Q&A: SIX Payment Services on the future of payments

Will mobile payments continue to gain traction among shoppers?

Mobile payments are unstoppable in certain areas. Regardless of the form, NFC payments will conquer the high-traffic environment. Just like cash-believers, there are plenty of people who are not willing to share their data. There will be a peaceful co-existence of cash, cards, mobile phones and many other payment devices for the next decades. We at SIX make it our mission to support the entire payment ecosystem with reliable services.

How is FinTech impacting retail?

FinTech is changing not only consumer demand but also the range of payment options that merchants can now provide both online and in store. It is important to stay aware of payment and consumer trends to avoid missing out on sales due to a lack of payment options. We believe that the payment landscape will continue to evolve.

How has the payment landscape changed in recent years?

For consumers, card payment has become a commodity. Especially with the technology-savvy Millennials, it is important that merchants provide the smoothest check-out – both in store and online – in order to avoid abandoned purchases and retain customer loyalty. Security is a must at the same time, and it is a challenge for merchants to strike the balance between customer experience and related cost.

Give us a snippet of two of the most interesting trends you’ve discovered about payments in recent years?

The buzzword of the industry is omnichannel, which means the smooth customer experience across all channels. This concept has been a vision for a while. Now it can be fully integrating payment systems in order to maintain efficiency on a large scale. Synchronising all touchpoints and payment points on a single platform may indeed be a challenge for many merchants. SIX Payment Services is already offering integrated solutions for POS and eCommerce that support cases such as ‘click and collect’ and ‘click and return’. In both examples an eCommerce payment is completed in-store.

The second interesting trend is that payment service providers are working on the idea of introducing a "unique ID" for each customer – this would allow for a paying customer to be identified with a unique ID across all channels, making it easier for customers to pay, and for merchants to track the journey of new and existing customers in order to optimise the offering.  

What are the painpoints of a payment solution?

First and foremost a merchant must be clear on its own requirements. Sometimes a simple POS solution provides best value for money, given that it is scalable and integrated into a larger set of options. Otherwise any business expansion – new channels, countries, segments – would inevitably lead to having to implement a new payment system. Naturally the same holds true for more complex businesses with particular requirements. SIX offers cCredit, which is a software terminal integrated into the client’s system. In conjunction with a simple PINpad, cCredit manages the entire card payment process securely, quickly and reliably. Integration is very simple and the architecture is modular and flexible. cCredit can be installed either locally in the cash register or operated on a central server. Our larger customers appreciate the option for centralised monitoring and real-time access to all terminals for maintenance purposes.

SIX is a pan-European player. How do you support international businesses? Name some of the retailers that you are working alongside

We work for a several pan-European or international customers, amongst them the German-based shoe retailer Deichmann, luxury brand Louis Vuitton and high-end jeweler Bucherer. In addition to being universal multi-brand acquirer, our success factor is a standardised solution that can be used anywhere in the world and supports the processing of domestic payment systems, and value added services, alongside the international card brands. 

Can you vision a future without cash?

Across Europe, the public still relies on cash – indeed last year there was a public political discussion in Germany around “Cash is freedom!” Ultimately, when choosing a preferred payment option, consumers make a cost-benefit analysis as part of their decision making process. While there is a consensus that cashless is more convenient, if the registration to a service takes a long time, or the consumer has doubts about how their personal data will be dealt with, then, in their mind, the disadvantages outweigh the benefits. 

About SIX Payment Services:

As one of Europe’s largest payment providers, and a market leader in Switzerland, Austria and Luxembourg, SIX Payment Services supports merchants of any size and industry with the acceptance and end-to-end processing of their customers’ card transactions. State-of-the-art terminals, innovative mobile payment solutions, and tailor made solutions for specific retail sectors help merchants to save money, earn additional revenues, and their customers an integrated payments experience. With over 1,100 employees and 10 office locations, SIX Payment Services supports merchants and banks across 33 different countries.

To learn more, click here.