The future looks bright for Payment Processing, Merchant Solutions and FinTech

It stands to reason that more and more Online, Cashless and Recurring Payment transactions will be processed in the coming years.
Why? The number of “Netizens” is ever increasing and resultingly there are more Online Merchants, Merchant Payment Solutions and Payment Service Providers, who cater to their needs than ever before. The number of Payment Providers is increasing continually, due to sheer demand, advances in FinTech solutions and investor opportunities.
The latest figures (November 2018), show us that e-Commerce growth, especially in Online Mobile Payments and Omnichannel Payment Solutions is still climbing, sharply.
Online technologies such as Shops, Marketplaces, downloadable Apps and other e-commerce trading instruments, are available in practically every corner of the world world for the first time.
With the global economy booming, consumers are able, and willing to spend their disposable income online and across a wide range of products.
It stands to reason then that the number of online Merchants and Payment Solutions available to them will continue to increase, as figures show.

A stronger economy intrinsically leads to more and further travel by adventure seekers. As more and more consumers have access to the internet, their interest will be piqued by the potential of travel to destinations far, far away. Local Merchants and (r)etailers can benefit from this, by ensuring that they offer the technical and practical services that intrepid adventurers require. After all, it is nice to have a few creature comforts, when away from home.
Merchants benefit, because successful transactions and fewer declines mean successful sales.
A prime example of this can be found in a small town in the North of the Netherlands – Giethoorn (population 2630), Where local Merchants are able to offer China Union Pay and WeChatPay, to the hundreds of thousands of Chinese tourists, visiting the “Venice of the North” every year.

Global Payment Solutions are increasingly sought after, as more and more Merchants seek to target consumers locally and allow them to pay for services via Payment Products with which consumers are familiar, comfortable using and most importantly – trust.
Alternative Payment Products, as they’re better known, offer invaluable additions to the existing array of Payment products, which Merchants currently have at their disposal.
It pays, as a Merchant, to shop around and talk to different Payment Gateways, Payment Service Providers and Acquirers, in order to gain insight into what distinguishing features and products each of these Payment Processing solutions can offer – and of course, whether or not they are available on said Payment Platform.
By implementing an Omnichannel approach to both Payments and shopping/sales channels, Merchants can implement a wide range of products, all of which are designed specifically for increasing customer conversion and sales. Prime examples are Ideal in the Netherlands and Sofort in Germany. The 2 countries border each other, yet each has a completely different preferred local Payment method.

The best-known Global Payment products after Cash are probably Debit and Credit Cards.
The Card logos of major Credit Cards Companies, like Visa, Mastercard, American Express and myriad other brands are recognizable instantly and can be found no matter where you find yourself in the world. While issuance of actual physical cards may be on the decline, there is incredible growth in Cardless Payments R&D, based on and around the Card Networks,  as put so succinctly in this recent blog from Gary Singh at Ondot Systems.
Security, ensuring PCI Compliance and combatting (friendly) fraud remains, and will always remain paramount in regards to Debit & Credit Card Processing, but we are convinced that with the vigilance, new directives and exceptional fraud products available today, these Payment methods are going to be around for a long time yet.
In fact , their market share is ever increasing, especially as we are globally going “Cashless”.

Recent takeovers, buyouts and mergers, such as Worldpay and Vantiv and in the EU, ING’s acquisition of Payvision, a Global Acquiring Solution and a relative newcomer in the Acquiring industry, proves that this is a market that is in flux and investors are eagerly eyeing new opportunities. Global Payments Provider and Card Acquirer – Adyen, recently announced its platform expansion into the Canadian Payments landscape, which again shows the growth potential in the Payments market. We are sure that there will be further major developments both in the short and long term.

How does this change and persistent innovation affect Merchants and perhaps even your current Payment solution? Well, for example -The European Union has implemented caps on Interchange Fees, in a so called IFR agreement with the major Card schemes. This cap has been in place for European Merchants for nearly 3 years now.
Unfortunately, research is showing that while major, large volume companies have benefitted from a reduction in Interchange fees, smaller retailers have not.
This could be attributed to a lack of knowledge on Merchant’ behalf, or, a failure by the Payment Service Providers and Acquirers to communicate effectively the new rules.
It pays therefore to check in with your Payment Provider, or, seek help from a Payment Consultancy to stay abreast of these changes. A reduction in Interchange and/or Discount Fees percentages could potentially save a Merchant thousands of $/€/£ annually.
This is one example of a potentially huge change for Merchants, which may have gone unnoticed.
If it has and you are a European Merchant, please get in touch and let us assist you.

There are many other changes on the horizon, Brexit looms large over the European Payment Landscape, with many of Europe’s best known and traditionally successful Payments Providers based in the UK. It is probably unwise to speculate about potential outcomes, but it is an interesting time. The final outcome of Brexit on UK Interchange Fees will also be something to keep a close eye on.

Recent developments regarding #Brexit (14-11-2018) state that “As of the withdrawal data, transactions between the EU-27 and the United Kingdom will no longer be covered by the EU rules limiting interchange fees”. This may lead to a higher surcharge for card payments.

UK Companies trading with EU Cardholders should be aware of this. We will update as soon as more details are available

Finally, in this round-up, we’re covering another European development. The implementation of GDPR. Another hugely influential piece of regulation introduced by EU lawmakers, in order to protect the data and privacy of its citizens and netizens.  The next 24 months should see further implementation of the data protection and privacy principles. Payment Processors should take care when handling data, as should Merchants. Ensuring PCI Compliance besides GDPR is of paramount importance for everyone involved.

These are just some of the major changes within the Payments Industry in the past year or so.
Many more are coming undoubtedly.

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