Payments Analytics Highlight Valentine’s Day Spending Trends

On this Valentine’s Day, insights from payments data show that Americans will continue to increase their day of love spending on experiences, according to an analysis from ETA member Mastercard. According to Mastercard SpendingPulse, which provides overall retail spending trends across all payment types, including cash and check, experiential purchases – restaurants and hotels – is set experience solid growth this Valentine’s Day.

For restaurants, retail sales could increase 5.4 percent to $15.3 billion today, Mastercard predicts. For hotels, sales could jump nearly ten percent year-over-year, reaching $1.4 billion.

Unlikely to feel the love tonight are more traditional Valentine gifts, the report said. Jewelry sales are expected to decrease this year to $1.1 billion, despite a 2018 Valentine’s Day performance that surged over 25 percent higher than 2017. Overall luxury sales are likely to be flat, Mastercard predicts, generated $250 million and falling just .4 percent.

Data from the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) Valentine’s Day Spending Survey predicts that consumers will spend $162 per person on average on Valentine’s Day in 2019, up from $144 in 2018. Despite the higher average spend, NRF data suggests a downward trend in participation in the holiday – 51 percent of Americans plan to celebrate the holiday in 2019, down from 55 percent last year and from a high of 63 percent in 2007.

Significant others aren’t always the focus of Valentine’s Day spending, the NRF survey found. Gifts for pets continue to be popular, the NRF report says – 20 percent of consumers will buy a present for the pets, totaling $886 million and dwarfing 2008’s $519 million. And 11 percent of Americans plan on treating themselves to gifts like clothing and jewelry; just under 10 percent plan to get together with other single friends and family.

 

https://www.electran.org/publication/transactiontrends/payments-analytics-highlight-valentines-day-spending-trends/


ETA Expert Insights: Imagining the Future of Mobile Payments

By the ETA Mobile Payments Committee

Our industry spends a lot of time trying to make our products and services invisible. That is, we try to make payments frictionless so that the end user doesn’t have to think about the process at all. We want consumers to focus on what they’re buying, not how they’re buying. The ETA Mobile Payments Committee works hard to make this seamless shopping experience a reality for everyone by promoting the adoption of mobile payments and identifying ways to expand the opportunities afforded by new technology. Below, committee members step back and consider what the mobile payments space will look like in 2025.

Q: Fast-Forward to 2025 – what is your wildest idea in terms of what will be hot in the Mobile Payments space?

Harry Hargens, TSYS: We may see a significant number of merchants (retail and restaurants) deploy technology that enables an “Uber experience”. Walk in, pick up an item you want to purchase, walk out. Or, finish your meal and just walk out. No interaction with a clerk, waiter, or POS required.  I can’t predict exactly how this will work, but I’m pretty sure that a mobile device (phone, wearable, or implant) will be involved.

Craig Ross, Apple: “Hey Siri, pay for my items.” This is the catch-phrase that I think will be commonplace in 2025. I envision a world where I will be able to select items in a store and place them in a lightweight, reusable, and biodegradable bag made from hemp. Once I’ve completed my shopping, all I will need to do is speak those six words and Siri will take care of the rest. I will not need to authenticate via TouchID or FaceID, as Siri will use the biometrics of my voice to authenticate the transaction and then leverage Apple Pay to complete the transaction. Also, since Siri will know where I am, based on geolocation, she will be able to also send along my loyalty credentials so that I receive my standard double-points or loyalty discount percentage. Talk about hassle-free (and hands-free) commerce …

Steve Klebe, Google: Conversational Commerce (“OK Google, I need a Tall Latte”) is here now and will become much more pervasive in the next 5 years. Starbucks’ integration with Google Assistant is available today across Android, iOS and any Assistant enabled device from a variety of purveyors.

Markiyan Malko, Paysafe: At storefronts I can envision the Amazon Go type of experience where a consumer effectively walks in, grabs what they want, and walk out. We have the tech today and by 2025 it will be cheap enough to deploy and integrate that many mid-large retailers will have it. In eCommerce, I can see the checkout experience getting more streamlined as offerings like Apple Pay in Safari grow and the W3C works on the Payment Request API to make the integration of payments simple for merchants.

 

 

Source: https://www.electran.org/publication/transactiontrends/eta-expert-insights-imagining-the-future-of-mobile-payments/

Why Every Business Can Benefit From a Point of Sale

There was a time, not long ago, when point-of-sale (POS) systems were almost exclusively for large, well-funded businesses. Large retail operations had the staff and funding to develop or buy such systems, as well as maintain and update them. This meant that the many added features that made a point-of-sale system so valuable were only available to large businesses.

