2020 was an unpredictable year to say the least. As the COVID-19 pandemic impacted the shopping behaviour of consumers across the globe, businesses scrambled to accommodate working-from-home operations and contact free payments.
It’s inevitable that this will continue throughout 2021, with businesses continuing to adapt to a new “norm” as customers interact with them in different ways. This makes omnichannel solutions an important part of meeting customer expectations, especially in sectors that may have otherwise not embraced these methods.
Securing Out of Office Working Environments
Recent government restrictions quickly taught us that, although working away from the office is a possibility for many organisations, there are still concerns about the safety of sensitive information as it passes through a variety of channels outside a corporate environment.
Allowing staff to work remotely could have been mistaken as a temporary shift last year, but will continue throughout 2021 and beyond.
And for some organisations, it will remain a permanent setup for its workforce and operations for the foreseeable future. Positioned as a job benefit to potential candidates, recruitment efforts can tap into a wider market of talent and resources, unrestricted by office locations.
To adapt to this, businesses are assessing systems that were configured for on-premise operations, moving online in a way that avoids any ongoing disruption. One important goal is to combat any security concerns that come with allowing staff to log in from their home networks, or using their own devices. This includes adopting cloud based payment channels, allowing their agents to process payments without sensitive information reaching their home network altogether.
Not only does it need to be a future-proof solution that will continue to adapt to staff in the office or at home, but pass with flying colours when the annual security audits and strict risk assessments of 2021 come around. Maintaining a high level of protection of valuable consumer data should still be a priority.
Contact Free Payments Will Be Here to Stay
It’s clear that the events of 2020 and the need for social distancing has accelerated the frequency of contactless, touchless and alternative payment methods (APMs). With physical hygiene at an all-time high, businesses have rallied to meet consumer expectations that demand a clean and safe shopping experience.
Although cash is unlikely to disappear completely, with over 2 billion people in the world still without a bank account, technology is always advancing.
The pandemic has pushed contact-less and online based payments to the forefront of consumer behaviour.
2021 will see some of these payment methods stay, or force businesses to think twice before reverting to any previous payment experience. Driven by new customer expectations, what was initially adopted and driven by the desire to reduce risk and follow government guidance, will remain as a quicker and more user-friendly shopping experience.
Retail Will Adapt to an Omnichannel Payment Journey
With consumers frequently switching between in-store and online purchases, businesses are continuing to the see the benefit of providing a seamless user experience.
Shoppers no longer want to spend valuable time providing address information, pass countless security checks or remember account details for every purchase.
Retailers need a smart, flexible and easy-to-use solution that will improve the payment journey for not only the customer, but sales associates also.
Tokenisation has taken the limelight, providing a unique and secure identifier to link channels, payment platforms and connected devices. This helps streamline the payment journey, reducing the need to re-enter personal information and drastically speeding up the payment process, especially for frequent and loyal customers.
ePayment Solutions in Parking
COVID-19 has encouraged many businesses to rethink their processes and make way for an increase in ePayment and Omnichannel solutions. Parking services have been no different.
People are now more reluctant to pay at machines, with cash they often do not carry. With in-store shopping becoming contactless and more web-based, why would they?
Convenience and self-reliance is key, and drivers are now more likely to consider a parking service if they provide a more straightforward payment experience. To quickly pay for parking via an app, over the phone, or electronically can drastically improve the experience for travellers.
Consumer expectations have evolved and operators must adapt to these changes in order to successfully compete by accepting electronic payments, updating new contactless limits and introducing additional payment means. And for some, removing the requirement to interact with parking machines entirely, or limit the proximity with strangers which will be a welcome step forward.
How Are Key IVR Helping Businesses Adapt to the Changes of 2021?
With cloud payments, smart contact free solutions and automated channels, Key IVR is helping businesses future-proof the payment journey for their customers. All of our solutions work seamlessly together and with Tokenised card payments, you can ensure a coherent journey between the different options.
Our PCI-DSS compliant platform protects your staff working in the office or remotely. Payments are taken in a safe, secure way, with no highly sensitive card information at risk of being comprised.
We’re working with many organisations, supporting their 2021 business operations. With many options available to suit your current set up or future goals, talk to us and see how we can help you. Call +44 (0) 1302 513 000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Mark Kelly, Chief Commercial Officer at Key IVR