Q&A: Adyen UK country manager Myles Dawson

Essential Retail (ER): What key trends can we expect to see in terms of how consumers pay for goods, over the next 12 months?

Myles Dawson (MD): Mobile payments will continue to evolve. The arrival of Apple Pay has brought the conversation to the forefront, although mobile payments, on mobile websites, in-app and in-store using near field communication, have been around, and growing, for quite some time.

Another key trend, which is really set to take off in the coming months, is the blurring of lines between sales channels. The online store will become an extension of the shop floor and visa versa. For example: A customer in-store checks the online store for additional sizes, orders and pays with their mobile at the point of sale, and has their items delivered to their home.

ER: How does the UK compare to other nations when it comes to the use of mobile payments? Where have mobile payments had most impact?

MD: The UK is steaming ahead in terms of mobile payments. Globally mobile payments now account for nearly 29% of transactions online, whereas in the UK the share is closer to 50%.

In terms of impact, retail and digital goods businesses are seeing the greatest increase in mobile sales. For digital goods such as games and services, the smartphone is now the device of choice whereas shoppers still opt for tablets when purchasing physical goods such as clothes or furniture.

ER: What would be your advice to retailers considering which payment technology they should invest in for 2015-16?

MD: As a retailer you need to be sure your systems are now fully integrated across channels. Or better still, partner with a payments technology provider that has one unified platform across all channels, such as Adyen, so you are able to offer your customers a seamless experience online, on their mobiles and in-store. This will not only allow you to provide the best possible service to your customer regardless of where they are or which device they are using, but it will provide you with valuable data insights allowing you to interact with your customer as never before.

You should also ensure your payments partner is able to keep up with the rapid evolution that is taking place in the industry. Global payment trends are changing fast, fraudsters are constantly adapting their techniques and your customers are demanding seamless checkout experiences. If your partner can’t keep pace, you will be left behind.

ER: What does the future hold for the traditional card schemes – Visa and Mastercard, etc – with the emergence of new ways to pay?

MD: Although credit cards are the biggest payment method globally, in key markets such as China, Russia, Germany and Brazil, they are not always the preferred way to pay online. And, while their frontrunner status on a global level seems assured, at least in the near to mid-term future, there are competitors that could eat away at market share in some countries. These include established players such as PayPal and Alipay, but also new payment methods. For merchants it is crucial to support all key payment methods in target markets, and not just focus on cards.

ER: Which retailers stand out for their innovative payment options?

MD: Retailers who recognise the opportunities of an omnichannel approach will have a considerable head-start on their competitors. Reports suggest only very few retailers in the UK can claim to be fully omnichannel.

Those that have successfully embraced omnichannel include Moss Bros, Superdry and The Cambridge Satchel Company. These retailers have integrated their online channel into their in-store experience; helping customers complete a purchase, even if the required item is not available in-store. This 'endless aisle' set up, means retailers no longer have to be restricted by their physical storage capabilities, and more customers leave happy with a purchase complete. 

And for online purchases it is always hard to look past Amazon, where everything is slick and nothing gets in the way of completing the transaction.

ER: What can we expect to see from Adyen over the next 12 months? What are your key focus areas?

MD: Outside of constantly evolving our features and functionality and pushing forward with our global expansion we have two key focus areas:

Firstly supporting businesses to create a seamless omnichannel experience for their customers by providing a common platform, which delivers an integrated solution across all sales channels.

Secondly, data. Our single-platform solution puts us in a unique position, as we are able to see the complete transaction from source to issuer and payment scheme response. With this we can provide valuable insight into conversion analytics and customer behaviour across all sales channels – online, mobile and in-store from a single view. As an example we are able to suggest areas that could be optimised to produce higher authorisation rates across global issuing banks and, ultimately, lower costs.

Visitors to RBTE 2016 will be able to meet with representatives from Adyen on stand 127. The event takes place at London's Olympia on 9-10 March 2016.

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