Today, the reach of the point-of-sale system has changed. Turnkey options and customizability mean that POS systems are available to businesses of every size. And yet there are still huge numbers or sellers nationwide that have barebones terminals or even remain cash-only.

Business of all sizes in every industry can benefit from a point-of-sale system, but many don’t realize why. Here’s how the landscape has changed, and why every business can benefit from a point-of-sale system.

The Benefits Are Clear

It’s always been clear that there were huge benefits to well-made point-of-sale systems, but the question was previously an economic one — did the benefits outweigh the costs?

The main benefit of a point-of-sale system is how much it can simplify your business operation. When small business owners start up, they are often surprised at how much of their time is taken up by tasks that are well beyond their core expertise.

A good point-of-sale system can simplify or, in some cases, go well beyond merely accepting payments and virtually eliminate those tasks. A modern point-of-sale system can help with inventory, time-clock and employee management, taxes, discounts and pricing, and more.

The landscape is far different than it was a decade ago, when only large businesses could afford a point-of-sale system. Now, more businesses can afford and benefit from a point-of-sale system to make life easier for themselves, their customers, and their employees.

The Economics Have Changed

So while the capabilities and power of a point-of-sale system have long been undeniable, the economics of the purchase could not be justified by SMBs.

Times have changed. point-of-sale system prices are now far lower, which has made the tools that were once exclusively available to retail giants affordable for even small businesses.

Today POS systems come in various models, ensuring that a business doesn’t have to pay for a machine that gives them functionality they’ll never use.

POS Companies Know: One Size Does Not Fit All

A major benefit to modern POS systems is that they are often customizable. A one-location food truck, for instance, does not need the same tools as a major nationwide retail chain, yet in the past, this was often irrelevant as POS providers offered the same tools to everyone.

Today, you can find a mobile solution that fits your specific needs. Some point-of-sale options prioritize mobility while some prioritize organization among multiple locations. Some are created for restaurants while others cater to healthcare. But an SMB no longer needs to overpay for features they will never use—now, they have options available that cater to their unique circumstances.

Modern POS Systems Are Simple and Intuitive

Historically, point-of-sale system systems were too complex for a small business to bother with. The truly simple options were a cash register and maybe a card terminal, but anything more often caused headaches and constant service and troubleshooting calls.

Years of refinement have solved this problem. Today’s point-of-sale system are simple and easy-to-use, designed not for internal experts at the point-of-sale system company, but everyday workers. They update simply via the cloud and offer an intuitive user experience.

Something For Everyone

The technological tools once available only to the giants of retail are now available to all businesses. Modern point-of-sale system offer both powerful payment acceptance and other value-added features all in packages that are affordable to businesses of any size.

This technology makes life simpler and business easier. The POS landscape has changed, and today’s systems have something to offer every business.

 

source: https://www.tsys.com/news-innovation/whats-new/Articles-and-Blogs/Industry-Insights/Merchant/2019/why-every-business-can-benefit-from-a-point-of-sale.aspx

 


12 Ways Consumers Will Pay (And Be Paid) In 2019 And Beyond

The “Twelve Days of Christmas” is a holiday classic, though some of us at PYMNTS still don’t understand why anyone would want to take a partridge away from what seems like a pleasant existence in a pear tree. But in hopes of hopping on the holiday bandwagon — and providing data-backed insight in the hottest payment trends for 2019 — allow us to offer this list of a dozen ways that consumers (and some businesses) are paying now, methods that promise to play big roles in 2019.

For the most part — and unless otherwise noted — this list is built around the new “How Will We Pay” research report from PYMNTS in collaboration with Visa. The findings in the report, which is free for download, comes from the survey responses of 2,800 U.S. consumers who were asked about the devices they own and how they use them to buy things. Those consumers also gave details about the purchases they made in the past seven days, the devices they used to make those purchases and why they made a purchase with that device in that way.

The findings — reflected in the list below — take into account the newest payment technologies while also paying attention to legacy methods that for various reasons continue to command consumer and business loyalties.

So, how will consumers (and some businesses) pay?

