It’s the Future; Contactless Payments and Crypto Currency
At SONA one of our number one goals is to help our clients grow their businesses, helping them continue to employ new people and be successful. While the merchant service industry has been predominantly focused on helping those businesses grow by reducing their costs, we have found that there are very few companies out there that are introducing new technologies or payment methods to help their clients increase their revenues.
It’s true that there are a lot of product solutions that are emerging within the ecosystem around payments and payment technology. For any business that wants to be able to accept payments and get paid, one of the prominent focuses should be finding out how to appeal to a broader audience, and how to attract new customers that wouldn’t necessarily look at doing business with you today. For example, this could be the case for a car dealership that has a focus on selling more vehicles, but who is unsure of how to attract customers to purchase from their dealership versus a competitor. There are many ways this business could attract and retain customers; they could have a pricing strategy that is more competitive than the other dealerships nearby, or maybe they invest in building a strong ‘customer centric’ culture where the experience of buying a vehicle is simply better than any other dealership. You could anticipate both of these things would lead to success but I would suggest another way to make it easier to attract new customers, new ways, so your existing or potential customers can transact with you.
Beginning in 2020 and gaining momentum in 2021, we are seeing new emerging payment methods that are being introduced into the North American market. At SONA we want to do our best to let our customers know that these payment options exist and more importantly that they have customers behind those payment methods to attract.
Some of the fastest growing forms of payment that we have recently seen gaining momentum in the market are those such as WeChat and Alipay. We are seeing that these are both predominantly used in the Asian markets and they represent not only a new payment method but also an easier way to pay as technology moves more in the direction of mobile wallets. We are also seeing consistent growth in contactless payments such as Applepay and GooglePay; The commonality of these payment methods are shared in the technology they are working on. Namely, the Mobile Phone. If we look at the statistics of usage of contactless payment methods in the Asian market, it’s the prominent method of paying for goods and services. Now we are seeing a shift in demographics throughout Canada that lean towards using these types of payments and a growth in the number of people over-all who are opting for contactless payment methods. At SONA, being able to show our customers that they have the ability to accept those cards and those customers having the capability to advertise that, it attracts a whole new demographic which ultimately contributes to our goal of helping them grow their business.
Along those same lines, we are seeing a huge amount of buzz in the market around crypto currency. One thing that we can be sure of is that this form of currency is here to stay. We are seeing major financial institutions starting to build their strategies around endorsing crypto and figuring out how that’s going to develop as well as card brands. We look at Visa and Mastercard, two major card brands, that are also beginning to build their strategies around how they are going to be playing into this new market. SONA has made a decision that, as a company, this is not something that we are going to choose to ignore, it is something that we would like to embrace and learn more about. As we educate ourselves, we want to be able to provide the information that we learn to our existing merchants as well as our prospective customers. Specifically, looking at crypto currency, if we look at our partnership with NetCents, this is a relationship that is allowing us to offer another service and another technology to our clients to help them grow their businesses and shift with the changing times. We look at how Visa and Mastercard work in comparison with cryptocurrency; Along with the issuing banks, Visa and MC have safeguards in place to be able to prevent fraud, so there are rules around chargebacks, however one of the things that we are seeing with crypto currency is that because it is a secure electronic transaction through a ledger, there are no card-holder dispute options. I think we are going to start to see high-end jewelry shops, car dealerships, and businesses that typically deal with processing large transactions adopting this new currency to become the main payment method. If we look at the value of bitcoin, and some of the alternate currencies within crypto currency, we are seeing huge growth. It is prominently the currency of individuals that have large amounts of wealth so by being able to show that the technology we are offering today can work in conjunction with a supplier like NetCents it will only provide more options for our clients.
For me personally, one of the most exciting parts of what I do every day and what we do as a company, is getting to look at trends and new technology and make decisions to jump in and learn about them. To us it’s important to always stay current with new payment methods for the benefit of our clients. What drives me and makes me the happiest is doing what is best for our customers, so if we can have conversations with existing and new businesses and are able to articulate the benefits of something new to them that will contribute to their businesses success, deepening our relationship with our clients and ultimately, that is what it’s all about.