The retail industry is changing quickly, presenting challenges for many merchants trying to keep up with evolving trends and consumer expectations. At the 2023 Payments Canada Summit, Shenela Tavarayan, Director, Product Development at Interac, spoke about the current pain points experienced by merchants and how businesses can leverage the shifts in retail and payments to create more seamless experiences. Today, it is more important than ever to adopt affordable, accessible, and efficient payment solutions to stay ahead of the changing retail landscape.
Pain points currently faced by merchants
Many merchants are facing pain points that hinder their ability to provide seamless experiences for their customers. From outdated payment systems to a lack of consistency within the market, both customers and merchants are impacted by friction – the steps or barriers that get in the way when making purchases in store or online.
Outdated Payment Processes
The 2021 Canadian Payments Methods & Trends report highlights that Canadians are prioritizing convenience more than ever. However, limited payment options can deter consumers from making their intended purchases – in other words, it is affecting the businesses bottom line.
Sixty-nine per cent of online shopping carts are abandoned, with that number increasing to 80 per cent for shoppers browsing on mobile phones and tablets. This is in part due to limited payment options and the lack of optimization on mobile e-commerce sites. A post-pandemic survey conducted by Interac revealed that Canadians want the ease and convenience of digital payments. In particular, most Canadians (72 per cent) believe they should have the ability to pay with Interac Debit across multiple channels, not just in store. This misalignment between consumer preferences and what local businesses currently offer not only adversely affects customers shopping experiences, but also leads to missed sales opportunities for merchants. Similarly, long queues when making in-store purchases, authentication hurdles, password fatigue, lack of mobile wallet integration and the potential of fraud are all factors that can drive customers away.
How to embrace the shift: creating seamless payment experiences
With these emerging shifts, how can merchants adapt to serve the needs of their customers? For businesses, this means integrating both physical and digital experiences.
We’re seeing a new generation of tech-savvy merchants push for payments to be easier and faster. It is an opportunity to level up the experiences we bring to the market, particularly as the lines between digital and physical commerce blur.– Shenela Tavarayan, Director, Product Development
In order to make payment solutions more affordable, accessible, and efficient, merchants can leverage solutions such as Interac Debit, Interac Debit for e-Commerce Payments and Interac e-Transfer. Not only will this enable businesses to develop omnichannel experiences, but also help them meet their customers anywhere, and at any time.
Future of payments lies in affordable, accessible, and efficient payment solutions
Today, Canadians have diverse payment preferences and want to pay using their method of choice in store, online, or in app. Businesses must enable Canadians to pay how they want – otherwise they run the risk of losing potential sales. And for Nader Henin, AVP of Commerce at Interac, the cost of losing transactions is higher than the cost of offering more payment options. However, with the rising cost of labour and inflation, merchants also require cost-effective payment solutions that are both trusted and secure.
By accepting economical payment options such as Interac Debit and Interac Debit for e-Commerce, merchants can strengthen profit margins, improve accessibility to consumers, and streamline their payment processes. One notable advantage that Interac Debit offers is that the transactions are not subjected to chargebacks as it is the customer’s bank or credit union that authorizes and guarantees each payment.
As Canadians’ payment preferences continue to evolve, solutions that are not only affordable, accessible, and efficient for merchants but also convenient for consumers are needed. By leveraging the wide range of solutions offered by Interac, businesses can seamlessly adopt a payment ecosystem that is both cost-effective and user-friendly, catering to the needs of both physical and digital commerce.