#1: With Multiple Devices

Owning just a smartphone — which applies to 3 percent of the population — seems so ancient these days that it’s not even hip or retro (give it time, though). Merchants must appeal to consumers who shop and transact via various web-connected gear. That not only includes smartphones, tablets and other computers — 17 percent of consumers own those but no other such devices — but connected appliances and speakers (35 percent of consumers, with the smart speaker market experiencing significant growth), and wearables (whose users, on average, have annual incomes of $79,406). More generally, 36 percent of consumer own six or more devices, and you can bet that percentage will grow in the near term.

#2: With Their Voices

Voice-assisted retail is growing faster than many observers expected, and some 27 percent of consumers own a voice-activated device, up from 14 percent last year. Consumers are being well trained to use voice for web searches and other activities, and are buying voice-activated devices that can perform payment and commerce tasks. The lucrative “Bridge Millennial” consumer segment — relatively high earning and highly educated, and approaching their peak earning years — are particularly fond of this technology, with 31 percent of owning a voice-activated speaker. Moreover, Adobe projects that voice-assisted retail will prove to be a big hit during the 2018 holiday shopping season — and that consumers already devoted to the technology will buy even more gear for themselves and others.

#3: Via Automatic Payments

No one likes checkout friction, and the growth of automatic payments enables consumers to have seamless transactions and go on with their lives. In 2018, 49 percent of surveyed consumers expressed interest in making automatic payments at the gas station, up from 41 percent in 2017. That’s not all. Interest in making automatic payments at restaurants, rather than waiting for the check, increased from 37 percent to 39 percent.

#4: Via Quicker Payouts

It’s not just consumers who pay, of course, but business and other organizations. And no one likes to wait around for funds, whether they come via paychecks or disbursements. The ongoing deployment of real-time payment technology is helping to meet such demands while bringing payment infrastructure further in the digital age. Some 24 percent of consumers would like to be paid in real time, and a hefty 70 percent of consumers are interested in shorter pay cycles. Quicker payments can have wide impact: Consumers said that if they were paid faster, they would be able to better manage their cash flow (53 percent) and pay bills (53 percent).

#5: With Payment Cards

Don’t even think of counting out plastic, which still carries a wide appeal. The propensity to use credit and debit cards on connected devices is particularly high among Baby Boomers and Bridge Millennials — with 72 percent and 53 percent using these channels, respectively. Credit and debit cards are also the preferred method of paying when consumers travel abroad. Among the 54 percent of participants who had made a purchase from foreign merchants, 68 percent preferred using credit and debit cards while purchasing from them.

#6: With Person-To-Person Mobile Tech

It’s been a year of P2P payment gains, and all signs point to even more growth in 2019. Zelle — the P2P service backed by Bank of AmericaJPMorgan Chase and other financial institutions (FIs) — said in its Q3 results that transaction volume increased 16 percent year over year, and that the total amount of money moved increased 13 percent during that same time frame. In PayPal’s recent Q3 financials, Venmo played a significant part in the positive nature of that report, with Venmo’s total payment volume increasing by 78 percent year over year. Such growth has led to payment services providers making sure in incorporate P2P in their offerings, including for restaurants.

#7: With Biometrics

The promise of biometric payments — closely tied to biometric authentication and ID verification — was demonstrated recently in China on Nov. 11, otherwise known as Singles’ Day, a big online shopping event in that country. According to one report, some 60 percent of customers paid by fingerprint or by taking a selfie during Singles’ Day. India-based Paytm, meanwhile, has started working on a facial recognition tool to enable digital payments.

#8: Via PayPal

The 2018 holiday shopping season has been more than kind so far to PayPal. For the first time in the company’s history, mobile payment volume topped $1 billion, and did so on both Black Friday (Nov. 23) and Cyber Monday (Nov. 26). On Black Friday specifically, mobile payment volumes exceeded that of Cyber Monday, though Cyber Monday still had a higher total payment volume. Black Friday mobile payment volume increased 42 percent year over year. And that’s not all. Braintree, acquired five years ago by PayPal, recently announced that it had processed more than $500 billion worth of transactions since then. It was only three years ago that Braintree achieved $50 billion in payments volume.

#9: With a Sense of Enjoyment

Let’s be honest: Until recently, payment was mundane, not fun. No one likes handing over hard-earned money to other people, not really, no matter the purchase. But that’s changing in this era of mobile and digital commerce. That’s because connected devices can make purchasing experiences more enjoyable for the consumer — assuming the user interface is not counter-intuitive and designers and merchants put serious thought into the customer experience. There was an increase of more than 13 percent in the number of consumers who told PYMNTS that they used connected devices to pay for things because they enjoyed them, growing from 47 percent last year to 60 percent.

