Payments As A Service: A Consumer-Driven Challenge?

In the inaugural edition of our Payments as a Service Tracker™, powered by Cayan, MPD CEO Karen Webster talks to Demandware’s Eric Olafson and Teamwork Retail’s Michael Maurer about the challenges of retail adoption of better payments technology.

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). 

Introducing the Payments as a Service Tracker™, powered by Cayan, featuring the latest news related to the players moving and defining the category. 

The February Tracker profiles 18 global Payments as a Service providers — players contributing to the activities and movements taking place across the segments that comprise the burgeoning ecosystem. We evaluate the companies based on the types of payments they accept, the type of customer engagement platforms they offer, the type of POS available, their security measures, their operations features, and their hardware and software management capabilities.

When a customer speaks, why should the retailer react?

For the February Payments as a Service cover story, MPD CEO Karen Webster spoke with Eric Olafson, Demandware’s Senior Vice President of Software Solutions, and Michael Maurer, Chief Executive Officer of Teamwork Retail, about the challenges of retailers’ adoption better payments technologies. The conclusion? Payments are increasingly expected by consumers to be an integral aspect of their online and offline shopping experiences, which are evolving into one seamless experience. To get there, retailers must meet consumer expectations and there is a lot of room for improvement. 

Here’s a sneak peek:

In retail and in omnichannel, the customer is everything. And the focus on the customer is what drives software firms as they partner with retailers to transition to and embrace more efficient payments technology.  Which is a departure from the good old days of plastic cards and countertop terminals and shopping in the store. Payments was something that ISVs didn’t have to worry much about – since what retailers really needed was specific functionality that was all about retail store operations – inventory, pricing, sales and loyalty. Connecting across silos, and integrating to payments – plastic, mobile and currency-like loyalty programs and points – wasn’t given much of a thought.

That’s the view of two technology executives – Eric Olafson, SVP of software solutions for Demandware, and Michael Maurer, CEO of Teamwork Retail – who reflected on the intersection of retail and payments in a recent conversation with MPD CEO Karen Webster. The consensus was that retailers have their work cut out for them in seeking, maintaining and accessing consumer data in a way that meets customer expectations for a seamless retail experience whether online, offline or through a transaction that melds the two.


About the Tracker

The Payments as a Service Tracker™, powered by Cayan, is a monthly report designed to give an overview of the trends and activities of merchant platforms that not only enable payment processing of new and old technologies, but that also integrates with other features that make the merchant’s experience easier such as customer engagement, security, omnichannel retail experience, analytics, inventory management, software and hardware management, and more. 

The tracker also includes the latest news and highlights about key players of the Payments as a Service Space, as well as a directory describing key providers and their capabilities and a scoring for each firm.