Modern Retail

The move to cashless society: How retailers can keep up with the latest in payment technology

cashless society

The UK retail landscape has changed so much over the last decade. More specifically, the digitalisation of retail has led to the introduction of various technologies to keep up with the demand of shoppers and consumer trends. These changes have affected every corner of your the retail business — how and where shoppers can purchase items, how fast they receive purchases, and the payment options for purchases.

A common denominator over this time has been the speed at which these changes have occurred, meaning the customer, at the forefront of the changes, has become more impatient in their demands. As a result, shoppers are less susceptible to engage with brands that cannot adhere to what they look for in a service.

The growth of eCommerce & mCommerce is digital commerce is poised to further influence retail over the next few years, it is essential retailers stay on top of the mobile trends that encourage shoppers to spend more and revisit their brand.

Cashless society

To achieve this, retailers should begin investing in technologies that enable their customers to pay for items however they like, and mobile payments seem to be the path that the industry is going down. Today, contactless and mobile payment options encompass price comparisons, personalised promotions, as well as checkout options that make it easier for customers make quick and informed decisions of purchasing.  

This growth in mCommerce provides a vote of confidence to the infrastructure of both online and in-store payments, but also means retailers need to stay up to date and invest in developing seamless and secure payment options. Which is why payments are such a huge part of the digital transformation of 2018 and beyond. So what are the latest trends in payment technologies for retail?  

Customers are no longer responsible for authenticating payments

As part of the drive to create a more consumer-centric shopping journey, customers will take less of an active role in the authentication of transactions, and payments will rely more on the systems that provide the technology. This means processing payments will become easier and faster as customers can depend more on state-of-the-art payment providers, with the added benefit of being able to spot fraudulent activity. But it’s important to bear in mind cyber-attacks and other threats to security involved with this investment of technology, and retailers should invest in systems that put security at the forefront of payments.

Greater personalisation of loyalty programs

More than ever, customers have the freedom to engage with as many brands as they like. To keep customers coming back, retailers should create ultra-customisable programs by leveraging a view of transactions that can integrate with data and information on customer preferences. By this, you can offer an even more bespoke experience for your customers.

Scale up on biometric payment methods

Coupled with the scale up on security, the ease of purchasing will be complemented with technologically-advanced ways to purchase items. Apple, for example, have successfully introduced Face ID to their instant payment infrastructure in addition to fingerprint identification. The key behind the success of such developments fall within retailers’ ability to find the balance between producing convenient ways to purchase and investing in secure methods of payment.

Cryptocurrency

In today’s market, it’s almost impossible to discuss payment trends without touching upon Bitcoin and other forms of cryptocurrency. Whilst this remains a realm untouched by many businesses, it’s hard to argue against the growing influence of the likes of Bitcoin. More and more business are exploring digital currency as we move towards a cashless society. Liverpool, for example, is one region that has developed its own digital currency, the Liverpool Local Pound (LLP), used by a number of independent retailers to boost the local industry. The effect? It encourages users to spend money with local suppliers, brands and people. Keeping an ear out on local currencies behind developed in your area can pay great dividends when engaging with local shoppers.

Convenience is, and will continue to be, at the forefront of the development of payment technology. And in an ever-changing retail market, consumers will keep coming back to the brands that make the transaction of goods as convenient as possible. Retailers should make full use of artificial intelligence and machine learning, as they attempt to achieve even more of this convenience. From known services such as Paysafe and Paypal, to mobile-operated systems such as Apple Pay and Android Pay, to a bank’s own mobile wallet, the possibilities for a cashless society to have their expectations fulfilled, are endless.

With the increasingly blurred lines between the online and in-store, payments are still quite fragmented, but as with any timeline of any technological advancement, leading operating systems like ApplePay & Amazon Pay will soon become the staple of cashless commerce payments. With this in mind, any retailers who fail to implement such systems will risk losing out on sales.

Dax Dasilva

Dax Dasilva

Dax Dasilva is the founder and CEO of Lightspeed and a member of Modern Retail's Editorial Board. Founded in 2005, Lightspeed develops a cloud-based EPOS platform used by over 50,000 independent retailers, restaurants and eCommerce merchants worldwide to run better businesses and process over £12 billion in transactions annually.

Visit https://lightspeedhq.co.uk for more info.