5 mins

Redefining Payments In The Digital-First Era: Navigating The Shift With Better Data

Rob Heidenreich, VP, Global Sales & Partnerships at Loqate

This post originally appeared on Forbes.com

In the dynamic landscape of digital payments, businesses are reshaping the way they conduct transactions. From the surge in popularity of digital wallets to innovative payment methods like Amazon One, where you can pay with your hand, the payments industry is undergoing a transformative shift. This encompasses not only e-commerce and travel points but also emphasizes the critical role of data in steering this evolution. As we look at the nuances of this digital-first era, one theme emerges: the issues created around fraud, identity and data quality from global cross-border commerce, a fundamental player driving the changes in the payment landscape.

Digital Wallets: A Key Player

As consumers increasingly gravitate toward online platforms for their shopping needs, digital wallets emerge as linchpins in this shift, offering streamlined checkout processes and intuitive integrations within e-commerce ecosystems. These technologically driven wallets redefine the transactional experience by fostering speed, convenience and heightened security.

Their adoption not only enhances the user experience but also reshapes the dynamics between consumers and merchants. According to Salesforce, "80% of customers now consider the experience a company provides to be as important as its products." Digital wallets empower both parties by providing swift, secure and efficient payment solutions, thereby becoming indispensable elements in the ongoing digital transformation narrative within the expansive domain of e-commerce.

The User Experience Factor

User experience (UX) and customer experience (CX) are at the forefront of the digital payments value proposition, especially for improving conversion rates. Our internal research found that consumers love a quick and easy checkout. In our study, 41% of respondents stated they would abandon an order if they couldn’t easily enter their address. (Disclosure: This study requires an email address for download.)

The journey a customer moves through during the checkout process plays a huge role in transaction completion. As a user flows through the payment journey, a well-designed and intuitive user interface from initial engagement through transaction completion is crucial. UX design principle suggests that the fewer clicks, or steps, in the process, the higher the conversion rate.

With the introduction of digital wallets, type-ahead address verification and other solutions to speed up the check-out process, e-commerce brands must adapt to meet new consumer expectations. Through this adaptation, not only do brands remove friction but simultaneously create a positive customer experience, build trust and loyalty and influence users to choose and stick with a particular digital payment provider.

The Importance Of Data Quality

As digital payments increase in popularity and in different forms, the key player ensuring trust, security and seamless transactions is in data quality. In the digital era, where transactions occur in the blink of an eye and span an array of channels, the accuracy and reliability of data become non-negotiable.

Seamless transactions, a hallmark of the digital payments experience, are contingent upon the timely, accurate, and consistent flow of data between parties. As the landscape of digital payments evolves, the unsung hero in this narrative is the meticulous attention to data quality, serving as the cornerstone for fostering a secure, trustworthy and frictionless financial ecosystem.

The interplay between data accuracy and the efficacy of security protocols determines the trust consumers place in digital payment systems. This is where the importance of data verification software for addresses, email and phone numbers comes into play as users utilize wallets to store this data and, over time, will need global address verification for accuracy.

The main issue here is that digital wallets bypass the need for customers to enter their addresses at the checkout or conversion stage. Without using an address capture tool to immediately catch and rectify data issues at the point of entry, there’s no way of knowing whether the customer’s address is valid, up-to-date, complete or structured properly.

We continue to see improvement efforts toward improving data quality in payment transactions, emphasizing the significance of structured data standards such as ISO 20022. ISO 20022 facilitates a common language for data elements, message formats and codes, ensuring consistency and precision across diverse digital payment systems. This standardization mitigates the risk of errors, discrepancies and misinterpretations in the transmission of critical financial data, ultimately contributing to a more reliable and secure digital payments ecosystem.

Identity In Payment Transactions

Identity verification is taking center stage in payment transactions and leading the way in the fraud protection conversation. Examining innovative methods such as paying with your hand with Amazon One, which has rolled out the new payment option for customers across over 500+ Whole Foods Market locations. We unravel the growing emphasis on identity verification, exploring how it fortifies security and fosters a more robust payment environment.

Another example of Identity’s role in payments is Apple Pay. This digital wallet mandates you scan your face or enter your phone's password to complete a purchase with a retailer. Introducing identity verification into the payments equation helps mitigate the over $8 billion stolen from consumers in scams and payment fraud in 2022.

The Future Of Payments

As we look ahead, the "Buy Now, Pay Later" trend is reshaping consumer behavior, and digital wallets continue their rapid ascent, influencing the payments ecosystem. Adobe Analytics, for example, reported that "on Cyber Monday, 'Buy Now Pay Later' (BNPL) usage hit an all-time high, contributing $940 million in online spending, up a staggering 42.5% Year over Year." These trends only emphasize the significance of embracing a digital-first approach, underlining the integral role of better data in this transformative journey.

In conclusion, the digital-first era of payments is a testament to the power of better data. From revolutionizing digital wallets to fortifying identity verification, the trajectory of payments is intricately tied to the quality of the data driving it. As we navigate these changes, staying informed about the evolving payment landscape becomes imperative. Embrace the transformations, for in them lies the promise of enhanced user experiences, more secure transactions and a future shaped by the nuances of digital-first, data-driven payments.

Don't let data quality challenges hinder your retail success. Join the ranks of leading brands who trust Loqate to transform their operations and elevate their customer experience.