The Long Goodbye to Cash

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As digital payment solutions have become increasingly common, one of the questions that has been raised on numerous industry forums is: Is it time to retire the cumbersome paper and coins we’ve used as legal tender since ancient times?

Cash costs us more than you would first expect. According to a Tufts University report, it costs US households $43 billion a year to deal with cash, taking into account time, fees and theft. For businesses, the costs are even higher: $55 billion, thanks to administrative costs and retail theft. Including government costs of $101 billion, cash costs the U.S. $200 billion a year.

Future Isn’t Bright for Cash

Over the last year, we’ve seen a number of signs that that the transition to a cashless society is accelerating. We discussed this topic last June when we took a closer look at a MasterCard report on our collective progress towards a global cashless economy.  As expected, the future still isn’t looking bright for cash.

Last May, the Danish government proposed ending all cash payments. The Central Bank of Ireland stopped manufacturing 1 and 2 cent coins in late 2015. And it looks like Sweden might be the first country to go cashless. As cash falls by the wayside, how can the payments industry create a seamless transition for merchants and customers?

The Omnichannel Imperative

Retail TouchPoints published a whitepaper last year entitled Is Retail Ready for a Cashless Society?, which takes a closer look at the mobile and digital trends influencing this transition. The paper outlines five key elements of this evolution from cash to digital payments:

  • The Omnichannel Imperative
  • Mobile Payment/Mobile POS
  • Digital Wallets
  • Digital Currency
  • Social Commerce

It’s clear that when it comes to retail, cash is giving way to digital payments. In this vein, omnichannel marketing and payments are pillars of future e-commerce growth. The paper notes that e-retail success depends on meeting customer needs in a seamless fashion across channels. This includes:

  • The ability to easily transition between the full range of payment channels
  • Multiple payment choices, including credit, debit, gift card and check scanning
  • A 360-degree view of customer data across all channels, easily accessible to all employees, from HQ to store managers

A Single Unified Platform

This is very similar to the thinking that led us to develop our e-Power 2.0 platform. Smart Acquiring incorporates a variety of elements that work together to offer a unified and technologically innovative solution: The One Global Payment Platform, ePower 2.0. Credorax built ePower 2.0 as the first single, unified and automated global-domestic acquiring platform. This enables merchants and payment partners to work with one acquirer and one centralized, global payment platform, instead of fragmented and siloed payment solutions dispersed in different locations.

Saying goodbye is hard, but it does look like cash is on its way out. Offering consumers multiple ways to transition to digital payments easily is key for e-commerce success.

What Does the Future Hold for Domestic Card Schemes?

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Less than a decade ago, Europe was a fragmented continent with multiple card schemes and weak interoperability between countries. Except for some Eastern European countries, all European countries had their own national/domestic card scheme with their own rules and standards that only worked inside the specific country. But the domestic card schemes market in Europe changed dramatically following the Payment Services Directive and the SEPA Cards Framework. The domestic card schemes in the UK, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and Finland have been phased out and replaced by internationally branded cards such as VISA Debit, Debit MasterCard, Maestro or V PAY.

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The World E-Commerce Summit by Lafferty: Takeaways

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This month I was privileged to be one of the keynote speakers at Lafferty’s exquisite London event, The World E-Commerce Summit. This thought-leadership driven event included a hand-picked group of speakers, representing the movers, shakers and innovators across the payments ecosystem. From IBM to Visa to Tufts University, there was an interesting mix of diverse speakers.

For someone who found the payments space a few years earlier during a trek up Mount Kilimanjaro (that story is for a separate and later blog), speaking at an event was a dream come true.  I wanted to share the broader themes of this intimate event, enjoy!

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How PSPs Can Successfully Embrace the Global Imperative

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In a recent article, we discussed the increasing merchant pressure on PSPs. Much of this pressure is due to the global nature of e-commerce and the need to provide fast and seamless payments, whether domestic or cross-border.

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Digital Disruption: Behind the Buzz

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In the world of e-commerce, it’s hard to avoid the buzzword “disruption.” It seems to be in nearly every headline, whenever you click or turn the page. It’s good to take a step back every once in a while to think about what this concept really means and how it’s affecting online retailing and payments.

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PSPs Under Pressure

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E-commerce has truly become a retailing giant. In 2014, the U.S. and China together handled 55% of all global internet sales, accounting for $1.316 trillion.  The most attractive cross-border e-commerce destinations were the U.S., China and the UK. Amazingly, cross-border sales reached $300 billion, or 25% of total global e-commerce flow.Continue Reading

Top 5 Smart Acquiring Blog Posts of 2015

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Christmas has come and gone, and New Year’s is fast approaching. Last week, in our Happy Holidays post, we took a look at our major achievements over the last year. This week we bring you the top five blog posts of the year.Continue Reading

E-Commerce Shines on Black Friday

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Black Friday, the opening day of the Christmas shopping season, is a quintessential U.S. cultural spectacle. We have become quite used to the annual pictures of American shoppers waiting on long lines in the dark of early morning and inevitably tussling over the last plasma TV on the shelf.Continue Reading

Insights From the European Commission E-Commerce Report

 

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A recent European Commission report on the state of e-commerce offers some great insights on how consumers and merchants are dealing with cross-border e-commerce payments.

Here are some highlights of the EC Digital Agenda Scorecard:Continue Reading

How Will Technology Transform Financial Services?

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Digital transformation has created big changes in a wide range of industries. Retail, hospitality, transportation and others — one by one, it seems as if every industry that affects our daily lives has been revolutionized thanks to ever-evolving technologies.Continue Reading