Americans across the country will soon be feasting on turkey, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce and mashed potatoes. In preparation, families bring out their favorite recipes to share with loved ones and get all the ingredients they need for a successful Thanksgiving. And retailers need to do the same.
Thanksgiving kicks off the five biggest shopping days of the year – the Turkey Five. Ahead of the big event, retailers must have their payments processes in place to handle numerous transactions and ensure that security breaches don’t “wreak havoc in the kitchen.”
Today, we’re sharing our special “Turkey Five” recipe for retailers to create a secure and seamless omnichannel payments experience for consumers this holiday season and beyond.
Start With a Robust Encryption Process
The first ingredient that will set the foundation for a secure payments experience is encryption. Encryption is the process of converting information into an unintelligible form except to holders of a specific cryptographic key. This is a critical component of any secure payments infrastructure.
Retailers have two encryption ingredients to choose from. Point-to-point encryption (P2PE) is when the card entry device encrypts cardholder data and the payment host decrypts it. The second option is end-to-end encryption (E2EE), which is when the parties hand off the decryption task to the processor. Whichever encryption method retailers choose, it is a must-have technology in any security prep recipe.
Mix in a Cup of Tokenization
Next, retailers can whisk in tokenized payments to add in an extra layer of security. As we’ve discussed before, this is the process of switching out cardholder data (specifically, the card’s Primary Account Number or ‘PAN’) with randomized data that has no intrinsic value as a payment method outside the confines of a retailer’s tightly controlled environment. This makes it impossible for hackers to decipher any personal data.
Replacing customers’ credit card numbers with tokens gives merchants the opportunity to identify customers without storing sensitive information. Not only does this improve end-to-end security, but it also reduces the steps involved in complying with various regulations that protect cardholders against theft, including the annual PCI assessment requirements.
Keep It Simmering With Omnichannel Capabilities
According to Salesforce, U.S. retailers that offered buy online, pickup in store (BOPIS) options during the holidays in 2020 increased digital revenue by 49% on average YOY, while retailers that didn’t only saw 28% average growth YOY. Offering omnichannel capabilities gives retailers a competitive advantage – or some extra flavor, if you will.
To account for consumers’ buying habits, retailers need to ensure their omnichannel payments are seamless and secure. They can do this by continuing to churn in tokens and using those to assign a unique, repeatable identifier to each customer. This identifier is then used each time a consumer shops, whether online or in the store. That way, loyal customers can still easily checkout without entering their information, creating a frictionless experience that prioritizes security.
Serve With a Side of Emerging Payments
Consumers are demanding more choices than ever when it comes to how they pay. For example, the pandemic has created a growing need for contactless transactions, leading to QR-code-based payments and a surge in mobile POS (mPOS) systems. Cryptocurrency is also growing in popularity as more and more retailers offer this as an option. As we’ve announced before, our parent company InComm has partnered with Flexa to give global brand partners a seamless way to instantly accept dozens of digital currencies like bitcoin, ether, and dozens of other digital currencies.
Keeping up with the latest payment types require an expansive payments ecosystem that can ensure all data continues to be secure. They also need to be able to deploy the latest payment options regardless of a retailer’s development roadmap. By implementing a payments system that is futureproof, retailers can ensure that this recipe is enjoyed by consumers for years to come.
Garnish With Easy Returns
This holiday season, a record-breaking amount of holiday returns is expected as retailers extend return policies to accommodate for early Black Friday deals. Therefore, retailers need to not only think about the checkout process, but the returns process as well – thus ensuring they create a winning holiday recipe.
The good news is retailers can take the same tokenization ingredients from this recipe to stir up an easy and secure returns experience. With transaction-based payments tokenization, a merchant can access cardholder data for a specific purchase and use it to process a return and match a refund more quickly. For consumers, this means they don’t have to present their payment card to make a return, adding a new level of convenience to the process.
At Last, Enjoy a Well-Prepared Payments Experience With OLS Payments
The key to any good recipe is having the right ingredients and measurements in place to prevent any kitchen mishaps. In the same way, retailers must ensure they have the right processes and tools in place to secure and enhance their payments processes, while providing a seamless experience for customers.
Leading retailers have turned to OLS Payments’ solutions to simplify these processes. With OLS Payments, retailers can drive down risk and reduce the footprint of their PCI scope. Furthermore, advanced data encryption and tokenization ensure the highest security for every transaction. As well, OLS Payments helps retailers continually innovate, allowing them to add omnichannel capabilities and alternative payments whenever they’re ready. This Thanksgiving, OLS Payments can help you cook up a strong payments strategy in the most simple, secure, and cost-effective way. Getting hungry? Contact us today to get started!