks, card testing and the like,” said Park.
Digital checkout “is providing a more seamless experience for the consumer, but it’s also providing a safer environment,” he said, adding, “This is what consumers are going to expect in their checkout experience. There’s a need for all the merchants to accept it — and quite frankly, it’s going to be part of their survival.”