#10: With Contactless Cards

It’s alright to be skeptical about contactless card adoption in the U.S., given the years of promise that regularly fell short of reality. But this year brought proclamations from Visa and others that U.S. consumers are finally ready to take up contactless transactions. Lower costs of card issuance, increasing consumer demand and speed are among the factors behind that. In fact, PYMNTS found that 26 percent of consumers expressed interest in using contactless cards at physical stores. Of those consumers, 84 percent see grocery as the predominant use case.

#11: Without Cash

Make no mistake: People are indeed moving away from coins and bills, and doing so rapidly. A big part of the reason is the increase in digital and web connections — 36 percent of consumers own six or more connected devices, which is hardly an optimistic data point for cash, not when there are so many other relatively easy and seamless ways to pay via mobile and the web. Those connections also mean that merchants and payment services providers keep working harder to meet consumer demand for digital payments (and, more often, not just payments, but also payment experiences, something cash cannot offer). Indeed, consumers are eager to move away from cash, with 77 percent of them wanting to use contactless payments at gas stations. Digital payments continue to make inroads everywhere. More than half of consumers used connected devices to make a purchase in seven of the 13 categories queried: 28 percent said they bought clothing and accessories, and 20 percent said they bought groceries. Sure, consumers do carry cash: Half of them carry between $10 and $15 in their wallets. But that cash is largely reserved for tipping — 39 percent of consumers said that — and purchases from smaller merchants that do not accept cards. But with the increasing deployment of relatively low-cost, low-hassle point-of-sale systems for even the tiniest of merchants, that doesn’t seem to promise a bright future for cash, either.

#12: With Growing Caution

No one has to tell PYMNYTS readers that consumers — and lawmakers and regulators and the media — are paying a lot more attention to online security and privacy, and that it’s almost certain that 2019 will bring more efforts to craft more laws to address those problems. When it comes to how people pay, 79 percent of consumers expressed concerns over data security when using connected devices to enable payment, an increase of 11 percentage points. Almost as many, 78 percent, expressed concerns over the privacy of their data. That means merchants, financial institutions and payment services providers who can address those concerns while also offering relatively friction-free transactions will gain an edge.

The coming year will bring new entrants to this list — new trends and experiments. But these dozen ways to pay provide a strong look at what’s in store for 2019.

Source: https://www.pymnts.com/news/payment-methods/2018/consumer-trends-mobile-voice-biometrics-cash/

 


As Mobile Checkout Evolves, Companies Like Scandit Find A Place in Payments

7-Eleven Inc. is among the latest retailers to empower consumers to become their own point-of-sale checkout when they use an app on their smart phones.

A central component of that capability is the image-capture tool built into the app. The 7-Eleven Scan & Pay service, which is in tests now and is expected to have greater availability in 2019, relies on Scandit AG image-capture technology to accurately scan a product bar code.

The Scandit algorithm first determines there is an object in the smart phone’s camera view, then it identifies the barcode, Samuel Mueller, chief executive and cofounder, tells Digital Transactions News. The barcode is decoded and converted into a universal product code. That information is sent to the merchant’s backend system for identification and pricing information, which is then rendered on the device, he says. The process happens in milliseconds.

Scandit’s role in payment is its ability to capture the product information via an image. Zurich-based Scandit does not provide the actual transaction function. Instead, most clients use existing payments partners, Mueller says.

The technology will only become more vital as more retailers adopt similar self-checkout services, Mueller says. “If you think about some of the big trends and visible projects in the market, one of the things that comes to mind is AmazonGo,” Mueller says. Amazon.com Inc.’s AmazonGo convenience stores use sensors and cameras to determine which items a shopper picks up and leaves the store with. The payment is made using the consumer’s Amazon payment credentials.

While AmazonGo is limited to a handful of store locations and to consumers with Amazon accounts, and also carries a high cost to duplicate, apps that focus on the consumer stand a better chance for retailer adoption, Mueller says. The trend to enable consumers to check out on their own phones has much broader appeal, he says. That also means self-checkout is available to more store types, too.

“What’s generally the case across these solutions is the shopping happens at the consumer’s own pace,” Mueller says. It also is much more personal, given the consumer may have started the shopping process with a map search or product search prior to visiting the store.

Some retailers may even adopt augmented-reality shopping, he suggests. In this scenario, once a shopper activates a retailer app and points the phone’s camera at products in a store, she could see pricing and product information and filter for size and other attributes. This will result in technology that can seamlessly blend the physical and digital shopping realms, Mueller says.

