State of payments in luxury – Luxury Memo special report

Luxury Daily – Payments in the luxury business have drastically changed since the retail revolution, leading even the oldest houses to incorporate new ways of transactions. A cashless society is becoming more conceivable, as digital solutions allow consumers’ smartphones to act as their wallets and financial services providers work on greater security for credit cards. One of the best-known disruptors in payments is Amazon, with its cashless bricks-and-mortar experiment, but many others have innovated and adapted to completely new ways of paying in the quest to make a frictionless experience for shoppers.

“Current payment trends in the retail industry continue to be born out of a combination of removing friction from the customer experience while also providing enhanced overall payment security,” said Ryan Grogman, senior vice president and practice lead at BRP, retail consulting firm. “Specific efforts in support of these trends include ongoing replacement of legacy fixed payment terminals by retailers, continued mobile wallet adoption, further separation of payment card information and processing from the POS solution itself, and growth in the area of omni-tokens, a single payment token to be used across all sales channels for a given retailer.

“Additionally, for ecommerce payments, many retailers are trending towards the use of hosted checkout pages such as PayPal, Visa Checkout, Mastercard’s Masterpass, Vantiv, etc., which reduce the exposure to sensitive payment data while still providing an integrated, seamless checkout experience,” he said.

Top 5 trends in payments in luxury

  • Mobile pay
    Solutions that make it easier for shoppers to check out are growing in sophistication through smartphones.
  • One-click checkout
    Digital payment platforms are focusing on reducing the need to continually input payment information for faster checkout.
  • Conversational commerce
    Payment through messaging applications is becoming more popular as consumers find it more natural to communicate while paying.
  • Bitcoin and cryptocurrency
    Last year’s buzzword was bitcoin, as the currency increased in value and luxury retailers accepted it as a form of payment.
  • China’s impact
    Chinese affluents’ use of technology is making its way to the Western luxury business.

Read Full Article: State of payments in luxury – Luxury Memo special report

With Mobile Pay, You Can Go Without a Wallet at Checkout

The New York Times – When you’re at the checkout line this holiday season, you could juggle your bags and dig into your purse or billfold for your credit or debit card. Or you could use that phone you’re already clutching, or that new smartwatch strapped to your wrist. Many stores now accept mobile wallets, a technology that lets customers make payments via smartphone or watch.

Still, many consumers are sticking with their cards due to concerns about safety or the familiarity of good old plastic. But if you’re ready to give mobile wallets a try, here’s what you need to know to get started.




Concerns about safeguards are another issue. Many consumers are more worried about the security of mobile wallet payments than traditional card payments, says Ryan Grogman, senior vice president and practice lead at Boston Retail Partners, a retail consulting company. But mobile wallets do have some security advantages over regular credit and debit cards.


Read Full Article: With Mobile Pay, You Can Go Without a Wallet at Checkout

71% of Guests Identify Ease of Ordering and Payment as Important yet Only 45% of Restaurants have Excellent Execution of these Capabilities, According to Recent Survey

Restaurant Digital Crossroads: The Race to Meet Guest Expectations Report Identifies Gaps Between Restaurant Execution and Guest Expectations

Boston, MA – July 12, 2018– According to a new report from BRP and Windstream Enterprise, rapidly evolving guest expectations and digital technologies are driving a major transformation in the restaurant industry. The Restaurant Digital Crossroads: The Race to Meet Guest Expectations report, based on research conducted by Incisiv and sponsored by BRP and Windstream Enterprise, combines findings from surveys of 1,225 restaurant guests and 60 restaurant executives.

“As guest expectations continue to rise, restaurants must transform their business with new technologies to make the dining experience more seamless and frictionless,” said Scott Langdoc, senior vice president and practice lead at BRP. “Unfortunately, many restaurant brands and franchisees have a long way to go to catch up to guest expectations. The good news is that restaurants are aware of the gap and their future plans include enhancements to key areas that guests deem important for a great experience: ease of ordering and payment, WiFi availability, and mobile POS.”

Restaurant guests expect a frictionless dining experience that empowers them with relevant, helpful information and makes it convenient for them to operate on their own time and at their pace.  This requires restaurant operators to embed digital technology across the entire dining journey.

The Millennial and Gen-Z generations have the highest expectations for digital capabilities. The report identifies significant gaps between what younger generations feel is extremely important and what capabilities restaurant operators are operating excellently:

Ease of ordering and payment – Guests expect the ordering and payment process to be easy and frictionless.

  • 74% of guests feel it is extremely important
  • 45% of restaurant operators state this capability is operating excellently

WiFi availability – Guests expect fast and free WiFi in restaurants, especially where cell reception is limited.

  • 60% of guests feel it is extremely important
  • 44% of restaurant operators state this capability is operating excellently

Discounts and promotions – Guests expect to receive digital discounts and promotions on any platform they choose, especially their mobile devices.

