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Shop tills to ring to ‘optimistic’ chime for Visa transactions in new era of ‘sensory branding’

Shoppers already driven to distraction by the incessant dinging, and beeping of self-checkouts could be about to face a new headache.

Payments using Visa will soon be accompanied by a ‘signature sound’, which will chime out each time a card or smartphone is presented, or an in-app purchase made.

Marketing employees at the company have spent a year choosing the perfect noise which, they claim, signals ‘speed and convenience,’ while being ‘energetic and optimistic.’

The insist it is not ‘overly intrusive’, and claim other ‘chimes’ were eliminated for being too ‘angry’ or eliciting ‘visceral reactions.’

The company is also launching a unique vibration which users will feel when paying by smartphone, claiming it is entering a new era of ‘sensory branding.’

The company has made the change because fewer tills carry Visa logos now

The new sound and vibration were picked after spending months carrying out neuro-research to test the physical reactions of volunteers when they were played different sounds. The company claims users were left feeling ‘happy’ and ‘excited’ by the new chime and vibration.

“We wanted to make sure we had the global view, not just four-to-five uninformed people deciding which sound won the popularity contest,” said Visa’s marketing chief, Lynne Biggar.

“You’d be surprised by how excited and how competitive or opinionated we all can be about very short sounds.

“We all are becoming very responsive to the use of sound.”

Companies like Intel are already using sounds as part of their logo. The ‘Intel Inside’ bong is still going strong after 20 years.

The new sound will launch in January ahead of the Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, with a new advertising campaign featuring athletes making payments by swiping a credit card, tapping a phone and completing purchases online.

“As new payment experiences continue to take shape in the world, this suite of sensory branding elements will give consumers the assurances we know they want every time they use Visa,” added Miss Biggar.

 

(The Telegraph, 2017)

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Payments Testing One, Two, Three

Modern consumers have high expectations for technology. If something doesn’t work perfectly, they’re quick to grow frustrated and abandon it as junk.

“Our generation is a little bit spoiled,” said Bart van Hoek, head of Innovations with UL Transaction Security — and he said that is all the more true with payments tech.

Imagine going out for breakfast only to find that the point-of-sale (POS) terminal isn’t working. Without it, how will you pay for your meal? Maybe you happen to be carrying cash that day, but even if you’re able to hand over a crisp $20 bill to cover the cost, the experience has certainly created friction.

Online, there’s no cash to fall back on. If the payment doesn’t work the first time, said van Hoek, that sale is as good as lost. Nobody wants to see a box that says the website is experiencing technical difficulties; please try again later. The customer likely won’t even remember to try again later, and if he does, he may not return to the same site. Most shoppers just give up on the faulty site and head to a competitor to complete the purchase instead.

Perfection, however, is not easy to achieve in any singular product. In payments, there are hundreds of players involved in making every single transaction work smoothly, from acquirers and banks to regulators setting standards that must be met to, of course, the payments processor.

The point-of-sale terminal at Walgreens or Kroger must work with a credit card from Chase, a mobile payment, a foreign debit card and more. How can the company that produces the terminal ever be sure it can do all that?

Trial and error, said van Hoek. But not with real consumers or real transactions. That is where payments testing comes in. In a recent interview, van Hoek told PYMNTS how this quality assurance process works for payment technology companies, how that’s changed over the years and why this stage of product development is so important.

 

An Investment in Reputation

User experience is more than a buzzword, van Hoek said. Every tap on a mobile device, every imaginable payment method — all of it is about creating the most seamless and smooth user experience possible, devoid of any bugs or errors.

Testing lets the developer see how the product will perform for every customer in every situation and shows whether the software is logical and intuitive or needs to be smoothed over.

When developers invest in payments testing, they aren’t just ensuring that their product does what it’s supposed to do, said van Hoek. They’re investing in their reputation. Building a good reputation is hard. Destroying it is easy — all it takes is one bad product. Earning back consumers’ trust is more difficult the second time around.

