Retail Payments eSummit Interview: Meet the Host of Day 2, Toby McFarlane

Contributor:
Toby McFarlane
Toby McFarlane

eCommerce Retailers: Master the Customer Payments Journey | Oct 14 | 1:00 – 5:00pm CET

Why did you decide to dedicate a day of sessions to eCommerce retailers? Why is this an important topic to explore in today’s landscape? 

Over the past three to five years, the online payment space has changed drastically. However, while there have been lots of advancements and updates in the eCommerce space, in some respects, things of things have not improved as much as you would expect. Merchants are still plagued with a variety of issues that affect their eCommerce payments.

Many merchants, and lots of our clients, are seeing unprecedented levels of online spend right now. This is a trend we’ve been seeing for a while, but with the COVID-19 pandemic and the change in customer behavior it has triggered, eCommerce volumes are soaring. eCommerce it completely different ball game compared with in-store payments. When it comes to authenticating transactions and dealing with things like authorisation rates and fraud, the complexity of supply chain increases exponentially in an eCommerce environment. Day 2 of the Retail Payments eSummit will address many of the challenges that come along with this change. We will discuss the challenges of today’s landscape, share ideas and concerns across the retail community, and talk about solutions that will actually drive results.

What are the key challenges you will address on day 2?

We will address all aspects of the customer experience that merchants should consider, including authenticating transactions, increasing approval rates and selecting the correct payment methods. One of the key problems we’ll address is the hidden challenge of false declines – understanding why a legitimate customer with the means to pay is declined, and how to avoid losing that transaction.

We also can’t get away from the challenges of SCA. With less than 4 months until the European SCA deadline, many merchants are sleep-walking into a world of low conversion, higher costs and increased friction at checkout.

We’ll also spend time addressing payment types. So, in a world of ever-changing payment types and advancing technologies, how do merchants successfully select the correct payment types for their business? How do you balance cost, risk and driving incremental sales?

What’s the main objective of the day?

My primary objective is to help merchants prepare successfully for a post COVID-19 world. The payments landscape will be drastically changed due to significant increases in eCommerce and this day will provide practical tips and insights to help many of the world’s largest retailers to optimise their eCommerce setup. We will give merchants the tools they need to build productive, profitable relationships with suppliers. Anything we can do to address the current imbalance is a step in the right direction for the merchant community.

We've seen retailers during the pandemic struggle to cope with a dramatic spike in eCommerce spend. This trend is likely to continue long after the pandemic ends and getting a solution in place now means that merchants will benefit from the revenue boost this change could provide to merchants who get it right. Merchants no longer have time to sit back and prepare their eCommerce offering – they need to do it right now. 

Toby McFarlane, Head of Approvals

What experience does CMSPI have managing eCommerce payments arrangements?

Most recently we’ve helped increase sales for some of the world’s largest merchants and we’ll talk through some of the examples of that on the day. We recently worked with a global fashion retailer to optimise and increase performance of their supply chain. This added $40 million in incremental sales over a one-year period, and $7 million alone in April during the pandemic.

We will also talk through a case study of a recent project where we worked with a large European retailer to put in place a strategy for SCA. By utilising our optimal exemption strategy, coupled with 3DS to reduce the risk of sales loss, this strategy meant they avoided potential sales losses which could have been in excess of €100 million a year.

And what about minimising costs?

We’ve been minimising costs in the payment space for the best part of 30 years now, working with merchants to make sure that any commercial pricing proposals that come their way are in their best interest.

Why is this important right now? What’s the urgency?

We’ve seen retailers during the pandemic struggle to cope with a dramatic spike in eCommerce spend. This trend is likely to continue long after the pandemic ends and getting a solution in place now means that merchants will benefit from the revenue boost this change could provide to merchants who get it right. Merchants no longer have time to sit back and prepare their eCommerce offering – they need to do it right now. 

These changes are inherently affecting the way merchants assess cost, risk and approvals in their supply chain. The economics of payments in the eCommerce world are completely different than they are in the card present world – there’s so many considerations and if merchants don’t do this now, they’re going to fall behind all the other leading retailers who are.

Interested in attending?