Year on year consumers expect more improvements in payment processes, and as more consumers start to purchase goods online, convenience becomes a priority. But the improvements become even more of a priority for cross-border payments, which often pose challenges to both the merchant and the consumer. As consumers find the best experiences to be quick and seamless, almost invisible, what are the payment trends of 2017 that can get you closer to offering this to customers abroad?
Keeping an eye on your customers’ shopping patterns and behaviours is certainly not new, but is a big trend for 2017 in terms of consolidation. Having knowledge of consumer behavior from all aspects of the shopping process, from browsing to checkout, through to payment and delivery is the ideal way to improve the experience and ultimately ensure customers return to your website. But, data collection from all your sales channels will be essential to understanding your customers payment preferences specifically, and help you detect any fraudulent activity. Together with your payments provider, you can collect data from your website and your social media channels, consolidate it and, from the knowledge you gain, tailor your payment services to customers from specific regions. You may find that feedback on your social channels proves that certain customers are finding a particular part of your checkout process tricky and unnecessary, and that you can eliminate it all together. But, keep in mind that many countries now have data protection legislation and you need to ensure that you abide by them, for example in Russia, that does not allow consumer data of Russian citizens to be stored on servers outside of Russia. PayU complies with all of these data protection regulations in each of our markets.
Local payment methods
While it may seem logical to you as the business owner to offer a couple of universal payment methods such as credit or debit cards, many consumers in emerging markets don’t necessarily use these methods on a daily basis or at all. As cross-border eCommerce grows, consumers will expect to be able to pay for products through local payment methods that are familiar to them. (Alternative payment methods currently account for 59% of transactions) across the globe, so offering a wider variety of alternatives will be of benefit to your business. Find out what methods are preferred in the various countries that you operate in and tailor your payment offerings to these markets. This not only applies to the types of payments on offer, but also allows customers to pay in their local currency and through the device they prefer to use. If you offer a seamless and localised payment process via desktop, in a country where the majority of consumers prefer mobile, chances are you will miss out on potential new customers.
As technology improves, devices become more connected and payments become simpler, so too will the opportunities for fraud become easier. This year will see a strong focus on enhancing security measures alongside online payments to curb the amount of online fraud. According to a 2016 American Express Digital Payments Security survey, (about 50% of the 1,021 online shopper and 401 eCommerce store owners surveyed experienced fraud) within the previous year. To ensure neither you nor your customers (local and abroad) become victims of fraud in 2017, ensure you make use of stringent security features that your customers are aware of. Insist customers create profiles, passwords and answers to security questions, which make it more difficult for fraudsters to access personal accounts and their sensitive information. As an online merchant, you too can focus on security by ensuring your payment processes make use of 3-D secure, SSL encryption and fraud management to detect any unusual behaviour. A payment gateway, such as PayU for example, offers just that.
As consumer behaviours change and technology improves, online merchants must continue to be flexible in order to move with and keep up with cross-border payment trends. Not only will this benefit the customers abroad with simpler, more secure payment processes but also you, as the eCommerce store owner, by building trust in your brand.