Others are trying to combine the two shopping environments. Earlier this week, MasterCard Incsaid it was working with Next Retail Concepts on a 3-D shoppable online experience.

Source: http://www.digitaltransactions.net/as-mobile-checkout-evolves-companies-like-scandit-find-a-place-in-payments/

POS Terminal? What’s That?

Cloud connectivity, apps, and features beyond payments are shaping the next evolution of the point-of-sale terminal.

With all the discussion surrounding merchant adoption of point-of-sale systems and integrated payments, one might think the days of the conventional POS terminal are numbered. Their days as an isolated piece of equipment with a sole function as the entry point for payment transactions may be dwindling. But, that does not mean the venerable POS terminal is about to become an historical artifact, as long as it’s not in isolation.

“Any system today, whether it’s a point-of-sale or hardware device, that is not cloud-based is dying,” proclaims Jared Drieling, senior director of business intelligence at The Strawhecker Group, an Omaha, Neb.-based payments advisory firm.

Today, a conventional POS terminal may still sit on the countertop, but with increasing likelihood it’s connected to POS software. It still captures payment data, but now it may act as the citadel, protecting the integrity of the data and sharing only the minimum information necessary with the software. The POS terminal may have a PIN pad or signature-capture capability. It may enable consumers to enter loyalty-program information or redeem offers.

In instances where there is no conventional POS terminal, a merchant likely has a tablet-based POS system in place. Since 2010, when Apple Inc. debuted its iPad and POS software developers flocked to the form factor, tablet-based POS systems have steadily gained favor among merchants.

‘Very Limited’ Growth

At first, the tablet form factor, like the smart phone before it, was innovative and attracted businesses. Then, as cloud connectivity improved, the opportunity developed to bundle other services, such as employee scheduling, inventory management, pricing, and detailed sales reports, making cloud-based POS systems the preference for many businesses, especially small businesses that now could afford them and had a need for them.

That has had a dramatic effect on the market.

Even traditional POS systems, which typically had updates performed when the maker sent a technician to install new software or hardware, are losing ground against cloud-based systems, Drieling says. Some merchants avoided these updates because they might cost thousands of dollars.

“In legacy systems [POS system makers] developed the code and would try to customize it for you,” Drieling says. “Cloud-based POS systems can be integrated with new or existing systems. It allows the developer to integrate other software into that system without having to create software to bridge the two together.”

Such developments mean that the outlook for conventional POS terminals is quickly changing. “Conventional countertop devices are going to be around for a very long time, but the growth of that category is very, very limited,” says Thad Peterson, senior analyst at Boston-based Aite Group LLC.

‘Reactionary Mode’

For sure, Square is one of many to launch so-called smart terminals, which use apps and enable easy integration to POS software. Square chief executive Jack Dorsey even heralded the new Square Terminal during a November earnings call as the replacement for “dinosaur” POS devices. The same month, payments provider North American Bancard Holdings LLC launched its own smart terminal, joining competitor Poynt Co., which debuted its device in 2014.

The common denominator in all these devices is the connectivity. That is a boon to small businesses, which had to forgo POS systems of the past because of the costs. “The most critical point to why these cloud-based systems are growing, primarily in the small and mid-size space, is they allow a lot of integration,” Drieling says.

This ability to integrate payments with software that can run other business functions is much sought-after in retail. In August, for example, payments provider Global Payments Inc. paid $700 million for AdvancedMD, developer of medical-office management software.

This all points to a very cloudy future. For the likes of Verifone Systems Inc., Ingenico Group, and Equinox Payments, which sprang from the former Hypercom Corp.’s U.S. unit, their roles as providers of traditional POS terminals will change, Peterson says.

“The challenge with the Ingenicos and Verifones of the world is they are in reactionary mode,” he says. “But they’re easily disrupted by players coming in with more flexible and lower-cost offerings.”

Going Up Market

It’s not for lack of effort on their part. San Jose, Calif.-based Verifone, which went private this fall, has been emphasizing services revenue for years and launched its Carbon line of smart terminals to better compete.

Paris-based Ingenico, too, has grown its services revenue and made changes. In April, it launched the Moby/C150 ECR that features an Android-based tablet with a 15.6-inch display.

As it adapts to changes among merchants and consumers, Ingenico finds itself examining the point of interaction between consumers and merchants. While Mark Bunney, Ingenico North America director of go-to-market strategy, says there will still be customers for standalone POS terminals, the market is changing.