With the speed of innovation today, it may feel like a race to get products to market, but the last thing any developer wants is to go to market only to watch the product fall apart in the real world. Between the expense of fixing it and the business lost due to damaged reputation, “Those are costs you don’t want to bear,” said van Hoek.

 

Automate

To achieve the highest level of product quality, the product must be subjected to a high level of testing, and that requires a lot of repetitive actions and test cases. The number of repetitive actions will only increase as new payment methods and infrastructure are introduced and must also be tested.

That’s why payments testing is often seen as a chore. But, said van Hoek, it doesn’t have to be. Today, there are tools on the market to help manage some of those repetitive tasks, freeing up human testers from pressing buttons all day to make better use of their time.

Van Hoek said that manual testing can be extremely labor-intensive and time-consuming in some cases. But that doesn’t necessarily mean artificial intelligence (AI) has to be a part of the answer, he said. It simply means that any pieces of the process that can be automated should be.

Which pieces? That’s a decision that only the company can make. Van Hoek said that, due to the complexity of some test cases, automation is not always cost-efficient, either. Individual organizations must decide what is the best combination of manual and automated testing to optimize their processes.

At UL Transaction Security, customers can submit their hardware to undergo a barrage of different uses and scenarios in UL’s test labs, and van Hoek said the company is always looking to automate even more of the process as new technologies become available. The key client problem that UL helps to address is reducing time to market by eliminating the complexity that companies are facing with new technologies and regulations flooding the market.

 

Divide and Conquer

In the old days, said van Hoek, testing used to be done on final products at the end of the development cycle. But today, payments testers, like UL, subject the product to smaller tests along the way. By breaking the project into manageable chunks, UL is able to be more thorough in its testing and can identify problems before the rest of the product gets built around them.

Van Hoek said that can save a lot of time and money throughout the development process, as it enables development teams to address issues as they go along rather than having to tear down and rebuild a final product that doesn’t work right.

The thinking around testing must change, he argued. It’s more about quality assurance, though testing is just one piece of a larger quality assurance process that includes identifying, anticipating, managing and resolving issues across the product, while testing focuses specifically on finding and eliminating bugs.

As development processes have become more agile, van Hoek said that testing processes throughout the lifecycle must also increase their agility.

 

Growth Ahead

Again, the number of payment methods out there — and the infrastructure that goes with each one — is only going to increase. There are many players trying to disrupt the industry, but people aren’t abandoning cash and credit cards to pay with their smartphones; it’s not “either/or” but “both/and.”

Cryptocurrencies are another growing method in the payments industry, and the price of bitcoin (currently around $11,000) reveals just how popular it is among its fans. Eventually, at least some consumers are going to want to spend that digital currency in real-world brick-and-mortar stores.

Money is money, and merchants want to be ready to accept whatever form of it customers want to hand them. Doing that will require new technology and new components, or new use cases for old components, van Hoek explained — all of which will need to be tested and validated before rolling out to merchants and the public — for their own good and for the good of the brand.

Source: (Pymnts, 2017)

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APPLE PAY P2P Payments Coming To Apple Watch In The Autumn

 

apple-watch

 

 

Peer-to-peer payments are coming to the Apple Watch this fall with the release of iOS 11 and watchOS 4.

On its website, Apple said that Apple Pay users will be able to send and receive money quickly, easily and securely via its peer-to-peer payment platform. The feature will be available right in Messenger, or users can tell Siri to pay someone using a virtual debit card or credit card already loaded into the digital wallet. When users get paid, they will receive the money instantly in the new Apple Pay Cash card that will reside in the Apple Wallet.

The move on the part of Apple to include P2P payments with the new iOS 11 and watchOS 4 comes at a time when the company is trying to get Apple Pay in the hands of more users. Earlier this month, Didi, the Uber of China (and, in fact, the local service that gobbled up Uber China last August) announced it has added Apple Pay support to its Didi Premier, Didi Express and Didi Luxe personal mobility services, in addition to its partner station-less bike rental service ofo, according to a TechCrunch news report.

