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2020: An overnight revolution in the Cards and Payments industry

Rishi Vijay
May 5, 2020

A lot has changed in the Cash and Payments (C&P) industry – almost overnight. Contact less has become the new mantra – but it’s equally important to safeguard customers from ever-increasing cyber and fraud attacks. So, how can your firm be a leader in the new C&P world?

Go further for your customers

Banks and C&P firms must expand the number of services and functionalities offered by their apps while educating customers about these new, expanded channels to ensure they have a smooth transition into the new digital world. To achieve this, it’s important that bots be trained to reach out to customers who do not frequently leverage digital channels to calm any fears they may have.

For example, China’s Ping An Bank already has an app that enables customers to handle their finances while other financial providers offer tutorials on many of their digital platforms to accommodate any changes in the market. Businesses are also being supported through e-commerce channels similar to those seen in China (Wechat and Alipay) and India (Reliance Jio and WhatsApp) – enabling them to conduct business as usual.

However, as contactless payments rise and everything goes digital, C&P companies will also need to build trusted environments for end customers. Now is the time for C&P companies and FinTechs to evolve their business models to incorporate higher levels of security and incorporate risk mitigation strategies to create and maintain customer trust.

Revolutionize internal operations and strategies

C&P firms must revolutionize their servicing and contact center operations. They need to equip employees with the skills needed to support and educate customers on new digital offers, products, or services while introducing new AI-based technologies such as chatbots into their processes. Many large financial institutions that would have taken months or years to implement these technologies are now doing so in a matter of weeks.

In addition, partnering with FinTechs is a great way to expand your website’s or mobile app’s offerings. Doing this enables C&P firms to:

  1. Provide easy self-service options, financial tools, online applications, automated underwriting, and quick payouts to customers.
  2. Leverage data and information from other providers and get help from vendors to provide solutions.

Leverage available information to design solutions and better plan measures going forward.

Digital cards are on the rise

The current scenario has also spurred demand for digital cards as customers become more risk averse. For example, Raj Phani, the CEO of Zaggle – a virtual card provider working with multiple banks to facilitate cashless transactions – recently announced a demand increase of 600% for digital cards. Phani added that, “the shift in … payment habits … will be fairly visible in (the) coming months .… focus(ing) … on how human touch or interaction can be done away with for payments.” Contactless payments have been on the rise globally over the last few years, but it seems that paper money may soon become a relic.

Go beyond FS

C&P companies are revolutionizing the way they do business. They are moving towards open APIs and partnering with FinTechs to leverage quicker delivery services, leading to some unexpected outcomes. They are helping governments and aid organizations support citizens and enterprises –  with childcare vouchers, emergency relief, or loan support, for instance.

But as online shopping continues to grow, C&P companies must provide simple digital checkouts while expanding the goods and services portfolio of their partners. Three trends within the C&P market highlight why firms should focus on simplifying online purchasing:

  1. Online shopping categories are expanding
  2. Online payment revenue is decreasing
  3. P2P transactions are increasing.

Put simply, if you want to keep up and increase your online payment stream, you need to make your checkout easy to navigate. Otherwise, your customers will simply go somewhere else.

Increasing contactless limits

New contactless limits are also being introduced across the globe. For example, the contactless limit in the UK and Ireland has increased to £45/€50, and Barclays has already processed over seven million contactless payments above the previous limit in a short period of weeks.

This means that there is no going back to the way things were. After all, why would any customer want to go back to pre-2020 spending limits? But this isn’t a bad thing – happier customers mean more business after all.

Prepare for the future – now

In many ways 2020 was an overnight revolution for the C&P industry. Once C&P firms expand their digital offerings, market reach, and contact-less limits things will never be the same. This means that firms that adapt quickly to these changes will experience a greater ROI in the long run. Yes, it’s challenging and yes, it’s difficult – but the C&P sector adapted in 2002 and 2009. 2020 is just another revolutionary date in our industry’s history. What are you waiting for? Start expanding today!

With inputs from Barkha Gosain.