Payment Service Providers Must Take the Lead for Payments Innovation to Succeed

  • Annemarie Graham, Director of Strategic Partnerships at Nuapay

  • 15.03.2023 02:00 pm
  • #payments

Innovation is essential to ensure payments keep up with consumer requirements and to support merchants as they seek new ways to attract and serve their customers. But to ensure innovative new payment methods are adopted and that their benefits are realised by consumers and businesses alike, payment decision makers must be willing to take the leap and integrate new technologies. In turn, payment service providers (PSPs) hold ultimate responsibility for educating their customers and leading them to make the right decisions to benefit their businesses. 

Non-traditional payment methods offer numerous benefits in terms of potential cost savings, security, and transaction speed among other areas. In fact, Nuapay data shows that 36% of merchants identified open banking as presenting the most opportunities of any payment method over the next three years.

What’s more, following the pandemic and as new generations of digital-savvy consumers gain prominence, appetite for new payments technology has never been higher. In Nuapay’s recent Merchant Perceptions Survey, more than half (56%) of the payment’s professionals surveyed agreed that customers are more open to new technologies now than they were two years ago. 

This brings opportunities for merchants to introduce more efficient, cost effective and secure methods of payment. Combined, the advantages offered mean that these new methods offer a competitive advantage, particularly for those seeking to attract a more technically savvy audience.  As many merchants are looking at acceptance and conversions, they must consider the user experience and reduce friction a time of payment.  Adapting your payment’s strategy to ‘consumer led’ helps retain focus on differentiated experiences your checkout journey can take your customer on and either adding value or fundamentally causing friction and pain.

Before true progress is made, however, in-house payments professionals must buy into new technologies and be ready to implement them – and that’s where PSPs need to move the needle.

Personal preferences may be impacting new technology uptake

The same survey showed that although a third of payments professionals (34%) were excited to try new payment methods themselves to stay ahead of the pack, almost half (45%) admitted to being either cautious or risk averse, with a further 21% claiming to be creatures of habit. 

Practically speaking, more than half (51%) of all payment professionals said they would only adopt new payment methods within their organisation once they had been pre-integrated with their payment gateway.

Payment professionals who considered themselves ‘excited’ by new payments technologies in their personal lives were more likely to say they would adopt new payment methods directly with the payment provider. Those who were ‘cautious’ in their personal preferences were far more likely to say they’d only adopt new payment methods once they were pre-integrated with their payment gateway (60%).

Job title also influenced payments professionals’ willingness to integrate new payments technology. Despite being some of the most likely to feel ‘excited’ in their personal lives, CFOs and Financial Directors were still more likely to say they would only adopt new payment methods once they are pre-integrated with their payment gateway (48% and 55% respectively). Heads of Payment were the most likely group to say they would adopt new payment methods directly with the payment provider (54%). 

This data clearly demonstrates the requirement for payment service providers to consider the personal preferences of the individuals they’re selling to and adapt their product and service recommendations accordingly.

The role of payment service providers in fuelling innovation

It is easy to lay the weight of responsibility at the feet of payment decision makers. But, as trusted experts, payment service providers have a much greater duty to educate their customers and encourage them to make the right decisions. 

This includes helping them to stay up to date when it comes to the latest technologies and the advantages they offer. In fact, more than a quarter (26%) of merchants surveyed said they rely on their payment service provider to stay up to date on the latest developments in payments technology. 

Consumers are keen to try new ways to pay, and even risk averse industry professionals can see the untapped potential of technologies such as open banking. Momentum is building, but we must continue to generate advocacy within the industry itself. 

The data above clearly highlights the importance of tailoring products and services to the people within businesses who are responsible for integrating new technologies and payment methods. This means thinking of these individuals as consumers with their own personal preferences and interests, as well as business professionals. 

If payments providers cannot convince merchants of the benefits of their product, these may never be passed on to the consumer and with it, a wealth of commercial opportunity and benefit will be lost.

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