But at year-end sales season, consumers will rest easy knowing that their e-merchants are being served well by their PSPs…

By now, e-commerce merchants have already made all their preparations for holiday season sales. We have had 10.10 and 11.11, with Black Friday, Cyber Monday, 12.12 and Boxing Day Sales still to come in parts of the world.

However, this year is special because of rising inflation and increasing costs. While this presents an opportunity for merchants to drive sales, consumers are becoming more wary of barriers to purchase, meaning that, to capture this opportunity, payment service providers (PSPs) must make sure they are more prepared than ever.

Here are four things that should be on the radar of all payment businesses this shopping season if they want to help merchants realize success.

    • Security aforethought
      As a PSP, if security is not top of your agenda yet, it should be. Security is a consistent point of focus in payments – and obviously so. This is even more of an issue during the run-up to the festive season, when opportunistic fraud attempts typically shoots up by about 30%. Your security protocols should be set up to maximize detection without rejecting payments. False positives will not only result in lost sales, but cause a potential drop off in new customers for your merchants because of decreased brand trust. Also, check your fraud management protocols and make sure they are optimized to run smoothly alongside your merchants’ festive campaigns and promotions.

    • Drive conversions through data optimization
      Today, e-commerce takes place across multiple channels, including Online-to-Offline (O2O), on social media, and even in the metaverse. Digital payments provide valuable data about consumer preferences such as how they like to pay or how they habituate spending patterns. Use data analytics to interpret payment data to help merchants more during this festive season and beyond.

    • Offer the right choice of payment methods
      When it comes to cross-border payments, optimizing payment methods is far from a one-size-fits-all approach, particularly in Asia where the payments landscape is very fragmented. People may not hit the Buy button if their preferred payment methods are not available. Make sure to provide the right payment methods for the markets you are targeting, or work with experts that know your markets and can advise you on which payment methods you need to drive sales for your merchants.

    • Always have a back-up plan
      Be perennially prepared for unexpected jumps in sales. Even if your payments usually run smoothly, it is good to have a backup plan in case one or more of your acquirers or processors has any issues. To manage this, have a clear communications plan ready to use with your merchants in case payments are disrupted. Similarly, consider creating internal protocols to manage disruptions. For example, if your credit card processor has a disruption, have a cross-functional crisis management team in place to troubleshoot. Do people in merchant-facing positions like customer support and sales know what to do and how to respond? What is your plan of action?

Ironing out how merchants will respond to disruption scenarios and creating a clear communications plan helps ensure when they do happen, everything will be kept under control.