India’s payments industry is in the midst of a disruptive transformation that is proving to be an epochal moment in its history. A slew of new unique business models are coming to the fore, and new delivery mechanisms will upend the market, resulting in shifts in customer servicing and creating differentiated value propositions that go beyond the incumbent.
In this challenging milieu, a few innovations and trends are catching the eye.
Anywhere, anyhow payments
The rate of technological evolution rapid evolution is a modern reality, and a lot of it is geared towards eliminating the friction around consumer experiences. One manifestation of this is the manner in which seamless payments are working securely, virtually anywhere on any device regardless of form factor. Contactless payment forms such as wearable devices and tap to pay cards are creating a world of convenience for consumers. For better or world, this is an age of instant gratification, and payment mechanisms need to embrace and evolve with this sense of immediacy and convenience, rather than rendering payment as an additional part of the user experience. Thus, the major payment is not if a digital means of payments are accepted, but how the experience is delivered.
Everyday points of sale
Single-purpose point of sale terminals are growing increasingly passé. Through software. Virtually any device is now a point of sale, be it in a face-to-face interaction or remotely, allowing transactions to take place in physical or digital environments with equal ease. Thus, point of sale machines must be more than mere mediums of processing transactions. The opportunity is there before us to displace cash as the predominant means of payments, and if this means establishing new form factors, this change must be embraced. More than just a checkout, these terminals can be the gateway to enter a world of more meaningful seller-buyer relationships and as a bridge to impactful customer reward initiatives.
Software as an enabler
There was a time when industry experts decreed the rise of digital to be the beginning of the end for traditional brick and mortar enterprises. But in what can only be seen as a delicious twist of irony, the success of digital-first companies is being seen in the manner in which they are going to market with physical stores. This is perhaps explained by the basic human social need for interaction, be it with one another or more pertinently with the need to experience the product physically before committing to it.
The best in-store experiences are melding the best of both worlds; digital’s ability to allow us to browse and personalize, with physical’s potential to validate a product purchase decision through in-person experiences. In the non-linear reality, more adaptive, engaging purchase options are king, allowing customers to control the experience and when they pay. Think about all the times you simply book a cab at the click of a button and get out and walk away when you’ve reached, eliminating the entire friction of the post-use payment experience. It’s seamless, transformative and some might even argue it’s liberating.
APIs are the building blocks of innovation, allowing companies to create the kind of intelligent, fluid, omnichannel experiences that customers have come to demand. Owning the value chain from end-to-end is no longer a prerequisite for success, as companies are coming to collaborate more than perhaps ever before at any point in their collective histories. By plugging in multiple APIs to create bespoke value chains, companies are coming to deliver astonishing amounts of value to customers. It flies in the face of conventional logic, that shuns cross-company innovation and fosters greater innovation that benefits all. Efficiency and scalability are just some of the upsides, allowing for the delivery of comprehensive solutions that create new standards of excellence.