“Lots of the tablet or mobile POS providers are definitely changing some of the dynamics in the market­place,” says Bunney. “We have to change not only from a hardware perspective, but [in] how it’s going to impact our software and services.”

Bunney points to Apple’s own retail stores and Amazon.com Inc.’s Amazon Go locations as examples of this change. There is no POS station in an Apple store. It’s all mobile, Bunney says. And in Amazon Go stores, the consumer’s own smart phone with the Amazon app is the payment mechanism.

Of the three primary categories of POS-terminal technology—the standalone device, the integrated POS, and mobile POS—demand for standalone devices is declining, Bunney says.

“That’s part of the market migrating to an integrated solution or going to a more tablet solution,” he says. “The other thing we’re seeing in the integrated market is merchants as well as the consumer want to have additional interaction beyond just the payment with the merchant.”

That mirrors what Peterson sees in the market. “The customer experience used to be managed by the merchant,” Peterson says. “Now, the consumer controls their own experience.”

That control has been enabled by the versatile tablet. “Now, the POS could look like a tablet,” Bunney says. It depends on the type of interaction consumers want, he says. “People want sleeker-looking solutions,” he says. “They don’t always necessarily want to have a separate payment device from the tablet.”

That’s not to say that a tablet, or cloud-based POS system, is for every type of merchant. Bunney doesn’t think large merchants would be as satisfied with a tablet-centered POS as they would be with something designed for their complex needs.

Still, some cloud-based POS system providers have made moves to go up market. Square Terminal, with its integration capability, is one example, and First Data Corp. is promoting its Clover POS system for fine dining.

Postponing Extinction

How the POS experience will adapt is uncertain, with its dependence on how consumers shop and the technology they use and how merchants react to these changes.

However it evolves, there will be integration of the payment-acceptance device into the overall checkout experience.

“The standalone device where it’s not talking to the POS is in decline,” Bunney says. Yet he doubts it will disappear completely, despite Square’s claim the older tech is a “dinosaur.” “In some areas, it may not be growing at as fast a rate,” he says. “There is still that interest level.”

The hardware side may not change too much in the near future, Bunney says, with the exception of some devices, like tablets, gaining contactless-payment acceptance. Most POS terminals shipped since at least 2015 by the likes of Verifone, Ingenico, and Equinox have contactless tech built in, if not yet activated.

Better contactless identification marks may be part of future devices, Bunney suggests. “How do you make it easier for the consumer to interact from a hardware perspective?” he asks.

POS software, in all forms, will evolve much faster, he says. Not only will industry standards from EMVCo, which sets the specifications for EMV chip-card acceptance, influence this, so will PCI Security Standards Council standards on PIN-on-mobile, which enables commercially available devices to securely accept PINs.

PIN-on-mobile is one of the trends Peterson sees influencing the evolution of the POS experience. It’s devolving the POS into smart devices that are not POS devices, he says. More use of mobile devices, especially for in-aisle checkout, and increasing awareness and availability of alternative payment methods are two other trends.

The Ultimate Payment

The so-called traditional POS makers will have to evolve, says Drieling. “They need to come out with some competitive products,” he says. “They know the POS industry very well. They probably have the capability to bring out some competitive cloud-based POS products. I don’t see them doing very much in the independent software vendor space.”

The future POS may not even resemble a POS device or tablet.

Even Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant almost qualifies as a POS device, Drieling says. Echo and other in-home devices enable consumers to use their voice to authorize orders. “The next step is unified commerce,” he says, allowing a consumer to start a transaction in one channel and go through others until making the ultimate payment.

 

Source: http://www.digitaltransactions.net/magazine_articles/pos-terminal-whats-that/

Pay-at-the-Table Comes to a Restaurant Group With Ingenico Devices

A restaurant franchiser is deploying Ingenico Group point-of-sale terminals as part of a migration to pay-at-the-table payment acceptance at its TGI Friday’s and Zinburger Wine and Burger Bar locations, Ingenico announced Wednesday.

The deal ultimately will see pay-at-the-table service, where the server brings the POS terminal to diners at their tables, at approximately 80 locations owned by Livingston, N.J.-based Briad Group. Each location will use approximately 10 Ingenico iWL252 devices, which accept magstripe, EMV contact and contactless and mobile payments, Mark Bunney, Ingenico North America director of go-to-market strategy, tells Digital Transactions News. The devices contain printers and a secure PIN pad for debit transactions.

