Frictionless Payments: The Never-Ending Pursuit

Posted by Penny Webb

Apr 26, 2017 11:30:00 AM

“Frictionless payments” is an industry concept that has been around for many years. The phrase is used to describe a desire to limit the amount of customer interaction during a transaction, making the purchase process as smooth as possible from start to finish.

While the payment portion of a purchase can be the more laborious aspect of retail transactions, merchants and financial institutions must also focus on the end-to-end user experience when looking for ways to simplify the act of making a purchase. Streamlining the purchasing process should be a top priority for retail establishments and nonprofit organizations that want to attract new customers or contributors, or drive existing users to return more often.

No matter the industry or organization, there are essential gains to be made by applying the frictionless payments approach to customers’ purchase or donation experiences.  

The following techniques are often used to reduce friction in the payments process...

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Topics: Payments

The Next Generation of Frictionless Payments

Posted by Deborah Matthews Phillips

Mar 29, 2017 11:15:00 AM

I confess…I am that picky person that pinches the produce and squeezes the Charmin at the grocery store. Honestly, I don’t enjoy grocery shopping – I dread standing in line, knowing there are better ways to invest my precious free time. Amazon launched a new concept store in Seattle, Amazon Go, for the 67% of consumers like me that never shop for groceries online yet yearn for greater convenience.

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Topics: Information Technology, Payments, Tomorrow's Technology

Higher Rates = Happy Days?

Posted by Bill Kirsten

Feb 8, 2017 11:30:00 AM

"Happy days are here again
The skies above are clear again
So let’s sing a song of cheer again
Happy days are here again"

(From FDR’s theme song for the 1932 presidential campaign)

The Federal Reserve increased interest rates … finally! Market rates are rising too. And more are to come, so they say. Let the good times roll!

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Topics: Payments, Risk Mitigation

Blockchain and Innovation: Now and When?

Posted by Ron Mazursky

Jun 29, 2016 10:00:00 AM

Blockchain is all about innovation…but does the technology offer solutions to specific problems, or does it provide solutions not linked to real problems? Why are we so focused on blockchain today anyway?

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Topics: Payments

The Payment Interfaces of the Future

Posted by Eric Wilson

Jun 22, 2016 10:00:00 AM

How users will interact with systems in tomorrow’s digital society will be very different from what we are all familiar with today. Although touch screens, monitors and keyboards will remain relevant, new types of interfaces will emerge that will alter how we interact with devices and may radically impact how payments are made. 

Here are a few emerging interfaces that I think could become important in the payments arena. Some may seem far-fetched, but the technology is already in place to make all of them a possibility. In my opinion, these revolutionary interfaces could enter our everyday lives sooner rather than later, and they may play a more important role than you might think. 

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Topics: Payments, Online Bill Pay

Who’s Afraid of Apple Pay?

Posted by Kevin Moland

May 4, 2016 10:00:00 AM

Last weekend, it happened again. I used Apple Pay to buy dinner for my son and a couple of his friends in my favorite nationwide sandwich shop, and the sandwich artist behind the counter gazed up at me in amazement and said, “Wow.”

Wow, indeed. I regularly watch store clerks go all googly-eyed when they see their first Apple Pay transaction. Even I still feel a little bit of a thrill every time I nonchalantly stick my phone next to the card terminal and hear the familiar “ding” that means my transaction has been approved. It’s been out for more than a year, but Apple Pay still spawns a sense of wonder in those who see it and those who use it.

Unfortunately, this sense of wonder in payers seems to generate a corresponding feeling of foreboding in many bankers. And why not? For years, we industry experts have been warning financial institutions that third parties like Apple were going to “disintermediate” them and take away their payments franchise. But the last two years have shed some light on mobile proximity payments, and the Apple Pay monster hiding in the corner now looks more like a friend than a fiend.

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Topics: Payments, Mobile Banking

Let's Check on Checks (A Traditional Item Processing Refresher)

Posted by Robert Hudecek

Mar 16, 2016 10:00:00 AM

“Checks are going away” – this prediction has been in process since before the Check Clearing for the 21st Century Act (or Check 21 Act) was enacted in 2003. Though many industry seers at the time assumed that the truncation of checks would also signal their quick demise, as of 2012 over 18 billion checks were processed (Source: The 2013 Federal Reserve Payments Study). With financial institutions and merchants still handling paper checks for the foreseeable future, sometimes a review is in order.

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Topics: Financial Services Industry, Payments

What is the Internet of Things?

Posted by Penny Webb

Mar 9, 2016 10:00:00 AM

You may not be familiar with the phrase “The Internet of Things” (or IoT), but the phenomenon it describes has been permeating the world around you for a while now. It increasingly impacts everything in our lives, from basic everyday tasks like shopping and driving to more critical functions, like making and receiving payments. You may not see it, but it’s there, and it’s going to play a big role in your future.

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Topics: Payments, Customer Experience

Looking Through the Crystal Ball: My 2016 Payments Predictions

Posted by Deborah Matthews Phillips

Feb 10, 2016 10:00:00 AM

Overall, I predict 2016 will offer few revolutionary moments in payments; rather, we will see evolutionary progress in a number of key areas, such as faster payments, regulation, security and digital commerce. For the most part, financial institution investments in IT for innovation and exploratory initiatives will be on hold to investments that improve the customer experience, digital channels, regulatory mandates and risk management.

Here are some key things to watch for in 2016:

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Topics: Payments

Help Yourself by Helping Your Business Customers Manage Their Cash Flow!

Posted by Rob Fantaski

Feb 3, 2016 10:00:00 AM

If you were to ask business owners the question, “What keeps you up at night?” I would bet nine out ten would say “Having enough money in the bank to keep the business running!”  Obviously, that answer is a little bit of a cliché, but as a small business owner in a prior life, I was one of those nine. So what can small businesses do to ease the worries associated with that answer?  The first item that comes to mind is managing cash flow.  According to Investopedia, cash flow is defined as the net amount of cash and cash equivalents moving into and out of the business.  In laymen’s terms: how much is coming in and how much is going out. 

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Topics: Financial Services Industry, Payments, Online Bill Pay

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