Apple Pay is standard fare on any iOS device, allowing users to authenticate payments biometrically – today, with their fingerprints, and soon using Face ID on the forthcoming iPhone X. That’s on top of other iOS features Didi already supported, including Siri-powered ride hailing from within the Maps app or via the Apple Watch. With the addition of support by Didi, Apple Pay joins the likes of WeChat, Alipay, QQ Wallet, international credit cards and CMB all-in-one net payment, all of which power Didi’s core services. It also comes at a time of increased competition from Fitbit, which recently launched the Ionic smartwatch.

 

Source (Pymnts, 2017)

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Tech note, everyone – wearable technology is on the move!

We have often associated wearable technology with the fitness industry. Companies such as FitBit have produced spectacular results in this field, harnessing the ability to track and manage anything from distance run to calories burned over a certain period of time.
However, wearable tech is now leaving the wellbeing scene behind and advancing on to a period of world domination.
Advanced wearable biometrics can be used as a form of authentication for a number of things.
NEC corporation has recently adopted the software to identify people placed on ear readings – something previously unprecedented in the industry.
“The system enables biometric authentication via the otoacoustic emission, a sound made by the inner ear when the cochlea is stimulated, arising from the vibration of hair cells,” reports mobileidworld.
“According to a statement from NEC, its earbud device’s “otoacoustic authentication technology… recognizes the characteristics of a user’s ear”, suggesting that the emission is used to map the shape of the inner ear, which is presumably unique to the individual.”
The advancement of contactless, wearable technology is a clear indication of the continued progress of our industry.
The technical possibilities are endless – and NEC confirms this with future plans to commercialise the technology soon.
NEC plans to offer “services that combine individual authentication, indoor positioning, acoustic AR (augmented reality), vital sensing and other technologies”, according to NEC Business Development Division General Manager Tomonori Kumagai.
The contactless revolution has only just begun – don’t get left behind.

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Five reasons to offer contactless payments

Here at CheaperPay, we fully believe that contactless payments are the future for all businesses, regardless of size – and here are five reasons why!

1) Simplicity
This one speaks for itself. The simplicity of contactless payments has revolutionised the transactional experience for both customers and businesses.
Transactions can now take place at a fraction of a second, affording to a more positive customer experience – and that can only be a good thing!

2) Time-Efficiency
Time is becoming an increasingly rare commodity in the lives of the full-time worker. We simply don’t have time in our day to queue, key in PIN numbers or wait for the ‘correct change’.
Contactless payments solve all these issues – customers can check out in an instant, saving time for the more important things in life.

3) Security
Contactless payments account for just 0.02% of all card fraud transactions on the planet. Hi-tech anti-fraud technology is utilised by many systems, ensuring safe and secure payment for both customers and businesses.

4) Increased quantity of transactions
Customers who pay with cash have an obvious limit as to how much they can spend in your store.
Offering a contactless payment solution does not only speed up the transaction process, it may prompt customers into spending more on your products – safe in the knowledge that the buying process is quick, simple and secure!

5) Customer Retention
A summary point here, but still relevant! Customers who are regularly receiving quality, efficient service from your business will be far-more inclined to return again and again. This will build up a great rapport with regular customers and greatly enhance the reputation of your business!

So, there you go. Go Contactless today with CheaperPay!

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5 Tech Payments to Look out For in 2017

The last few years have witnessed a huge change in the way we make payments. Technology is evolving at a faster rate than ever before and the payment sector is by no means getting left behind. As of March 2016, there were over 86 million contactless card users in the UK marketplace, proving that touch-and-go is the future, and here we look at five other payment technology trends that may rise to prominence in the very near future.

1) Fighting Fraud with Fingerprints
While using your finger tips to process a payment would represent the ultimate in digital transactions, it’s only the beginning! The payment industry, according to BluePay, “could soon begin using iris scans, voice-recognition and even DNA verification. There really is no limit to how far biometric payment technology can go.”

