When you walk into the Javits Center for the National Retail Federation’s NRF ’24: Retail’s Big Show, it will be easy to get distracted. Vendors do everything they can to grab your attention and claim some of your time. However, if you’re investing in a trip to NRF to find solutions for improving customer experiences, building loyalty, operating efficiently, or growing your business, you need to resist temptation and spend your time where it really counts. In January 2024, that means focusing on payments innovations and the future of payments.
Here are three trends to look for at NRF that will help you understand the direction the payments industry and, ultimately, retail is taking:
- The Evolution of the Payments Endpoint
To create seamless customer experiences, you need to accept payments wherever your customers engage. For years, that meant equipping associates with mobile point of sale (POS) solutions for line busting, assisting customers in the aisles, and transacting outside the four walls, which became essential for many businesses during the pandemic. However, most customer interactions were still far from seamless, as associates had to find a free mobile device and make sure it was charged and paired with a printer.
In Over the past few years, however, innovators have redefined the payment endpoint. Now, with softPOS (aka tap on mobile or tap on phone), retailers can accept payments directly onto a smartphone or tablet, eliminating the need to maintain separate devices making seamless shopping experiences possible for retailers of all sizes.
However, as you explore innovative solutions at NRF, you’ll see the evolution of the payments endpoint is far from over. In the very near future, look for solutions that enable retailers to accept biometric payments. Paying with a facial scan or IR palm vein scan. You’ll also see more smart shopping cart solutions and systems that emulate Amazon’s “Just Walk Out” technology that use cameras, sensors, RFID, and artificial intelligence (AI) to track the items that shoppers place in their carts or baskets and charge their accounts when they leave the store.
Additionally, drivers may be able to use embedded payment technology in their vehicles to pay at a QSR drive-thru, parking facility, or for fuel.
Innovators are also leveraging Internet of Things (IoT) and smart devices, like refrigerators and coolers, to automatically complete transactions when a customer makes a selection. The future of payments will include a wide range of devices that makes securely accepting payments possible and that eliminates friction for the consumer.
- Next-Gen Payment Terminals
Payment terminals have traditionally facilitated one process. They captured payment data, transmitted it to payment processors and card brands, and communicated approval to the merchant. However, the right platform enables merchants to do so much more with the payments device.
Next-generation payment technology operating systems, particularly those that are Android-based, make it possible to run business applications on the terminal while maintaining strict compliance with PCI security standards. This gives retailers more functionality at the point of sale, for example, allowing consumers to interact with their loyalty rewards accounts during a transaction or to make orders for out-of-stock merchandise at checkout.
This flexibility and expanded functionality allow retailers of all sizes to craft experiences that will increase customer satisfaction, build loyalty, and contribute to a growing business. For smaller companies, however, this technology can be game-changing, allowing them to make the best use of underused computing power on their counters.
- A New Approach to Estate Management
As payment endpoints increase in number and type, retailers will need a reliable way to manage them. Payment terminal estate management by traditional methods is time-consuming and expensive, from shipping devices to a key injection facility and deploying them in retail locations to monitoring and maintaining them.
As retailers begin to use different devices to accept payments, the most effective way to manage them must evolve to keep retailers in compliance, secure payments, and control costs.
Experience How to Accept, Enhance, and Manage Payments
It’s smart to take the opportunity at NRF to explore payment innovations and what the future of payments will offer. But in such a dynamic environment, it can be difficult to know where to start.
Ingenico can help. Contact us or arrange a meeting to discuss how innovative payment technology can enable you to accept the payment methods your customers prefer, enhance payment experiences, and streamline management effectively and compliantly. You can also see demonstrations of our solutions designed to deliver on the challenge of a rapidly changing payments space.