  • 60% of guests feel it is extremely important
  • 35% of restaurant operators state this capability is operating excellently

To download the complete Restaurant Digital Crossroads: The Race to Meet Guest Expectations report, visit:

About BRP

BRP is an innovative retail management consulting firm dedicated to providing superior service and enduring value to our clients. BRP combines its consultants’ deep retail business knowledge and cross-functional capabilities to deliver superior design and implementation of strategy, technology, and process solutions. The firm’s unique combination of industry focus, knowledge-based approach, and rapid, end-to-end solution deployment helps clients to achieve their business potential. BRP’s consulting services include:

Strategy | Business Intelligence | Business Process Optimization | Point of Sale (POS)
Mobile POS | Payment Security | E-Commerce | Store Systems and Operations | CRM
Unified Commerce | Customer Experience | Order Management | Networks
Merchandise Management | Supply Chain | Private Equity

Weighing Open-Loop Cards

Convenience Store Decisions – Open-loop prepaid cards present an ongoing opportunity for c-stores, especially since the prepaid market is fostering activities that are putting more of these types of cards in consumers’ hands.

Open-loop is a term most often associated with a credit card carrying logos such as those for American Express, Discover, MasterCard or Visa that can be used wherever those cards are accepted. They are more likely to carry fees. These are different than closed-loop cards, also called single-purpose cards, which have an individual company’s logo, indicating where the cards can be used.

Retailers are typically paid for each open-loop card they sell, or when they reload them. Additional sales hopefully accrue when consumers use them inside the store or at the pump. The overall growth trajectory of both open- and closed-loop prepaid cards is, however, undeniable. According to Global Industry Analysts Inc., the global market for prepaid cards is projected to reach $3.1 trillion by 2022, driven by the growing need for financial inclusion of unbanked consumers, innovative and expanding card features, increasing online transactions, and rising demand for cost-effective and convenient electronic payment solutions.

There will be a move to a more mobile platform that will reside on consumers’ phones, predicted Perry Kramer, vice president and practice lead at Boston Retail Partners.
“Any convenience store that is not already offering prepaid cards should get in the game,” said Kramer.

“Retailers should consider cross-marketing prepaid cards near a small rack of greeting cards for gift-giving occasions,” he added. “It is also key to proactively monitor the in-stock process to make sure they are not missing sales from out-of-stock positions.”

Read full article: Weighing Open-Loop Cards

No chips: A slow go for new credit card technology

CNBC – Less than half of American businesses have adopted the credit card chip technology that was all the rage in the fall of 2015.

Only 37 percent of businesses are currently able to accept chip-enabled credit and debit cards, according to a survey by The Strawhecker Group. TSG’s sample included 92 payment service providers that service more than 3.9 million merchants, or about 50 percent of the U.S. card-accepting market.

Chip cards, also known as EMV cards (for Europay, MasterCard and Visa), are touted for safety and improved security over traditional cards. Retailers, credit card companies and merchants were supposed to adopt the new technology by Oct. 1, 2015, or face penalties. Missing the deadline made U.S. card-accepting merchants liable for fraudulent transactions.

Ten percent of retailers are performing EMV-enabled transactions that are working well, and another 12 percent say their EMV-enabled transactions need improvement, according to a report from Boston Retail Partners.

Read Full Article: No chips: A slow go for new credit card technology

VIDEO: Why are EMV Implementations Complicated?

According to the 2016 POS/Customer Engagement Survey, only 22% of retailers support EMV transactions. Why has the adoption of EMV been so slow?  Well, it’s complicated. Many factors are making this complex, including: debit cards, mobile devices, banks, payment terminals, switches and the certification process.

Watch this video blog post to hear Perry Kramer, Vice President and Practice Lead, Boston Retail Partners, explain the factors that make EMV implementations complex.

Why are EMV Implementations Complicated?

Visit our BRP Videos page to watch videos on other topics.

As always, I appreciate you thoughts on this topic. Please enter your thoughts and comments below.


Houston, We have a Problem! – 2016 POS Survey Identifies Issues with Retail’s Faux Omni-Channel

Retailers recognize the need to create a holistic customer experience that transcends channels, but most attempts are falling short.

85percentAccording to the 2016 POS/Customer Engagement Survey, 85% of the respondents indicate that unified commerce is their top priority. Many retailers have taken the “just get something done” approach to deliver a seamless customer experience that transcends channels. The unfortunate result of this quick fix approach is a “faux” omni-channel model that doesn’t execute as promised and has the risk of disappointing customers. While 60% of retailers indicate they have implemented “inventory visibility across channels,” 80% of those retailers indicate that the system “needs improvement.” According to another recent study, this is a real issue, as 60% of click-and-collect orders placed on Cyber Monday had problems.[i]

