April 22, 2021 at 03:00PM

In The Connected Economy’s Power Source – CEO Edition, Devin McGranahan, head of global business solutions for Fiserv, talks about the importance of blending physical and digital payment experiences, as consumers have dramatically changed the way they shop for and purchase goods. “Now, the challenge is to deliver on the promising propositions that an increasingly digital and connected economy have teed up, and help businesses understand how digital technology can move the payment from a transactional interaction to an opportunity to create new value for consumers and businesses alike,” he says.

In the last year, we witnessed — and experienced firsthand — a significant change in the way consumers interact with businesses and pay for goods. With demand for digital purchasing options on the rise, merchants of all types spent 12 months adapting to enable and refine new digital payment experiences. Now, well into 2021, many leading businesses have the infrastructure in place to digitally accept touchless payments across consumer-facing channels. The question is: What’s next for omnichannel commerce?

Through Carat, Fiserv is working alongside the world’s most recognized brands to create and extend value across the consumer buying journey, well beyond completing a purchase. This commerce evolution, which focuses on transforming the customer experience to accelerate revenue growth, will be the next great transformation in our digitally-driven and connected economy. Doing so will help businesses create more commerce, which we are already beginning to see occur in the market today.

Blending Digital and Physical Experiences

Next-generation commerce experiences are about meeting consumers where they are and making their lives easier, whether that’s in-store, online, in-app or across a combination of physical and digital channels.

The most basic examples can include starting a purchase online then completing it in-store, or using scan-and-go technology to fill a cart at the market and then paying digitally to skip the checkout lane. More advanced use cases can involve using a voice command to complete the payment at the gas pump, or a baseball fan ordering and paying for a hot dog from their seat at the game, then picking up their order in an entirely touchless manner to avoid queuing at a concession stand.

Each use case takes a very physical experience — pumping gas or spending a day at the ballpark as prime examples — and blends payments into the interaction itself.

Personalizing Commerce

Consumers are accustomed to curated, personalized experiences. While scrolling through social media, a shopper wants to see what interests them and, in a few clicks, make a purchase. In today’s connected economy, retailers in physical and digital settings are tasked with delivering that same level of personalization and convenience to cater to an evolving consumer.

By integrating data, analytics and location-based services, businesses will be able to enhance the commerce journey to create a differentiated purchasing experience. When a consumer is walking by a shop on Fifth Avenue, location-based services can push a coupon directly to their phone to encourage them to walk in and purchase an item they were recently browsing for online. And businesses can now optimize data to help merchants better understand the shoppers who are coming to their stores and how best to market to them, including those who aren’t in a loyalty program.

An Exciting Road Ahead

The digital shift in commerce not only transformed our industry as a whole, but also repositioned payments higher up the value chain of commerce.

Now, the challenge is to deliver on the promising propositions that an increasingly digital and connected economy have teed up, and help businesses understand how digital technology can move the payment from a transactional interaction to an opportunity to create new value for consumers and businesses alike.

Driving Commerce Across The Consumer Journey …

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