Fingerprint Tech

Fingerprint Tech


2) The Flourishing of the Bitcoin Era
Last year was an excellent one for bitcoin. Last January, bitcoins were valued at $350 and now they are above $900! Traditional financial institutions are beginning to adapt to this technology and invest in it. People are starting to recognise the value that the blockchain provides with smart contracts, cloud storage, and security.

3) Wearable Payments
Visa announced at this year’s SXSW that it’s testing sunglasses capable of making contactless payments, whereas Barclaycard teamed up with Lyle & Scott last year with a foray into the world of trend-setting wearable’s by designing a contactless jacket!

4) Invisible Payments
Businesses such as Uber and Deliveroo have mastered the art of invisible payments. With regards to Uber, their easy account set-up and request-a-driver function offers customers a hassle-free transaction. Just jump in and enjoy your journey without having to worry about fumbling around for your cash! Expect many businesses to follow suit.

5) Social Network
Facebook Messenger has already jumped into the payment pool and added a payment feature for iOs and Android in the US. For those in America, you simply add a debit card to your Facebook account and then send money directly to your Messenger contacts!

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Reasons why your Business NEEDS to make the switch to contactless payment solutions

More than just a saying or statistic, it has become reality that ‘Businesses that decline card payments are losing out’.

Sorry, we don’t take card payments’ should be a thing of the past as Britain quickly converts to a cashless society, not taking card payments should be something rarely heard of by now. Unfortunately, this is not the case just yet. 75% of all UK retail purchases are made by card; and yet still, more than two thirds of British small to medium sized businesses (SMEs) still don’t accept card payments.

With Cheaper PAY’ment solutions you can:

  • Accept Payments over the phone
  • Accept online Payments
  • Accept smart phone payments
  • Accept Chip ‘n’ Pin payments

How will these benefit your business?

  • Never miss a sale – Customers are able to buy your products anywhere at any time with secure online payments which means more sales for your business.
  • Beat your competitors – Customers are more likely to shop at a store that offers card payments.
  • Happier customers – Card payments are processed in a matter of seconds so customers can quickly continue with their day and you can get on with serving the next customer.
  • Lower bank fees – Handling less cash means fewer trips to the bank and more money back into your business.
  • More security – Extra features protect your business from fraudulent transactions and tell you immediately if a customer’s funds have not yet cleared.

Our low transaction costs are what make Cheaper Pay one of the most affordable merchant service suppliers available. Many card machine companies will charge you for a service that is designed to benefit growing businesses rather than hinder them.

At Cheaper Pay, we believe in supporting and innovating businesses with evolving technology. That is why we offer FREE quotes and a 3 months’ free trial to ensure that the payment solution you have chosen is compatible for your business.

To begin your journey to contactless payment get your free quote HERE.

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Take Payments Over the Phone

phone payments

We can help you get your business ready to take payments over the phone. Enquire today and get a free quote!

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How card payments have developed over the past decade

Over the past decade, UK consumers have adapted to the quick pace in which technology develops, including the way they pay for goods. Payments made on cards now account for 78.5% of all retail purchases, a huge increase from just 55% back in 2006!

 

2006 – 2008

One of the main reasons for this huge increase is the adoption of payment methods such as Chip and PIN and contactless, making card payments faster than using cash and allowing business owners to reduce the amount of queuing time. This benefit has led to an increase in the amount of independent businesses deciding to accept card payments of a massive 43% since 2006.

 

2008 – 2010

Consumer spending patterns continue to change to match the technology with fewer people in the UK actually carrying cash because they are quickly discovering the convenience and security of cashless payments.  There is no doubt that numerous retailers and banks are starting to see the changes in how people prefer to pay for their in-store purchases and are now more inclined to encourage customers to carry less cash and pay for smaller purchases (usually below the sum of £30) on card with ‘tap and go’ contactless payments.

 

2010 – 2015

Growth in unattended retail terminals in supermarkets, chemists and petrol stations has also boosted card use and debit cards are benefiting significantly from contactless payments, as their popularity for lower value everyday payments carries on increasing.

