With all of the progress made and innovation involved in payment processing technology, retailers might begin to think that optimal frameworks and systems have already been achieved. However, there is an argument to be made that the sheer complexity and rapid diversification of technologies fueled by increased competition in several relevant markets is actually threatening the efficiency and seamlessness of modern transaction processing.
Keeping up with trends in consumer preferences is only a piece of the puzzle when working to ensure the integrity of payment technology use, as leaders also need to understand which common mistakes are being made that lead to inefficiency. Enhanced convergence of systems, integrated payments solutions and other trends are just now beginning to gain traction, and one can only hope that this leads to simpler activities in the future.
A look inside
Business Insider recently published a new report on the payments industry, and while there were plenty of findings to be happy about, a few were subversively worrisome given the risks and challenges involved. For example, the source found that the industry is thriving amid the release of new gadgets, software and point of sale systems that are increasingly expected among consumers and the businesses they frequent.
On the other hand, though, it would be hard to characterize the payments industry as being simplified, optimized and highly efficient today, as the ecosystem becomes more saturated with each passing day. According to the report, complication can be found in the number and diversity of participants in a standard payment ecosystem, with most boasting at least five different entities - processors, card networks, independent sales organizations, gateway/middleware providers and issuers.
What might help, though, is the growth of mobile POS. The study forecast mPOS to be present among 80 percent of U.S. retailers by 2019, which might force ISOs, device manufacturers and others to simplify their processes through consolidated payments.
Integrated payment systems will often help retailers to make sense of the highly complex procedures involved in not only processing transactions, but also managing data, maintaining systems and analyzing trends. With a comprehensive unified solution in place that brings mPOS, support for EMV, encryption, tokens and traditional payments into one centralized and straightforward environment, retailers might also be able to reduce their capital expenditures on the tools necessary to accept these transactions.
At the end of the day, simplicity through consolidation will rule in the payments arena.