23rd October, 2020
Bringing in more revenue, cutting down on expenditure, not falling prey to fraudsters’ tactics, improving processes and keeping pace with the regulatory requirements…airlines and travel merchants' goals haven’t changed but tactics must evolve in a significant way from here on.
A thorough discussion around a number of topics at the just concluded #ATPS Virtual Conference 2020 made it clear that merchants need to respond, as they attempt to “do more with less”. Some key lessons from Day 3:
Simplify experience for travel shoppers: On the final day of the three-day conference, Chris Fendley, Executive Vice President, Mastercard referred to the significance of a seamless transaction. He said the whole premise of Secure Remote Commerce or SRC is to make paying more seamless for consumers. Rather than flooding shoppers with a myriad of different checkout scenarios and options, it is about making them do less in order ensure a smooth checkout. As Keith Wilson, Director -Strategic Merchant Relations at Discover, highlighted, SRC gives every merchant “the ability to offer the Amazon experience”.
Travel merchants are looking at rolling out new payment methods quickly and seamlessly as they assess ways to support immediate recovery. Increasing the number of payment methods emerged as the top priority (43%), as indicated by the audience during a poll conducted during #ATPS Pre-event Workshop on Alternative Forms of Payment.
Being open and honest: Just the way Monica Eaton-Cardone, COO, Chargebacks911 emphasised that it is imperative to maintain open and honest communication with customers regarding any delays or answering their queries, Matthew Dugger, Merchant Relations Manager Asia Pacific, Ethoca mentioned that by being in touch with customers and hearing them out, travelers too can become considerate and the interactions can result in positive stories. And this can lead to more revenue via an upgrade or ancillary sale.
Adnan Beig, Head of Airlines Strategy, Amadeus acknowledged that the trust issue must be delved into, and flexibility is going to be imperative going forward.
Count on data for various metrics: Merchants must evaluate whether they are receiving any actionable analytics, making the most of their payments data. Merchants can’t afford to ignore this aspect. For instance, one must evaluate how their authorization and chargeback rates compare to the rest of the industry. The filtering options help in assessing key performance metrics such as authorization rates, chargeback rates, refund rates, ATV, rejection reasons, drop-off rates etc. From a shopper’s perspective, insights from payments data should result in tailored exp. A merchant can be so targeted that no two customer journeys need look the same.
Being nimble with fraud prevention: Fraud prevention specialists are delving into what sort of novel buying patterns are emerging as they look to foil fraudsters’ plans for fraudulent transactions. The time of the day when transactions are being conducted is changing as consumers have been working from home. Also, more people are making e-commerce buys on behalf of others, according to Vipin Surelia, Head of Risk, India & South Asia, Visa. This is also resulting in a shift in fraud pattern, added Surelia. “Phishing scams are becoming increasingly common.” As for curbing online fraud, machine learning’s role in fraud detection can’t be undermined but it shouldn’t be forgotten that it takes time to recalibrate. A human fraud analyst can take charge and control the situation, ensuring a genuine shopper’s experience isn’t hampered.
Michael Gulliver, Global Payments Manager, Webjet mentioned that fraud can be kept under the desired level. The blend of right data and right people is going to be paramount. He also shared that credit vouchers can be accepted, although for the same the regulatory aspect in a specific market also comes into the picture.
5. Collaboration: The role of various stakeholders was discussed in detail in the last session. It featured executives from Amadeus, including Adnan Beig, Klein Wang, Regional Head of Merchant Solutions, Asia Pacific, Amadeus, and Alessandro Monge, Payment Product Management, Amadeus. Wang mentioned that her team has been in regular touch with companies, conducting workshops and seeking feedback on an ongoing basis, with focus on automation and aiding airlines in improving the cash flow.
Monge spoke about the importance of PSD2 SCA in curbing fraud. The industry on the whole seems to be far from being fully prepared, but he said, “there is no way out, we must respect SCA (as an industry).”
By Ritesh Gupta