In A Decade of Digital Transformation in 12 Months, 46 C-suite executives spoke with PYMNTS for its Q2 eBook on what the world will look like as recovery rolls on and the next iteration of normal rolls out. In this excerpt, Mike Massaro, CEO of Flywire, explores how embedded finance and payments are taking shape in different ways across a range of industries.
Read the entire eBook here.
Payments are the lifeblood of any business. The ability to transact impacts everything a business does — from cash flow and hiring to credit, investment and expansion. But until recently, payments were an afterthought in most businesses, separate from sales, marketing and customer service. Companies controlled the payment process mostly by limiting customers’ payment options, without a thought to how they could help modernize the business.
The advance of digital and mobile into our daily lives started to shift that dynamic – most visibly in the B2C arena, where most eCommerce transactions happen with a click or a swipe. Now that innovation is translating into B2B payments as well. The pandemic put the need for seamless digital transactions into hyper-drive, as convenient, secure, digital payments became a minimum business requirement.
As a result, the payment experience is quickly becoming an integral part of the customer experience. Businesses can no longer worry about how the customer – whether it’s a consumer or a business – will pay after the fact. It needs to become part of the overall value proposition they offer up-front, or they will risk alienating a loyal customer base.
For some, it’s a matter of survival. Businesses and consumers both expect a convenient digital payment option, no matter what they are buying. For others, it’s the logical result of an ongoing quest to make things better, faster and cheaper by minimizing friction at the point of sale, enhancing customer engagement and driving operational efficiencies.
Some call it embedded finance and payments, others call it payment services. The most visible examples are Apple and Uber, but we can see the trend taking shape in different ways across a range of industries – and in many cases, it’s what happens behind the scenes that makes the biggest difference, for example:
The pandemic has changed payments – both in the role they play in our daily lives and the difference they make in who we choose to do business with. These are just a few of the ways they are likely to change forever. Expect to see a lot more in the months and years ahead.