Speaking to CI, Kirsty Morris, director at Barlcaycard Payment Solutions, reflects on the past year and gives insight into payment trends to watch out for in 2020.
The payments landscape in 2019 was defined by an increased focus on customer safety, sustainable shopping habits and on maximising value. While the demand for a completely frictionless, seamless payments experience remained strong, we saw push back from regulators trying to protect customers from cybercrime – a tussle that will gain momentum in 2020. Likewise, we saw the beginning of a move towards more mindful shopping practices and a focus on seeking out value from purchases, two trends that we expect to take centre stage in 2020 and beyond.
A push on customer safety
The introduction of Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) legislation was expected to have a huge impact on merchants when it came into force this year. However, the granting of an 18-month implementation extension has meant that becoming SCA compliant will remain a focus for retailers throughout 2020.
Focused on mitigating fraud and cyber threats, SCA requires all EEA transactions to go through a two-factor authentication process, unless they qualify for an exemption. On the spectrum of speed and customer safety, the legislation clearly sits close to the latter.
The challenge for merchants in 2020 will be to get compliant while still maintaining the ability to provide a great customer experience. This will be a delicate balance, requiring significant planning and testing. It’s essential that steps are taken now if the March 2021 legislative deadline is to be met without any adverse effects – to merchants or their customers.
2020 will also see a continued rise in the use of biometrics in payments, as consumers become more willing to provide a fingerprint or eye scan as verification. While it’s important not to consider the use of biometrics as a ‘silver bullet’ when it comes to customer authentication, it could have an important role to play in the roll out of SCA.
A focus on sustainable shopping
We know that the majority of UK consumers want to reduce their environmental footprint with their shopping habits, with just under half concerned about the impact of over-ordering and returning goods bought online. Our research also tells us that one in ten customers has actively reduced the amount they order and return because of this.
As customers pay more attention to sustainability issues when it comes to how they shop, we are seeing a rise in their calls for retailers to do the same. Businesses that listen to their customers and make changes to reduce their environment impact in 2020 and beyond will undoubtedly increase their appeal.
A move towards maximising value
Another key trend to shape the 2020 landscape will be an increased customer focus on value. We know this from our recent research, which found that 61 per cent of UK adults state they are seeking value for money from their purchases.
For everyday items, such as washing up liquid or laundry powder, we’re expecting to see more people seek out value by turning to discount stores and supermarkets. However, on the other hand, we will see a growth in in areas where consumers are willing to spend more money, such as experiences.