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The Bank of the Future is in Retail with Omni-Channel Mobile Payment

January 12, 2015 by Iris Nagel-Martin, Thomas Fricke 4

The annual National Retail Federation (NRF) 104th Annual Convention and EXPO, “Retail’s BIG Show,” takes place in New York in January and one of the big topics this year is mobile payment. SAP helps retailers establish themselves as banks and save money, while they gain more customer information, and simplify processes.

The bank of the future may well be as close as your local retailer. With hundreds of convenient physical outlets, retailers are in constant touch with consumers on a daily basis, making them ideally suited to be one of the new industries extending into financial services. Products like eWallet and mobile payments, combined with convenient locations, are also helping accelerate the financial inclusion of under-served populations in the developing world.

Leading retailers around the world are already moving toward acting as banks, and they need mobile payment capability to serve the new next-generation consumer. These next-generation consumers are adopting the Internet of Things (IoT) at a record pace and expect seamless payments at all touch points and on all devices.

To address this digital banking revolution, SAP developed an innovative omni-channel mobile payment cross-industry solution, which connects different payment sources like point-of-sale (POS), mobile and others devices via SAP Mobile platform to the payment engine and/or to a loyalty engine and existing customer solutions in place. It is a high-speed payment platform used by banks and service providers to process payments.

The omni-channel mobile payment solution helps retailers:

  • Grow their business and offer banking services.
  • Increase the mobile shopping experience for consumers and employees (B2C, B2E).
  • Turn unknown baskets in known baskets, while getting more consumer insights; together with store value accounts (SVA)/prepay) they can be used for cross- and upselling.
  • Reduce transaction fee: Higher profitability for the retailers per basket by avoiding transaction fees to third-party companies.
  • Simplify the purchasing process for customers.
  • Access to low cost deposits and funds through the consumer eWallet accounts.

Ralf Kern, Global Vice President for the Business Unit Retail at SAP SE, says: “SAP’s innovations help to break silos — the omnichannel payments help retailers to complete their omnichannel strategy and offer a lot of additional opportunities for the retailer to engage closer to the next generation consumer. It is just a question of time that we will see more retailers to be part of that journey.”

Mobile and wearables are the main touch points that allow next-generation consumers to interact with the rest of the world. They expect to be able to use the modern payment sources like SVA, loyalty points, or coupons at all touch points. The SAP’s payment authorization system allows a customer with a smartphone to use a contactless payment at a POS with a similar payment experience like Apple Pay offers – but using a hardware independent, cheaper and easy to use technology.

Big retailers are selling their goods through many channels, including over the Internet and in vending machines. The omni-channel mobile payment offering not only covers the traditional channels of web and store but also handles the self-service POS, fuel stations and selling digital content like movies, songs, extended manuals and tutorials. So consumers can use their devices and get the same payment experience at every touch point.

Martin Schroter, Senior Vice President of Financial Services at SAP, says: “We see an increasing demand for financials service offering by retailers. They are looking for a functionally complete, robust and omni-channel platform. We already in 2014 sold our banking platform to the retailers to make them ready for their business innovations of financial service offerings.”

For more from Retail’s Big Show, follow SAP on Twitter at @sapnews and @SAP_Retail, and use the hashtags #NRF15 and #SAPNRF to stay updated on conference highlights.

Photo: Shutterstock

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