5 MIN READ

The payments industry is a really exciting one and is seeing huge amounts of innovation and change. Keeping up with it all can be a hard task for retailers. Advances in technology are facilitating this fast-paced payments scene with FinTech gaining massive amounts of investment and growth right now.  A report by Whitecap and The Department for International Trade estimates there are over 1600 FinTech firms in the UK. This is forecast to more than double by 2030 – many who are changing the way consumers and retailers manage their payments. 

 

Consumers want multiple payment options; fast, convenient, flexible payments that fit around their spending habits. It’s vital that retailers keep on top of trends in payments to keep customers happy and loyal to their business. There are a unique set of challenges that come with payments for retailers and eCommerce businesses. Let’s take a look at some of these issues and explore how to overcome them. 

Customer experience with payments 

Customer expectations are incredibly high when it comes to eCommerce experiences. It’s especially important to deliver on this when it comes to the point of conversion – payments. 

Retailers need to make sure their checkouts are not only secure but look and feel secure for the consumer. Poor design leading to lack of trust for shoppers is a big factor in cart abandonment, why would someone risk putting their card details into a site that doesn’t look secure – even if you know it is. Errors in the checkout will also lead to abandonment; slow payment processing and lack of payment options are big considerations. 

You can optimise your checkout by making sure:

  • Security measures are in place (3DSecure, encryption, SSL certificate) 
  • It’s well-designed with the user in mind 
  • Pricing is shown at all stages, including delivery costs 
  • Your site is optimised for mobile transactions 
  • Offering multiple payment options 

You may also want to show customers that payment support is available should they have any questions or concerns. 

Managing international eCommerce payments 

When expanding your business into a new, international market, figuring out your payments strategy can seem like a daunting task. Technology advances in payments help consumers pay in their own currencies, automatically working out currency conversion for you, aiding easier to manage international selling. 

It’s exciting opening up to new sales opportunities beyond your current market, however, it brings with it a new set of challenges. You need to consider things like localised payment options, tax, custom rates, currencies, restrictions and legislation and, dare I mention it?, the dreaded Brexit. 

It can end up being a confusing and costly business with all the different aspects to consider. Overcome issues with international payments by partnering with a provider who can facilitate simpler cross-border payments. This is the most hassle-free way to do this without investing too much of your valuable resources, time and money. 

Fraudulent eCommerce transactions 

It’s no secret that eCommerce is growing as more and more people opt for shopping online over the high street. The most recent figures show that in 2018, UK eCommerce sales reached a huge £688.4 billion. It’s further predicted that by 2021, 93% of UK internet users will shop online – the highest online shopping rate in Europe. This is great news for retailers selling online, but unfortunately, it’s also a great incentive for fraudsters. 

The amount of money in eCommerce is a driver for criminal activity and retailers need to be aware of the risks, and what steps to take to protect themselves and their customers from it. Merchant verification works to confirm that the cardholder is authorising the transaction taking place. This can be a complex task in online payments and is how ‘card not present’ transactions are enabling fraudulent activity. Ecommerce fraud can range from identity theft and data breaches, account takeovers and chargebacks. 

There are companies out there taking steps and using technologies to combat fraud, protecting both businesses and consumers. It’s not something for retailers to do alone, it’s vital to work with a payment provider that has the latest security and fraud prevention infrastructures in place. For example, our clients have the latest tools and systems for fraud prevention and detection in place through our partnership with Global Payments. Safeguard your business, protect your customers and your profits by implementing secure checkouts on your website; guaranteeing payment and customer data is encrypted, along with CVS and 3DSecure.

Understanding costly fees 

As eCommerce is booming – given those impressive numbers above – hopefully, so is your business. The more money you’re making, however, means the higher fees you’ll be paying. Unfortunately, they’re a part of the territory of the payments ecosystem and one that retailers tend to just put up with and leave unchallenged.

On the surface, payment processes seem pretty simple – but once a customer places an order, they set in motion a complex system of networks that work together in real-time, ensuring the transaction is as smooth as possible. The many different platforms and processes involved in this bring with them often excessively priced fees. 

You can’t avoid them, but more than likely, you can save money on them. The amount you’re paying is dependent on your sales figures, but it’s definitely worth exploring your options to see if switching providers can save you money on your fees. Find out more about how to save money on your merchant acquiring fees, or if you’re on the best rate already.

Compliance and eCommerce 

Naturally, there is a high standard to meet for compliance when it comes to processing delicate information like payment details and personal customer data. Adhering to this is imperative for retailers as data breaches are the main facilitator for fraudulent transactions. You need to consider Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance, General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and security certification like SSL. If you don’t have these in place you can risk big fines and penalties. But, don’t worry, your eCommerce provider and payments providers can work to help you with these – you’re not in it alone!

Final thoughts 

Overcoming the challenges that come with eCommerce payments can seem like a mountainous responsibility, especially when you’re a smaller, independent retailer. There’s so much to think about when it comes to payments and they’re only a fraction of everything else you have to deal with when running a business! Working with the right eCommerce provider and payments provider can help. This is why we’re partnered with Global Payments so that we can pass on the great benefits to our clients – enabling them to give their customers the most secure and best possible payments experience. If you’d like further advice on how we can help your eCommerce business, get in touch with our team

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Charlotte McKee
14th January 2020

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