Assistant Vice President of Commerce, Interac
Consumer expectations are driving a seamless experience
The retail market is evolving rapidly thanks to new technologies and disruptive companies, but perhaps even more so in response to customer expectations. Businesses that adapt and embrace change are the ones that will thrive and remain relevant.
“If a customer can go online, make a purchase, and have it shipped within 24 hours, or pay for a coffee within an app so it’s ready for pick-up on the way to work, they begin to expect the same seamless customer experiences from other merchants,” says Nader Henin, Assistant Vice President of Commerce at Interac, a leader in Canadian payments. “This motivates retailers to innovate and meet these evolving customer expectations.”
Removing friction increases sales
What does this frictionless experience look like? It’s allowing consumers to skip long check-out lines in-store by arming sales associates with mobile terminals or embedding the payment into the customer experience, as ride-sharing apps have done. It’s creating an online or in-store experience where the payment moment is so natural that the consumer doesn’t have to put any effort at all into making a purchase.
“Frictionless experiences make buying easier for the consumer and taking payments easier for retailers, which is only going to have a positive impact on overall sales,” says Henin. “By offering check-out solutions that reduce friction and support their customers’ payment method of choice, retailers can create a real differentiator between their brand and their competitors.”
Some of those experiences are unlocked by working with innovative technology providers such as Adyen, the payment platform of choice for many of the world’s leading companies. “We work with some of the largest global brands, including Canada Goose, Gap, Microsoft, and Uber, to accept payments in a frictionless way,” says Alex Rhodes, Country Manager of Canada at Adyen. “And we’ve worked with Interac to enable Interac Debit to work seamlessly through Apple Pay and Google Pay.”
Frictionless experiences make buying easier for the consumer and taking payments easier for retailers, which is only going to have a positive impact on overall sales.
Globalization driving innovation
Rhodes says that globalization has changed the retail landscape.
Customers now have access to a global mall of retailers. While this has led to increased competition, it has also sparked innovation, benefiting both merchants and consumers.
“Canadians are used to using Interac, and what we know is that if consumers like to pay a certain way in-store, they want to pay that way when shopping online,” says Rhodes. “The customer experience bleeds from one channel to the next. Omnichannel retailers are learning that technology is the foundation of being nimble and moving quickly to respond to customer expectations.”
With more than six billion transactions annually, Interac Debit is a key part of the way Canadians transact. But it isn’t just consumers that benefit. Interac’s value proposition for merchants sells itself. “We have one of the lowest merchant fees in the market and work within a good funds model, meaning that merchants can access their earnings easily without fear of chargebacks,” says Henin. “And our innovative products enable businesses of all sizes to grow.”
Micro or small businesses, freelancers, and charities can take advantage of mobile point-of-sale transactions and accept payments with ease by using the flexible, secure, and low-cost software-based PIN on COTS. This enables an Interac Debit cardholder to securely enter their PIN on a merchant-owned mobile device, such as a smartphone or tablet, without the need for an integrated payment solution.
“No matter what tomorrow’s customer experiences look like, Interac is committed to offering Canadians new ways to pay with their own money,” says Henin. “We’ll continue to innovate and work with partners to deliver solutions that bring secure, interoperable, and lower-cost payment options to the market.”