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Is the new point of sale option interesting?

Yesterday saw the launch of the new mobile number payment system, Paym. It was a low key launch to say the least, mostly greeted by confusion or total lack of awareness on the part of most people and businesses.

Despite this, Paym is here to stay and it's a case of either getting on board or missing because Paym is symptompatic of wider changes in the way we do business and the way we operate.

A recent survey by Sage, called Payments Landscape Report 2014, found that a third of customers would be more likely to shop at outlets that offer a variety of different ways to get paid, while 80% of businesses would only consider different payment methods unless requested.

A few points spring to mind here:

1) Any business can seize a competitive advantage over their competitors by simply giving consumers what they want here

2)  A customer is unlikely to tell you in the shop that they want to use a different way to give you money, so don't wait for that to happen

3)  This trend towards wanting multiple point of sale options is only going to get more pronounced

Any business that wants to be deemed to be delivering a high quality good, needs to be delivering a high quality customer experience, and that is so much broader than just the way you take payment, but the one thing any completed customer is going to do is go through the transaction process, so it makes sense that in order to ensure this is a repeat customer, that the process is as smooth as possible.

The Payments Landscape Report also found that £12bn was lost last year by retailers being unable to accept cards, and in the situation of cards not being accepted 31% of sales didn't happen after this. 

Back to Paym

Is Paym the solution then? In a word, no, because it needs to be just one of the solutions that is taken up. The Telegraph found 71% are concerned over security, so people certainly are falling over themselves to take up this service. 

However, there's a plethora of different options, as the article by The Telepraph mentions. There's Barclays Pingit, which is likely to see a further roll out in the coming 12 months, Zapp is coming later this year and then there are NFC payments which will work just like an Oyster card but on your phone (as soon as Apple finally takes up NFC, expect this to boom).

It doesn't all stop there though, you need to consider how your current point of sale is interacting with your online retailing operation & your inventory system, creating an omnichannel and seameless experience for your customers. The face of retailing is changing, and it's difficult times in the face of e-commerce, but there's still a definite place for it. It's the shops that stand out by offering the best customer experience that will survive, as only they will be the ones that draw people to make the effort of going to them.

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