 

In January 2015, contactless spend in the UK totaled £287 million, rising rapidly throughout the year to reach £1.02 billion in November 2015 alone. In the same year, the number of contactless transactions carried out by consumers in Europe passed the one billion mark.

 

2016

Now that we’re in 2016, contactless mobile payment technologies, such as Apple Pay and Android Pay, have given consumers more choice in the way they want to pay. According to a report, 40% of consumers with an Apple device have adopted the Apple Pay service since its launch in July 2015.

 

It is predicted that over the next ten years, consumers will continue to favour using card payments to cash. Last year, nearly half of all payments were made in cash, however it is predicted that debit cards alone will overtake cash as the most frequently-used method of payment in just five years.

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Contactless Rings & Selfies: Revolutionary Ways To Pay

A selfie is just another photograph to post on your social media accounts, right? Wrong. Selfies could very well be the new way to pay for your goods and services! Not only that, but wearable technology has revolutionised the way we can communicate and track daily activity. It’s no wonder that they’re now a viable option to pay for your goods with.

Contactless Rings
Not just a fashion accessory anymore, a ring can be used to pay for all of your essentials when you’re out shopping. The convenience for the wearer means that in the event that they lose their card or cash, or forget to bring it out with them there’s no reason they still can’t walk away with the goods they want. Not only does this mean they get to purchase what they need, but your business doesn’t lose out on a sale that day.
One of the most convenient facts about the contactless ring, is that it doesn’t require a smartphone to use, nor does the ring need charging at all. As long as the customer is wearing one, they’ll be able to pay for whatever they want.

Selfie Pay
The phenomenon of the selfie has taken off significantly in the past several years – even earning itself a definition in the Oxford dictionary. It was only a matter of time before selfies would become a daily habit – and perhaps even a daily necessity. A new app called ‘Selfie Pay’ aims to help customers make secure transactions without the need for a pin number or password. By using biometrics instead of passwords, the app aims to make it the securest form of payment possible; after all, you can’t replicate someone’s face or hack it as passwords often are.

The future of payments
Whether you’re a fan of these payment methods or not, their value to businesses is undeniable – and it’s hard to imagine a future in which these types of payments weren’t helping businesses to boom and make more and more profit every year.

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How Wearable Technology Can Transform Your Business

First it was the smartphone – now it appears, to be glasses. We have come a long way from the days when the dial-up tone was a norm when connecting to the Internet. Now it appears that wearable technology is going to push us into a new era of communication on the go. Since Google released Google Glass, many engineers have proceeded to push the boundaries of wearable technology and its functions for both consumers and businesses alike. Imagine the scenario – a repairman is fixing a boiler, but needs some quick instructions or to look something up; instead of whipping out his smartphone, the glasses he is wearing will tell him everything he needs to know, saving both time and money in the process.

But realistically, how can wearable technology help your business to grow and stay ahead of your competitors?

The customer is always right
To assess whether your business will be a success, begins with market research. What is the consumer interested in and how do they like to shop? A customer likes to be informed at all times – and your employees will need information on hand at all time. Simply by having, for example, a watch on their wrist that they can bring information up on as they keep the customer engaged will help efficiency and time management.

Creating new business opportunities
Adopting wearable technology can also help to give you valuable consumer habit data. By being able to connect while on the go, you can track how consumers purchase your product and what entices them the most. Not only will it help increase consumer engagement with your brand but your employees will also benefit from the extra productivity and successful use of the data.

Overall, wearable technology is coming to the forefront of businesses, along with contactless payment and payment via smartphones.

We can help your small business or SME to grow by helping you ease into the wearable tech world with ease and efficiency. Contact us now for a FREE quote and sign up to get your first 3 months FREE!

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Fingerprint Tech: A New Age Of Payments

Credit card payments have come a long way; from chip & pin to contactless taps, card payments are being revolutionised everyday. However, another form of payment has come to the forefront of business payment solutions.

Currently, fingerprint technology is worth an estimated $2billion a year in Japan, and is growing rapidly due to it’s convenience for both the consumer and the business.

What is fingerprint technology and how does it work?

