POS Innovation Event

5 Takeaways from last week’s Connective Payments POS Innovation event

On 6 November 2019, Connective Payments organised a Round Table meeting with leaders from the Payments industry. The theme of the evening: “POS innovation”. Ward Hagenaar (Connective Payments), Ramin Kader (Payconiq), Jasper Fortuijn (Albert Heijn) and Petra Stojanovic (Google) were the key speakers during this event in the beautiful EYE film museum in Amsterdam. The event ended with a lively discussion. Leaders of CCV, Mastercard, Rabobank, Worldline, Van Doorne, Payvision, Translink, Centric, EMS, Payter, MTc, Betaalvereniging Nederland, G4S and Pay.nl took part in this discussion.

These are our 5 takeaways:

1. Away with the fences!
We see the traditional boundaries blur between direct debit and cards, online and physical retail, yes even between cash and electronic payments. Everything becomes fluid: “seamless” is the magic word. This also applies to the place of the payment process in the sales chain: “check out” used to be a separate step, clearly recognisable to consumers. But that separate step has had its day since Amazon Go has shaken the market and front runners like Albert Heijn are experimenting with cashier-less concepts such as the AH Nano Store.

2. Customer experience is key.
Whoever offers the best customer experience wins. The Finnish Fintech group Mash is an example of a successful pay-by-ID solution by which the entire payment process is handled based on one fact: the social security number. The huge uptake of contactless, but also of Apple Pay for the widespread adoption of mobile payments, shows that it is not the technology that is decisive when it comes to achieving the coveted tipping point, it is the customer experience. That is why, for example, Google Cloud invests in voice, in combination with pictures and icons. Soon we will be talking to our devices, instead of typing text.

3. Do customers keep track of all those innovations? Sure.
You may wonder whether all those different payment methods are not a bit too much for consumers. Do they still get it? Yes of course. Consumers adopt useful solutions faster than we often think. The pace at which an app like Tikkie was adopted in the Netherlands, or at which consumers are getting used to QR codes to pay at collections, at festivals and in the hospitality industry, proves that it is not the consumer who slows down innovations.

4. The privacy tradeoff: the consumer wants a fair deal.
Not everyone appreciates personalised ads. But more and more consumers have no objection to sharing personal data if there are real benefits, such as loyalty points, ease of use and price discount. There are however limits: experiments with face and emotion recognition show that consumers find that scary. But cameras in Albert Heijn’s Nano Store registering products being pulled off a shelf, are much less seen as an invasion of privacy. No doubt our shopping experiences are becoming increasingly personal, aided by innovative technology and data, lots of data. How much more personal will be apparent from the many tests and experiments that will be on the roll in the coming period.

5. The technology is there – also for smaller players.
Mega companies like Walmart and Amazon invest billions in optimising the customer experience. But does every retailer necessarily need deep pockets to be able to continue to compete with the big retail chains and offer its customers a comparable, personalised experience? The answer is clear to Google Cloud: it is not necessary to build huge data warehouses and hire expensive data scientists yourself. The knowledge, technology and data are available on a pay-per-transaction basis. SMEs can jump on the innovation bandwagon, gain access to those resources and find out who that customer was who just left the store.

 

Impressions of the Connective Payments POS Innovation Event:

 

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