The consumer shopping experience was the one thread that was pervasive during the conference sessions at the 2019 Payments Summit conference in Phoenix. While there was plenty to analyze and debate about the latest fraud trends, mobile applications and fintech innovations, one theme stood out – the outsized importance of payments delivery services meeting consumer expectations for a friction-free anytime, anywhere, any-way checkout experience.
That overarching theme was driven home by the opening keynote speaker, Dan Sanford, head of Global Contactless Payments for Visa, who talked about the transformational nature of contactless “tap & go” payments growing around the world. Visa cited examples of how transit will likely be a driver for contactless payment adoption in the U.S., pointing out that large transit agencies are moving to open contactless payments, including recently-announced New York City and Boston. Global experience shows that transit has driven adoption for contactless payments in the geographical area around the agency.
But transit agencies are looking for more than just contactless payments. They want to create better multimodal experiences for their riders. Transit agencies and mobile applications providers serving the transportation market spoke about various projects to enable more choice and seamless mobility for their customers in their respective areas. This includes real-time trip planning, mobile ticketing, rewards, account-loading choice and partnerships with ridesharing, bike sharing, and other private services.
Several merchants representing general merchandise, fast food, supermarkets and convenience stores described the priorities for providing omnichannel experiences to their customers. Examples of changing consumer shopping patterns like use of mobile apps with rewards integrations, quick-service order-ahead delivery, and buy online, pickup in store checkout channels highlighted the need to serve consumers with different shopping habits and shopping lifestyle choices. In all cases, convenience and security are important, but only if those innovations don’t add more complexity and friction during the checkout process.
The Payments Summit touched on many other payments topics, such as: faster payments; use of artificial intelligence in payments; peer-to-peer payments; online security tools like EMV 3DS, Secure Remote Commerce and FIDO; and tokenization. Those topics stimulated many more discussions during Q&A sessions and at the networking lunches and receptions held in the open atrium that hosted the vendor pavilion.
I hope everyone who attended the recent conference and co-located U.S. Payments Forum member meeting will carry that enthusiasm into the many industry council and working committee projects for the remainder of the year.