Con­tact­less Pay­ment So­lu­tions on Rise Among Shop­pers

WWD Digital Daily - - In Focus: Retailing - BY TRACEY GREEN­STEIN

Visa dis­cusses the global growth of such pay­ment so­lu­tions among re­tail­ers.

As emerg­ing tech­nolo­gies con­tinue to trans­form and en­hance in-store ex­pe­ri­ences for con­sumers, brands and re­tail­ers are im­ple­ment­ing creative, im­mer­sive so­lu­tions to stay ahead.

And pay­ment so­lu­tion firms, such as

Visa, ze­roed in on con­tact­less pay­ment tech­nolo­gies for its re­cent spon­sor­ship with New York Fash­ion Week, of­fer­ing unat­tended vend­ing ma­chines to con­sumers that fea­tured ex­clu­sive, cus­tom items from New York-based, fe­male founded la­bels, such as Re­becca Minkoff, Ve­nessa Arizaga and Neely & Chloe. The firm also part­nered with Women’s World Bank­ing, a non­profit that pro­vides low-in­come women with fi­nan­cial tools and re­sources, as part of its “buy one, give one” pro­gram at the event — 100 per­cent of the pro­ceeds from each item pur­chased were do­nated to the or­ga­ni­za­tion.

Here, Mary Ann Reilly, the se­nior vice pres­i­dent of North Amer­ica mar­ket­ing at Visa, talks to WWD about the com­pany’s re­cent ac­ti­va­tion at New York Fash­ion Week and the growth of con­tact­less pay­ment so­lu­tions.

WWD: What in­spired the idea to host a con­tact­less pay­ment-en­abled re­tail ex­pe­ri­ence with New York Fash­ion Week? Mary Ann Reilly: We al­ways use our spon­sor­ship ac­ti­va­tions to drive busi­ness pri­or­i­ties. Ed­u­cat­ing con­sumers in the U.S. about the ben­e­fits of tap­ping to pay and bring­ing more con­tact­less pay­ment ex­pe­ri­ences to the U.S. mar­ket is a key fo­cus for Visa. So, with our in­au­gu­ral spon­sor­ship of New York Fash­ion Week: The Shows as the back­drop, we set out to cre­ate an in­no­va­tive re­tail ex­pe­ri­ence that show­cased the speed and con­ve­nience of tap­ping to pay and would strike an em­pow­er­ing yet play­ful tone with the con­sumers at­tend­ing the shows.

Con­tact­less pay­ments, where you tap to pay with a card, phone or wearable de­vice, de­liver a fast, sim­ple and se­cure check­out ex­pe­ri­ence. We felt the vend­ing ma­chines were the per­fect way to bring th­ese ben­e­fits to life and en­gage with our tar­get au­di­ence.

WWD: Are there any note­wor­thy im­mer­sive ex­pe­ri­ences emerg­ing in the re­tail space?

M.A.R.: Tech­nol­ogy is mak­ing it eas­ier than ever for con­sumers to browse and buy any­where, any­time. Al­though there are a num­ber of in­no­va­tive re­tail ex­pe­ri­ences worth not­ing, at Visa we’ve been es­pe­cially in­ter­ested how iden­ti­fy­ing ways that pur­chase mo­ments are more in­te­grated in ev­ery­day om­nichan­nel brows­ing or view­ing ex­pe­ri­ences — this idea of “see now, buy now.”

Dur­ing this most re­cent Olympic Games in PyeongChang, South Korea, we cre­ated an in­te­grated shop­pable ex­pe­ri­ence through NBC and Team USA Shop, where Olympic fans watch­ing the Games from home could in­stantly pur­chase ap­parel they saw their fa­vorite Team USA ath­letes wear­ing. That was a suc­cess­ful pi­lot that we are look­ing to build on through other spon­sor­ships in the com­ing years.

WWD: In your opin­ion, will con­tact­less pay­ments even­tu­ally be­come the stan­dard for global re­tail­ers?

M. A.R.: We be­lieve so. In many coun­tries around the world, con­tact­less pay­ments are al­ready the norm — in fact, more than 90 per­cent of the trans­ac­tions in Aus­tralia are con­ducted by tap­ping to pay, and that num­ber is over 50 per­cent in Canada and the U.K. Based on this global mo­men­tum and the ben­e­fits tap­ping to pay de­liv­ers to con­sumers and mer­chants, we be­lieve con­tact­less pay­ments are the fu­ture of check­out.

We ex­pect adop­tion of con­tact­less pay­ments will con­tinue around the world, and the U.S. is poised to fol­low suit. One in two Visa trans­ac­tions at check­out al­ready oc­cur at mer­chant lo­ca­tions that have con­tact­less- en­abled ter­mi­nals. So, ex­po­sure and aware­ness will con­tinue to be key, es­pe­cially as more con­tact­less cards, mo­bile phones and con­nected de­vices come to mar­ket.

WWD: Would you elab­o­rate on the women’s em­pow­er­ment theme wo­ven through­out the NYFW event, as well as the fea­tured prod­uct selec­tions? M.A.R.: Ear­lier this sum­mer, we in­tro­duced a cam­paign called “Money Is Chang­ing,” specif­i­cally aimed to start a con­ver­sa­tion with women who are rewrit­ing their rules when it comes to money and power. Dur­ing New York Fash­ion Week: The Shows, we wanted to cel­e­brate fe­male en­trepreneurs, and in this case, fe­male de­sign­ers, who con­tinue to defy tra­di­tional stereo­types and spot­light fe­male founders who are chang­ing fash­ion and com­merce.

There were two real com­po­nents to how we did this. First, our con­tact­less vend­ing ma­chines fea­tured lim­it­ededi­tion items from fe­male de­sign­ers in­clud­ing Re­becca Minkoff, Ve­nessa Arizaga and Neely & Chloe. Each pur­chase made at a vend­ing ma­chine was “buy one, get two” and 100 per­cent of the pro­ceeds from the prod­ucts sold ben­e­fited Women’s World Bank­ing, a non­profit pro­vid­ing low-in­come fe­male en­trepreneurs around the world the fi­nan­cial tools and re­sources they need to thrive and pur­sue their dreams. More than 500 prod­ucts were sold through­out the week, and 100 per­cent of the to­tal pro­ceeds — more than $11,500 — were do­nated to Women’s World Bank­ing.

And to con­tinue the con­ver­sa­tion,

Visa hosted a cu­rated panel of fe­male en­trepreneurs who are fos­ter­ing a cul­ture of change and reimag­in­ing re­tail ex­pe­ri­ences in their re­spec­tive in­dus­tries. Pan­elists in­cluded Jen­nifer Fleiss, chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer and co­founder of Jet­black (pre­vi­ously Rent the Run­way); Aurora James, founder and creative di­rec­tor, Brother Vel­lies; Candice Swanepoel, IMG model and founder of Tropic C and Heather Philp, se­nior vice pres­i­dent, Cards and Re­tail Ser­vices, Wells Fargo.

WWD: What’s next for Visa in the re­tail event space?

M.A.R.: While we can’t share specifics just yet, you will ab­so­lutely see more of Visa in the fash­ion and re­tail space in the com­ing months. Stay tuned — we will con­tinue to show­case con­tact­less pay­ments in in­no­va­tive ways, and we’re ex­cited for what’s to come.

Visa is the of­fi­cial pay­ment tech­nol­ogypart­ner of New York Fash­ion Week.

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