Posera Ltd, a London, Ontario-based payments-software developer, provides its SecureTablePay middleware to connect the Ingenico devices to the POS systems in the restaurants. Installation begins this year and continues into 2019, Bunney says. Briad tested the pay-at-the-table service a year ago at a TGI Friday’s location.

Momentum for the pay-at-the table trend appears to be picking up in the U.S. market. In the Briad Group installation, benefits reportedly include convenience for the diner, better security, and potentially increased table turns for the restaurants. The semi-integrated nature of the system also may reduce Briad Group’s PCI-compliance scope because it segregates sensitive payment data from other software.

The pay-at-the-table routine shortens the typical payment operation from 12 to seven steps. It eliminates the need for the diner to wait for the server to return to pick up the card because the diner uses the POS terminal left at the table to make the payment. The server doesn’t have to walk back to a centralized POS system to input the payment, then return to the table with the receipt. This puts the consumer in control of the payment, Bunney says.

Pay-at-the-table also means the credit or debit card doesn’t leave the cardholder’s hand. That may be important to many consumers because data compromises continue to plague the hospitality industry. Ninety-three percent of the data compromised at hospitality POS systems involved payment data, Verizon said earlier this year.

The other potential benefit is the ability to improve table turnaround times. Bunney says tests by Posera found that, on average, table turns increased by 15%, or nine minutes per table.

Briad also said its chargebacks decreased in its test of pay-at-the-table technology. “Lowering our costs was good enough for us to decide to deploy the SecureTablePay and Ingenico Group solution; the positive feedback we got from customers was icing on the cake,” Tom Cornell, Briad director of information systems, said in a press release. “Our servers like using it too, as it allows them to spend more time at their customers’ tables and less time going back and forth to their terminals.”

Pay-at-the-table technology is not new, having been used internationally for decades. Ingenico itself has shipped more than 10 million pay-at-the-table devices, Bunney says. What makes now an opportune time for U.S. restaurant operators to adopt the technology is a combination of EMV, the surge in digital transactions, both in-store and online, and consumer affinity for mobile devices, he says.

Source: digitaltransactions.net

Affirm is partnering with Expedia and Eventbrite so you can pay for experiences over time

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Affirm has made it no secret that its success will hinge on its ability to offer customers a wide range of retail partners where they can frequently use Affirm to pay.

While the lending startup originally launched with niche partners like Casper mattresses and Boosted Boards, they have expanded partnerships to over 700 retail merchants with the hopes of tempting a more diverse range of shoppers to try the service.

But today at Shoptalk Affirm announced they are partnering with Expedia and Eventbrite to offer 3-, 6-, or 12-month payment plans to customers buying intangible “experiences” like a vacation or concert ticket.

On the surface, the benefits for both sides are clear. Affirm gets a large, pre-existing customer base with whom it can offer financing, and Expedia and Eventbrite get to offer their customers a new payment option, which Affirm says typically leads to increased sales performance by retailers.

But are one-time experiences really something consumers should finance? The answer is probably that it depends on when the actual experience is in relation to when you made the purchase.

For instance, it would be nice to pay over six months before you fly to that exotic country you’ve always been dying to visit. But on the other hand, who wants to be stuck paying for six months after you’ve experienced the trip?

Financing experiences also raises the question of whether or not shoppers will still repay Affirm after they already went on a vacation. With a tangible good, you continue to gain utility every day for months or even years after you’ve repaid the company. But with a vacation, shoppers may be more likely to leave Affirm on the hook for the balance of the trip when they are still paying a year after the experience they now barely remember.

The company’s response to this is that they will be treating travel and ticketing the same way as material goods, and still will use “thousands of data points” to assess a consumer’s ability to repay. And, if repayment trends do change, they will “adjust their models accordingly to ensure they approve consumers in ways that maximize repayment rates”.

As we’ve discussed before, high-interest rate financing plans like the ones offered by Affirm can be a sticky situation.  On one hand, there is a risk of customers using the service irresponsibly to finance nonessential items that they can’t afford. But, if used responsibly,  Affirm can empower consumers to stretch their dollar – so they don’t have to settle for goods or experiences that they don’t really want, but are the only thing they can immediately afford.

TechCrunch

 


Visa Tweaks Chip Card Processing Protocol; Says EMV Debit Cards Now Surpass Their Credit Brethren

More-information-on-Visa-chip-credit-cards

 

Many consumers and merchants adjusting to using newly-issued EMV credit and debit cards may undergo a perception versus reality check as Visa Inc. prepares to debut its Quick Chip for EMV program. Visa also provided updated chip card issuing and acceptance data.

