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Allied Wallet is ideally placed at the forefront of this changing dynamic. With over eight years global experience in online payments, Allied Wallet has always recognised the central importance of creating innovative solutions for retailers and consumers. Allied Wallet enables acceptance of all global payment brands, including China UnionPay (opening up a market of over a billion new consumers). Allied Wallet enables retailers to sell in over 150 currencies, and be paid direct into their bank account. With a community consisting of many thousands of retailers, and over 60 million consumers – Allied Wallet is the leading online global payment partner.

With the continuing pace of change across many areas of the ‘payment industry’ such as security, authentication, device and EU regulation, is it the right time to ask the question – has the ‘payment industry’ lost sight of its core function?

In the payment chain, it can be argued that the only ‘value contributors’ are the retailer (selling for value) and the customer (buying for value). All the other components (i.e. banks, schemes, processors, etc.) are at best neutral, and at worst, a distinct barrier to successful commerce. How many transactions are lost because the act of paying is simply too hard, too complex, with too many barriers?

Like the rest of the financial industry, payment is under increasing scrutiny to deliver real value into society. Of course, payment should be safe and secure, but it also needs to ‘up its game’ to be part of the richer, more interactive retail experience. If not, traditional mechanisms will be by-passed in favour of solutions which fit the aspirations of buyers and sellers.

Retailers spend millions on developing richer experiences for buyers to enjoy – to entice them to purchase. That ‘magic moment’ where need/desire is seen to be fulfilled must be converted into a sale, if the retailer is to prosper. Similarly, with the expansion of devices from PCs to laptops to phones – the opportunity for buyers to seek opportunities globally and instantly drives challenges for payment.

To maximise its ‘perceived’ value, the payment experience must be:
Seamless
Device agnostic
Secure
Simple to buyer and seller

To facilitate this, all unnecessary barriers and restrictions must be removed. Whilst the fundamentals must be maintained (security, authentication, payment guarantee) the focus of the payment industry must shift, delivering value into the central ‘buyer/seller’ experience, through elegant solutions which complement, rather than complicate, this experience.

Reducing risks for retailers

Whilst there is no simple, or ‘catch-all’ response, there are simple steps that retailers can take to reduce their risk:
Pick the right payment partner
Make sure your choice is not based on price alone. Your partner should be willing to take the time to understand your business, your plans for the future, and your concerns – and provide solutions which are most appropriate.
Following is often safer than leading.
Whilst the desire to be at the forefront of all new technology (mobile payments, contactless, alternate payment methods) is exciting for some, the reality is that the ‘tried and trusted’ such as Visa, Mastercard – Chip and PIN (or three digits for remote payments) are sufficient for most. Let a little water flow under the bridge before selecting new technological ‘opportunities’ as some will not last the test of time.