2016 was a turbulent year. On one hand, we saw advances in FinTech and increasing adoption of new technologies lead to blockchain experimentation by financial institutions, developments in real time payments, the shift further away from cash in favour of contactless and pilot programs for NFC wearables.
Yet this wealth of innovation and technological advancement was greeted by an unpredictable landscape. Consumer confidence dropped – as did the Pound – in the wake of Brexit, the US presidential election and international terrorist attacks caused global political instability and retail growth rates softened. Now, as the dust settles on a new year, the industry is starting to feel a renewed – although reserved – confidence.
In 2017, data remains high on the agenda and payment providers and merchants alike are working to leverage its true power. Data empowers merchants to understand and predict the entire purchasing cycle at a granular level. It can aid in streamlining the buying process through visual search and intuitive product recommendations, informing personalised dynamic content and by highlighting behavioural triggers to increase conversion. Most pertinently, data can allow pattern mapping to identify and reduce payments fraud.
The key to success for merchant strategies in 2017 – from product selection to customer relationship management to payment processing – will be personalisation. Personalisation is essentially the strategic application of data to enhance each customers’ unique experience. The proliferation of cross-border commerce presents great opportunity but also a greatly expanded competition pool, so establishing customer loyalty becomes crucial. This is possible only through rich and meaningful data collection and application.
Trends for 2017
Data is set to underpin key trends for 2017.
Mobile commerce rates will continue to increase alongside FinTech development and mobile adoption by the FinTech industry. The wealth of consumer data that is accessible by financial institutions and merchants continues to expand, as user experience and behavioural mapping of data becomes ever more accessible via mobile interactions. This data can then be used to inform retail applications such as cross-device cart regeneration and seamless in-app payments in order to reduce friction and enable consumers to shop with ease and convenience. The potential to leverage from mobile data is significant – in fact the global mobile market is predicted to double from todays mcommerce purchase rate to reach $250 billion by 2020.
Omnichannel marketing will remain a priority for online retailers. Increased alignment between online and offline activity, geotargeted promotional offers and seamless payment processing will be enhanced by harnessing data for greater personalisation.
Artificial Intelligence is gaining widespread acceptance as a tool to monitor card-user behaviour to identify fraud in real time. The continuous collection, analysis and application of data to flag incidences of fraud almost immediately is the driving force behind Artificial Intelligence to combat this issue.
Real time payments platforms are under construction in the U.S, Europe and Australia – all on-track for implementation in 2017. These present a great opportunity for the FinTech industry to innovate new technologies and applications to improve the customer offering, given that these platforms enable access to customer data and information, previously guarded by banks.
Knowledge is Power
Data, and the power of knowledge and insight that it provides, will be a key driver for ecommerce in 2017. Customer experiences will become more personalised, ecommerce strategies will be nimble in response to new insights from consumer behavioural information and data will allow further strengthening of fraud mitigation artillery.
ABOUT DARIA RIPPINGALE
Daria Rippingale, CEO of BillPro, is a global authority on processing, e-commerce innovation and international payment protocols. BillPro is an international payments provider delivering straight-forward, secure payment solutions and support for small to medium businesses worldwide. As an industry leader in fraud-abatement and cross-border online payment solutions, BillPro offers an international network of acquiring banks, leading edge secure technology and multi-currency payment solutions.
Leading global operations from BillPro’s European office (Amsterdam), connect with Daria at: