Increasing competition among cashback and travel rewards credit cards has created the need for merchants to differentiate their co-brand offerings and go beyond offering products to delivering game-changing customer experiences.
As the world leader in digital payments, Visa hosted its inaugural CoBrand Summit for the merchant partners across Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa in April, as one of its many initiatives intended to help retail partners grow their business in increasingly competitive markets. Here the latest ideas and challenges were discussed over several days.
Key to remaining competitive is the ability for retailers to target customers effectively and seamlessly integrate co-brand digital touchpoints throughout. Visa demonstrated the ability to leverage VisaNet data to help retailers enhance customer experience, tailor their offering to specific individuals, and deliver a seamless omnichannel experience.
Geo-location offers in real time are among the possibilities, as are eliminating potential blockers in the authorization process, such as declined transactions when travelling abroad. Consumers are becoming more demanding, and will remain loyal to a good eCommerce experience.
Security and privacy are paramount, with every step taken to protect data, such as encryption, authentication, and tokenisation. Enhancing the experience, retailers who include SMS alerts and educational content help the consumer feel empowered and encourage loyalty.
With these ever-changing expectations and requirements, Visa has responded by opening up its network to be more flexible and collaborative. Fintechs and other partners now have access to its APIs, and at its dedicated innovation centre in Dubai, for example, it will work closely with these companies to co-create solutions to issues as they arise.
A study commissioned by Visa recently revealed that digital payments could yield an annual net benefit of $2.2bn in Dubai alone. Other countries where the Visa brand is accepted – 46m merchant locations in 200 countries and territories – show similar results.
Embracing digital payments and a potentially cashless society is where the future lies, and loyalty programs play an important role in that journey as they help drive the adoption of digital payments. The efficiency, convenience, speed and security of these transactions has only boosted their popularity – no more waiting in line at an ATM, for example. For retailers, digital payments means reducing costs associated with handling and losing cash, and broadening their customer base as more and more people are moving away from cash. Ultimately, retailers need to be on board, and use digital payments to their best possible advantage.
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