Fingerprint tech is revolutionising the way consumers pay for their goods. It begins with the consumer purchasing a credit card that has their fingerprint stored within the details. After that, they simply pay for their goods by placing their finger on a fingerprint scanner at the checkout. And as simple as that, they get to walk away with their goods in hand.

What are the benefits of fingerprint technology?

If contactless cards worried consumers, then fingerprint payment is the ideal solution. For example, if the consumer forgets their card or loses it before paying, they simply need to scan their fingerprint and walk out of the store. Not only will this save them time, but also means your business does not lose profit it otherwise might have. As well as the additional monetary benefit, workplace efficiency is almost doubled due to the quick nature of the payment.

Fingerless payments are looking to replace or become an alternative to Apple Pay; a market that is also growing rapidly due to it’s convenient nature. It also has the added benefit of total security. There may even come a time when the consumer will no longer need to carry card or cash – simply their fingerprint. Although there might be limitations (for example not being able to use multiple fingerprints for different bank accounts) the security of the process simply cannot be denied for both the consumer and the business.

Here are CheaperPay we understand the need for your business to stay ahead of the curve without the added costs – so we’re offering a limited time offer of 3 months FREE when you sign up for our service!

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Card Payments: The Cost Of Staying Static

More and more businesses are realising the potential of adopting card payments as well as cash transactions. With debit and credit cards being used as a consumer’s preferred payment method these days, it’s no wonder that the credit card industry is booming and contactless payments are taking off as much as they are.

However, as a small business, you may be concerned about the cost of having card payments, rather than the additional profit you’ll receive overall. These fears often lead to cash-only payment transactions for many small businesses, until they can accept card payments.

But when taking a look at the overall statistics of card payments, your business is more likely to succeed in the long term than fail.

The Statistics

Roughly, small businesses and SMEs who do not accept card payments are losing out on £8.8bn profit. £52.6 billion is spent by consumers using card payments in the UK with 70% of consumers prefer card to cash. Meanwhile, 32% of UK adults would not purchase from a store that did not accept card payments.

With these alarming statistics from the general UK public, it seems likely that a small business would struggle in it’s first year by not allowing card payments, unless the product was unique enough to suggest otherwise.

The Conclusion

Long term numbers and statistics are more reliable than short-term figures and your fears. Starting a new business comes with all kinds of risks, but being prepared is the most important factor when implementing new systems. Embrace the digital age and now!

Here at CheaperPay we understand the importance of reducing the costs for your new business. This is why we’re offering 3 months FREE when you sign up with us! Contact us for more information.

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Pepare for the next generation of card payments

Paying for your shopping using your smartphone just got even easier as Mastercard expands the reach of its mobile payment app.

The humble credit and debit card may be a step closer to extinction thanks to a new announcement from Mastercard.

The company has revealed a major expansion to its Masterpass digital wallet service that will allow customers for the first time.

Going forward, Masterpass should now work seamlessly on your smartphone, wearable device or tablet, letting you pay online, in-store, or using the NFC-enabled app with just one touch.

Masterpass makes paying for goods even easier

Masterpass makes paying for goods using your smartphone even easier

Mastercard says that the new service, which links to your current account, is perfect for a wide ranges of use cases, from paying for the tube in the morning to splitting the bill at lunch and ordering your weekly shop online.

Banks will also be able to build Masterpass into their own apps, bringing together all your various digital payment methods and apps in one place.

The company says that around 80 million people around the world will be able to benefit automatically from the new service, which launches in the US today before expanding to Europe later next year.

The news comes as competition in the mobile payment market continues to increase, as big players such as Apple and Samsung throw their weight behind the technology.

Since its launch in 2014, Apple Pay has helped popularize the idea of paying for good using a mobile phone in the UK, with thousands of businesses across the country supporting the technology.

 


Moore, M. (2016) Home. Available at: http://www.express.co.uk/life-style/science-technology/689626/mastercard-masterpass-contactless-shopping-payment-app-nfc (Accessed: 15 July 2016).