Top payment trends to look out for in 2017
The payments industry has made massive strides in connecting people to commerce over recent years. New technology is transforming the way we pay for everyday goods, adding extra layers of security at the same time.
SIX Payment Services has identified three main trends that it believes will influence the payments industry in 2017.
The fusion of all channels by Unique ID
Synchronising all touchpoints and payment points on a single platform will continue to be a challenge for many merchants in 2017. Some payment service providers are working on the idea of introducing a "unique ID" for each customer – this would allow for a paying customer to be identified with a unique ID across all channels. This makes it easier for customers to pay, and for merchants to track the journey of new and existing customers in order to optimize the offering. The problem that arises is data protection: who now owns this data? There is currently no legal precedent around this and so the debate is likely to continue through the year and possibly beyond.
Full checkout in e-commerce
As technology continues to improve and change, so do online shopping trends. Online shopping is increasingly centered around smartphones. Therefore it is understandable that consumers do not want to deal with lengthy payments procedures; and sometimes simply ‘drop out’ of a transaction due to frustration. As a result, payment providers and merchants are increasingly concerned about how they can simplify the payment process to ensure it is both fast and secure. Mastercard, for example, offers the Masterpass digital payment solution where a customer only has to enter his or her e-mail address as a user name and a personal password in order to complete a purchase.
Payment through marketplaces
Online marketplaces, such as Amazon or Etsy, provide a platform for many large and small traders to offer their products to a wide range of customers. There can be problems however if orders are not run via the main marketplace but instead directly through a merchant. At such merchants, payment options vary significantly: some offer many different payment methods, while others offer little choice. It is proven that the abandonment rate increases if the customer does not find his preferred payment. To prevent this, merchants should offer the appropriate variety of payment systems for consumers. A payment provider consultant, such as SIX Payment Services, can help identify the best options for merchants depending on sectors, geographies etc.
Roger Niederer, Head Merchant Services at SIX Payment Services, said: “Technology is changing not only consumer demand but also the range of payment options that merchants can now provide both online and in store. It is important to stay aware of payment and consumer trends to avoid missing out on sales due to a lack of payment options. We believe that these trends will continue throughout 2017 as the payment landscape continues to evolve.”
UK office space slashed as hybrid working looks set to stay
With hybrid predicted to be the working model of the future, and businesses both large and small announcing that WFH will continue for employees into the future, the traditional office space is being re-thought.
Businesses are both questioning how much space they need for a hybrid working future, especially if it means they can potentially save money, and what form that space should take.
UK firms slashing office space
Back as early as February, HSBC – whose real estate footprint currently stretches to around 112 football pitches worldwide – said it would be cutting its post-COVID office space by half globally and by 40% in London over the next few years, as it looks to implementation of a hybrid working model in light of the pandemic.
Lloyds Bank followed suit. Following an internal survey where 77% of employees said they wanted to continue to work for 3+ days a week post-pandemic, the bank announced it was also moving to a hybrid model, and so looking to cut its office space by 20% over the next two years.
In fact, the latest research from consulting firm PwC reveals that a third of organisations surveyed (258 of the UK’s largest companies) believe they will reduce their office footprint by more than 30%.
The findings of PwC’s Occupier Survey indicate there is likely to be a sizeable fall in occupied office space with half of executives surveyed saying that despite taking into account mass vaccinations, employees will continue to work virtually 2-3 days a week.
And companies continue to announce the hybrid working model for their employees. Accountancy firm EY has just announced that its 17,000 employees are moving to a hybrid way of working, WFH for at least two days a week. This follows PwC which in March said workers could stay at home for half the time and KPMG which this month said it would expect employees to only work two days in the office every week.
More collaborative work spaces
However, what’s also clear from PwC’s research is that the role of the office is not going to disappear completely, but instead adapt to a new way of working, with half of all organisations with more than 100 employees saying they have a real estate and workplace strategy that considers the long-term impact of COVID-19.
“We may see an increased demand for flexible space as many businesses operating models may well need that option if holding dead space is to be avoided,” says Angus Johnson, UK Real Estate Leader at PwC UK.
According to the survey, more than three quarters of respondents said they are likely to reconfigure existing office with 43% of financial services firms stating that they are extremely likely to do so as a result of the pandemic.
“It’s also clear that the nature and purpose of office space is going to change. As occupiers seek new, different space to meet their accommodation needs, environmental aspects will be increasingly important. If the real estate sector is to truly succeed as a more dynamic, greener industry it’s imperative that creative thinking comes to the fore.”
And companies are already thinking creatively how they can utilise office space in a hybrid future. So while HSBC is cutting a significant amount of office space, it is not downsizing its prestigious Canary Wharf headquarters, and instead reimagining the space. In April, CEO Noel Quinn announced the firm was embracing an open plan floor, with no designated desks or private offices, and instead using hot-desks in line with the future hybrid working style. “My leadership team and I have moved to a fully open-plan floor of the building in east London with no designated desks,” he said on LinkedIn.
Lloyds also reported it was adapting its office space, so that rather than individual offices, it will have a more collaborative workspace. And just last month, KPMG announced it too was ditching desks and individual offices, and replacing them with meeting rooms and conference halls for a more collaborative workspace.