It’s time to make payment processing part of your customer experience

Payment processing was viewed as a commodity like copper or crude oil. And like a commodity, choosing the payment processor was a “lowest cost” decision.

While this logic may have made sense when the credit card was the only sheriff in town, the payment processing industry seems to change on a daily basis. In no time, we went from cash and credit cards to alternative payment methods (APMs). Ecommerce was a rounding error not too long ago, but it will be a quarter of all global retail businesses by 2024. And COVID-19 engenders new purchasing behaviors that can last for decades.

Here is what it means.

Payment processing is an essential part of the customer experience ecosystem today. Yesterday’s old siled payment systems no longer meet the needs of today’s buyers. Instead of choosing a payment processor purely on the lowest cost, it’s time to evaluate and modernize your entire shopping experience. Here are some things to consider:

Are you giving buyers what they want?

APM = growth. Your customers want more flexible payment options, especially your mobile shoppers. This gave birth to alternative payment methods like digital and mobile wallets to finance tools. MPAs already represent more than 43% of global transactions and this figure is expected to increase over the next few years..

As the demands and expectations of shoppers continue to increase, one-click payment has become the holy grail of the mobile shopping experience. Not offering shoppers their preferred payment method or not providing a quick and convenient way to complete their purchase are the main reasons for the industry-wide cart abandonment rate of over 70%. The cart abandonment rate climbs even higher on mobile, to 85%. Just at checkout, that’s almost $ 1T of abandoned cases in the US alone each year, and over $ 10T globally.

You want a payment processor with built-in APM integrations so that you can take the headache out of managing multiple backend and frontend APM integrations. A streamlined checkout experience can reduce friction during this final stage of the buying journey.

Most importantly, you’re giving your buyers what they want – their preferred payment method and the convenience of one-click checkout. You benefit from higher conversion rates and lower cart abandonment rates and your customers have an amazing customer experience.

Is there access to other capacities?

Any discussion of payments should take into account what happens before the crucial moment of conversion: the payment experience. Are payment capabilities integrated with payment capabilities? If so, what is the return on investment of “bundling” these capabilities into a single vendor rather than decoupling them?

An equally important capability is fraud prevention. In addition to reducing false refusals through more stringent fraud detection and prevention measures, it is worth assessing how your fraud prevention capacity offer across the entire customer journey. Buyers demand ease and convenience. Selling through a buyer’s network means your buyers don’t have to enter their payment and billing information, even if they’ve never purchased from your site before.

Additionally, buyers with network accounts are at lower risk of fraud because they are already known and trusted within the network. This means a better shopping experience for buyers and peace of mind for retailers with a 99% approval rating. It’s a win-win.

What is the competitive advantage?

Assuming the first two considerations leave you with a “can’t decide” conundrum among multiple payment processors alone, here’s the last thing to consider: competitive advantage. One of these competitive advantages will be access to first party data.

The recent privacy changes from Apple and Google mean that merchants will not only lose the ability to track buyers anonymously through cookies, but it will also be more difficult to perform device-based authentication. SMCustomer acquisition and post-purchase experiences will be more important than ever with this looming cookie apocalypse.

The Bolt Network Provides merchants with access to first-party data with over seven million buyers ready to checkout and hundreds of thousands of new Bolt account buyers added each month. Even new buyers get a one-click checkout experience with no redirection, username, or password. And every trader who joins the Bolt network creates more value for buyers and other traders, creating a strong network effect and providing everyone with an alternative to large global markets.

The payments industry continues to evolve with the arrival of new players every day, leaving merchants with a dizzying array of choices and parity of features. Instead of choosing a payment processor in a vacuum, merchants should consider the total cost of ownership when looking at the entire shopping experience. This consideration should include APM integrations, convenient one-click checkout experiences, fraud prevention, and access to other features such as one-click account creation.

The end result will be a modernized payments infrastructure that delivers a great customer experience, while helping merchants alleviate the burden of choice.

About Matthew R. Dailey

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