At the end of last month, I had the pleasure of attending RFi Group’s 2019 Global Business Banking Summit. In a day centred around understanding how to meet the needs of today’s business banking customer, I was invited to join a panel to discuss how industry players can keep up to speed with merchants’ needs.
Together with moderator Tony Craddock, the Director General of the EPA, and fellow panellists Andrea Dunlop, CEO of Acquiring & Card Solutions at Paysafe, and Melinda Roylett, Head of Europe for Square, we attempted to crack topics from how businesses can accept consumer payments in today’s climate, right through to the value-added services that are emerging as a differentiator.
And that last point got me thinking about something I strongly believe in. Value-added services are going to be the thing that sets organisations like us apart. While you have to be able to provide the right service at the right time, it’s the value-add that you offer on top of that, that will drive relationships with customers forward. But, in order to do that, the conversation needs to change: payments can no longer be seen just as a cost, but should be viewed as a revenue stream.
Here’s what I mean. Our forthcoming merchant portal is testament to the kind of added insights we can offer, and to the potential revenues that can be derived from that. This dashboard delivers rich insights into customers’ spending behaviours, whether that’s the average value of the shopping basket, or transaction timings and whether they are new or returning customers, to postal code heat maps, to competitive benchmarking. It provides merchants with a much more detailed understanding of their customers’ behaviours and expectations, opening up opportunities they may not have previously seen. And this all comes from the power of the payment.
Armed with this information, it’s a different ball game. These insights, gathered from payment data, can provide a whole range of guidance and direction – whether that’s how you cost products, how your customers choose to pay, employee shift patterns, through to the customer experience.
All of these factors enable the merchant to make decisions that could ultimately result in increased footfall, more efficient management, and ultimately, growth.
I was recently in Scotland with one of our clients, a craft beer company. We’ve been partners since the early days of their inception. The company has grown fast through the quality of the product, their culture and vision and how they engage their customers across all channels. Our relationship has evolved too. The insights we’ve been able to provide to them – all stemming from the payments process – have meant that we’re now discussing how payments can impact their distribution strategy, and the different business areas where efficiencies and enhancements could be made. They view their bars as a key part of their distribution strategy – but much more than that – the experience they want their customers to have when there.
People expect us to be able to provide the service. But today the discussion is how we help our clients grow.