All images credit: Shailee Dave

I have been involved in online payments for many years in large and small companies. As a backend services engineer it is usually device agnostic for me, but over the years the focus has changed from just web/browser and game consoles (Xbox/PlayStation) to also mobile phones and a whole bunch of connected experiences.

More recently I have had the opportunity to learn about point-of-sale (POS) systems in the physical world and bridge the gap. Most brick and mortar retailers are now omni-channel retailers, seeking to compete for customers increasingly shopping on their mobile devices at online only retailers.

POS systems have come a long way (nice historical context in Poynt keynote by Osama Bedier at Money2020) and for retailers with offers, coupons, loyalty cards it has never been a more exciting time. The actual payment processing is not necessarily the primary focus of the customer interaction, instead it is to improve the customer journey from decision to purchase.

There is a proliferation of mobile payment solutions from the Cupertino fruit variety to custom retailer specific ones and everything in between including white-label products. Simply replacing a swipe with a tap is not a good enough motivation to change user behavior. So we need to offer more, and with the basic goal to securely identify the consumer at POS we have new possibilities to integrate other consumer information as it becomes available.

You do not need to be on the Extreme Couponing show or on the other end, believe in the failed “fair and square” experiment to use coupons once in a while. Indeed shoppers at most department stores rely on offers and loyalty programs and making it easier for those shoppers is important. Retailer apps are popular and a large number of consumers used these for their holiday shopping and I hope you will download one and try this out. In the end happy customers that enjoy a seamless experience is what we are all working towards!

I organize the Fintech group in the south bay and if you would like to present/host/sponsor do reach out!

Originally published at https://www.linkedin.com on February 16, 2017.