Announced Tuesday, the program enables consumers to remove their EMV cards typically within two seconds of inserting them into compatible point-of-sale terminals. The program addresses a perception issue that chip transactions take more time than those made with a magnetic-stripe payment card, Stephanie Ericksen, Visa vice president of global risk products, tells Digital Transactions News.

“With more and more cardholders and merchants using chip cards as part of their lives we have heard concerns about chip transactions,” Ericksen says. The move will enable consumers to put away their cards quicker while the merchant rings up purchases.

Unlike mag-stripe transactions, the chip card must be inserted and left in the POS terminal until authorization. That is a measure to ensure the card is not counterfeit. The Quick Chip program does not alter the speed or components of an EMV transaction, Ericksen says. What it does is to enable the consumer to remove the card from the reader prior to the authorization response.

“From a card perspective no changes are required,” she says. “It works on all our cards today.”

What does need to change is the instruction sent to the POS terminal. “There’s a small change to the terminal to allow for the prompt to remove the card in advance of the authorization response,” she says.

No additional testing or certification is necessary because this protocol is part of the EMV standard already, Ericksen says. The middleware provider, terminal maker, or potentially the acquirer or processor has to make the prompt alteration.

The process is somewhat similar to when a power outage strikes a merchant location that has EMV terminals, she says. In that case, the transaction proceeds, but the authorization response is deferred until the terminal connects again. “It’s already an existing function being used today in some environments,” Ericksen says, pointing to in-flight EMV transactions that are processed once the plane lands.

Already, some payments-industry companies are working with Visa on reduced insertion times, including processor Total System Services Inc. (TSYS), POS terminal makers Equinox Payments and Ingenico Group, and payments software and certification firm B2. No merchants are enrolled yet, but Ericksen says Visa is working with some to do just that.

Meanwhile, Visa’s update on EMV data shows that for the first time there are more EMV debit cards in issue in the U.S. than EMV credit cards. As of March 31, there are 133.9 million Visa debit EMV cards and 131 million Visa credit EMV cards. The total of 264.9 million is 86.6% higher than the 142 million cards in October 2015, making the United States the largest chip-card market. At the end of December, Visa said there were 212 million Visa chip cards, but it did not split the total by credit or debit.

Issuers delayed their EMV debit card plans while technicalities over a software tweak to enable multiple debit network transaction-routing options were worked out. The tweak was necessary to comply with the Durbin Amendment to the 2010 Dodd Frank Act.

Visa also says there are 1 million merchant locations with chip-enabled terminals, or about 20% of all merchants, Ericksen says. More than three-fourths of them are small and mid-size merchants.

Counterfeit card fraud, which EMV chip cards aim to prevent, is down at the five top chip-enabled merchants by 18.3% from the fourth quarter of 2014 to the same quarter in 2015. That contrasts with the top five non-EMV merchants, which saw counterfeit card fraud increase 11.4% in the same period.

Once at least 50% of U.S. payment card transactions are made with chip cards at chip-activated terminals—in a so-called chip-on-chip transaction—fraud rates will begin to decline, Ericksen says. “That’s where we start to see occurrences of the counterfeit card fraud trend line go down overall.”

 

source Digital Transactions


Vantiv takes a pass on Daily Fantasy Sports

Daily-Fantasy

Top 10 acquirer Vantiv Inc. seems to have done that. In the face of increased state scrutiny of daily fantasy sports operators, Vantiv decided to suspend all processing of payments for these firms effective Feb. 29, 2016. Vantiv is said to be the largest provider of acquiring services for these businesses.

Daily fantasy sports is a turbo-charged version of the original. Instead of lasting an entire season, like traditional fantasy sports games, though, participants draft players for teams that play just one game and compete for cash prizes. Several state attorneys general recently issued cease-and-desist orders to the online companies behind daily fantasy sports games, asserting the games amount to illegal gambling. And, in fact, six states have ruled the games illegal.

Vantiv President and Chief Executive Officer Charles Drucker addressed the company’s decision to exit this particular aspect of the business in a Feb. 3 earnings call. “We have decided that it is prudent to suspend processing for transactions involving daily fantasy sports due to the increasingly uncertain regulatory and judicial environment around these operations,” he said. “We may re-enter the space in the future should conditions change.

“In the meantime, we remain firmly committed to processing for online and land-based gaming operators, including state lotteries and other regulated gaming activity where the regulatory and judicial frameworks are more clearly established.”