RBTE 2018 was no different. In fact, it was even bigger and better this year: we welcomed a host of partners onto the Optomany stand to demo new solutions to attendees and I took part in a fantastic panel debate on the future of payment innovation. I’m pleased to say that Optomany is well placed to capitalise on the key emerging trends already transforming the industry, including mobile payments and tokenisation.
The rise of mobile
Although mobile payments have been around for some time, the past year has seen astronomical growth, driven in part by even stronger take-up of contactless card spending. Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay have driven in-store spending via mobile devices by 328% over the past year, according to Worldpay
. That represents a staggering 126m transactions and nearly £1bn (£975m) in value. With a third of the UK’s consumers now using their smartphone to pay in-store, it’s a trend no retailer can afford to ignore.
As I discussed during the panel debate at RBTE 2018, the key for the consumer is speed, simplicity and choice. There was a time when cards offered these advantages over cash — now mobile payments are really starting to give cards a run for their money. The advantages for retailers are clear: happier customers, a slicker shopping experience, shorter queues, and maximised profits.
But there’s another key feature of mobile payments that is also transforming the broader retail market: tokenisation. This is the technology that replaces consumers’ card details with an alphanumeric ‘token’. It means the merchant doesn’t have to store card details, dramatically reducing the cost of PCI DSS compliance and their risk exposure. But crucially, it also helps omnichannel retail efforts, by ensuring you get a single view of the cardholder across every channel they use to interact with you.
This is the kind of insight retailers crave, allowing them to improve marketing efforts and personalise the shopping experience as well as switch on one-click purchases and drive true omnichannel retail via things like seamless refunds.
The value of partnerships
Optomany is already seeing a huge amount of interest in its omnichannel capabilities, which feature both tokenisation and support for mobile payment ecosystems like Apple Pay and Android Pay. But we’re also keenly aware of the value of our growing list of partners. These are the resellers, System Integrators, international payment providers such as UnionPay and Alipay, and specialist consultancies that help to get Optomany solutions into the hands of end customers.
As we move through 2018, expect us to continue growing our roster of partners whilst adding value for customers at every stage. See you at RBTE 2019.