Retail technology companies that exhibited at RBTE 2015 have rushed to sign up to next year's event at a record rate, and Essential Retail is running a series of Q&As with the early re-bookers.

Today it is the turn of Ingenico Group. Lee Jones, director of sales & business development at the company, explains why the organisation is returning to the show in 2016 and why "escorted sales" are set to grow further in the year ahead.

What were your highlights from RBTE 2015?

RBTE 2015 was a huge success for Ingenico Group with visitor numbers to our booth up from the previous year. The level of interaction and interest in some of our new innovative solutions and multichannel capability was fantastic.

We lead the market when it comes to delivering compliant and secure solutions that enable organisations to support the way in which their customers wish to pay and be served. The discussions held by many individuals really echoed how well Ingenico Group is positioned and perceived in the industry.

How did the hot topics at RBTE 2015 compare to previous years and what's your overall view of how the show has developed?

From an Ingenico Group perspective while contactless is still a topic of discussion it has now become much more understood and mainstream. What we did start to see though was more interest in new payment methods such as Apple Pay and Android Pay coming to the fore.

Point-to-point encryption and payment security continue to be very important to organisations as protecting and securing card holder data is vital if customer confidence is to remain intact.

What were the top three reasons for re-booking a stand and confirming your appearance at RBTE 2016?

Visible & Accessible – As a market leading organisation that prides itself on helping retailers deliver the best possible customer journey it is imperative that Ingenico Group remains visible and accessible.

Market leading – Ingenico Group provides technology to thousands of retailers across the UK and beyond and as such showing how we and our solutions and services are evolving, for both the retailer’s and customer’s benefit, is imperative. It is especially important at the moment as the pace of change in the payments space is just incredible.

Convenience – The opportunity to meet new and existing clients with key persons from Ingenico Group, customers and partners all available and convening in one place is unrivalled. 

What are the main areas of focus for your business in the year ahead?

Our experience at this RBTE 2015 shows us that the challenge of being able to offer truly multichannel payment solutions is really beginning to keep retailers up at night. With the proliferation of new payment methods, devices and channels, providing customers with as many secure payment options as possible is becoming increasingly complex.

Consumers want a fast, simple and secure purchasing experience whether they are in-store, at home or on the go, whatever the device or technology. As a result, merchants need to provide consumers with a simple and seamless purchasing experience for all distribution channels. Ingenico Group’s own multichannel offering makes this possible.

Which technologies in particular do you predict will shake up retail in 2015/16?

I expect point-to-point encryption and multichannel payment solutions to continue growing in interest among the retail community.

There has also been a reported rise in 'escorted sales' where shop assistants are able to escort the customer round the store upselling and tacking the transaction using a robust, resilient portable product such as the Ingenico Group’s iSMP. It will be interesting to keep an eye on how this particular trend develops.

In addition, Apple Pay, Android Pay and others will be high on the agenda for many as the need to support and be able to let customers pay by the method they wish to use will become increasingly important if the checkout journey is to be optimised and a competitive edge retained.

Other technologies coming to the fore include running html applications on payment terminals. This opens up additional revenue streams for retailers while allowing customers visiting stores to get more from the outlet they are in thus making it more of a destination point and a better overall engagement.

Finally, one other area we are seeing an increasing interest in is unattended and vending. Retailers are now starting to use self-serve kiosks, click & collect kiosks and 24-hour automated unattended shopping options as being an area of competitive differentiation or service extension.

What is currently the greatest challenge to (a) your business and (b) the wider retailer industry?

We surveyed retailers who visited our stand at this year's RBTE and asked them to tell us the biggest payment challenge they face. The top answer was multichannel retailing. Nearly half (47%) said that the ability to provide customers with options to pay across multiple devices and channels would be their biggest payment challenge over the next five years. In addition to multichannel payments, the survey highlighted retailers’ ability to accept new payment methods as the second most important payment challenge facing them (named by 35%), followed by payment security (18%). 

All the reasons cited above resonate with Ingenico Group as a business and we are working hard to deliver solutions and services that will address not only retailer pain here, but also provide opportunities for them to differentiate themselves from their competition.

We play a pivotal role and have a clear leading position when it comes to payment security. For example Ingenico Group was the first to achieve PCI PTS 4 certification of a payment terminal and first to secure SRED approval.

As a business we have invested significantly in developing our in-house solutions and in acquiring best of breed solutions. This means that Ingenico Group can enable and provide a one stop shop when it comes to all things payment and cater for all types of sales channel, all while offering support for the most comprehensive range of payment methods.

The next RBTE takes place at London's Olympia between 9-10 March 2016.

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Ingenico Group

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