“Saddled with legacy systems that are not designed to accommodate today’s retail environment, retailers have scrambled to cobble things together in attempts to deliver the omni-channel capabilities customers expect. Retailers need to invest in infrastructure, networks and service oriented architecture (SOA) layer and do it right. The risk of losing customers due to disappointing shopping experiences caused by a flawed omni-channel architecture is deadly and that is why “real” unified commerce is retailers’ top priority for 2016.” – Ken Morris, principal, Boston Retail Partners

The 2016 POS/Customer Engagement Survey of top North American retailers offers insights into retailers’ current point of sale and customer engagement initiatives, priorities, and future trends as the physical and digital worlds converge within the store.2016 POS Survey Cover

Key findings in the 2016 POS/Customer Engagement Survey include:

  • Creating a true unified commerce environment is the top priority – 85% of retailers indicated this was a top priority for 2016
  • Improving customer engagement and the customer experience is critical – 68% of retailers indicated this was a focus for the upcoming year
  • Retailers are still occupied with payment/data security – 38% of retailers stated this was a top priority

I encourage you to download and read the complete 2016 POS/Customer Engagement Survey:

I hope you enjoy the report and welcome any comments or feedback. Please share your comments below.


[i] “Buy online, pick-up in the Store. Simple, right? Not this Christmas,” Washington Post, December 20, 2015.

The Road Ahead – Experts share insights on key retail tech trends

Chain Store Age – Chain Store Age spoke to industry experts to get a sense of where four strong trends in retail technology — mobile payment, same-day delivery, Internet of Things and social commerce — are heading in 2016. We also offer a sneak peek at the burgeoning trend of visual search.

Mobile Payment: Calm before the Storm

Even though there was a big buzz about mobile payments during 2015, the penetration and adoption of mobile industry expectations. However, according to Ryan Grogman, VP of Boston Retail Partners, there are reasons to believe that mobile payment is still primed to be a disruptive in-store technology in 2016.

“Like any new technology, there is an adoption curve for mobile payments,” Grogman said. “Taking a card out of your wallet and swiping or inserting is an ingrained behavior that does not take a significant amount of incremental time over taking your phone out of your pocket or purse and holding it to a payment terminal.”

Despite the miss in expectations, Grogman said retailers are making significant investments to enhance their payment security.

“Payment security investments include the installation of advanced payment terminals that will inherently support mobile payments,” Grogman said. “Additionally, the sheer number of mobile payment options means that more customers will have access to using their smartphones for payments.”

Grogman concluded that the key to mobile payment truly gaining traction will be to convince customers of the advantages of choosing to use their phones instead of reaching for their payment card.

“The integration of store-based loyalty cards and specific promotions built around the use of mobile payments at checkout will help drive adoption,” Grogman said. “Walmart Pay is a merchant-driven solution, meaning they can incent their customer base by including promotions and benefits specific to their customer base, which should increase adoption.”

Read Full Article: The Road Ahead – Experts share insights on key retail tech trends

‘Tis the Season — For Secure Payment Processing

Samsung – Just weeks into the 2015 holiday shopping season, retailers industry-wide are tightening mission-critical operations to ensure their shoppers have a satisfying shopping experience. The one area that they can’t afford to overlook this holiday season, however, is secure payment processing. By implementing new security measures across payment networks, retailers are taking steps to secure sensitive customer information this holiday season — a move that promises to drive loyalty well beyond December.

It’s not surprising that 63 percent of retailers reported that secure payment processing is among their top three priorities for 2015, according to the “2015 POS/Customer Engagement Benchmarking Survey” from Boston Retail Partners. Some of the most recognized data breaches over the last 24 months have occurred in the retail industry, and these heists pilfered millions of consumer card numbers, as well as other personally identifiable information.

Often, POS systems are their entry point of choice, due to insecure, Web-based network support and the volume of unencrypted data flowing between networks and units.

Read full article: ‘Tis the Season — For Secure Payment Processing

Mobile payments fail to impress so far this holiday season: report

Mobile Commerce Daily – Mobile wallet platforms did not fare well during this year’s Black Friday retail frenzy, most likely due to do inconsistency with retailers and consumer use, with Apple Pay at its lowest usage rate and PayPal being used more than others, according to a report from InfoScout.

The holiday weekend is known for its chaotic shopping sprees, with many retailers seeing long lines and disorderly checkout experiences, which may have led consumers’ choice to stick with established payment methods such as credit cards. On Black Friday this year Apple Pay saw only 2.7 percent use with all eligible transactions at retail locations, and Android even lower with 2 percent of possible transactions being used.

“No one wants to be ‘that person’ that holds up the line in a retail store on Black Friday,” said Marty Whitmore, vice president, Boston Retail Partners. “This lack of confidence and uncertainty around whether or not Apple Pay or Samsung Pay are accepted obviously caused a hesitancy in the consumer to present the device for payment.

“The other key takeaway is that there is still some concern around security and a general lack of awareness around the Mobile Wallet,” he said.

Read Full Article: Mobile payments fail to impress so far this holiday season: report