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Expert opinion

MRC Vegas – hurdles, benefits and best practices for merchants

Thursday 5 April 2018 | 11:54 AM CET

The Paypers attended MRC Vegas as a long-term media partner. Our managing director Melisande Mual shares key findings on ecommerce payment management and more

On 19-22 March 2018, the Merchant Risk Council (MRC) hosted MRC Vegas 2018, a conference attended by over 1500 people from more than 450 companies and focused on sharing knowledge and debating crucial aspects with regards to fraud prevention, payment processing, technology, cybersecurity and financial services for ecommerce professionals. This year, particular attention was devoted to Account Takeover Fraud, which has been booming due to the increasingly large collections of data on the internet. Other topical matters addressed were the GDPR’s impact and implications, the Internet of things (IoT), and ecommerce opportunities in the emergent markets, such as Africa. At the event, MRC presented the preliminary results from the 2018 MRC Global Payments Survey, which is based on four main topics:

  • Payments as a strategic move

  • What hurdles merchants must overcome

  • ‘Best’ best practices

  • Realized benefits of good payment infrastructure for merchants.

Firstly, MRC revealed that ecommerce payment management is increasingly viewed as vital for a well-functioning merchant organisation. According to the report’s results, 62% of the merchants surveyed marked payment strategy as ‘extremely important’, 29% as ‘very important’, a further 8% as ‘important’, and only 1% marked it as ‘not too important’. Particularly in the Asia-Pacific and Latin America, payment management is held in high regard for merchants, as opposed to those based in North America, who are least concerned with payment management.

Secondly, MRC pointed out several hurdles for merchants to overcome, most poignant of these are fraud, high payment costs, and increased complexity for merchants. The increased cost and complexity can be attributed to a number of factors, such as:

  • The introduction of further regulations like PSD2

  • The introduction of an abundance of alternative payment methods

  • The new technologies fuelling innovation in payments, such as mobile wallets.

MRC stresses the importance of alternative payment acceptance, good security, and IT constraints for merchants.

Thirdly, MRC looks at ‘best’ best practices for merchants and brings out to the audience a few of them. One of the main themes in best practices is planning ahead - proactive companies are ahead of the curve in adopting alternative payment methods, can guide customers to preferred payment methods, and have extensive planning for PSD2 in place. Another promising practice is trying to increase the usage of 3D Secure, opening the door to safer transactions. Furthermore, an important takeaway is that merchant would do well to critically examine their KPIs - is it cost per transaction, conversion rate, or something else? This may help companies in shaping their services and resources and planning their future objectives.

Lastly, MRC lays out realized benefits for merchants who embrace ecommerce payment management. As previously mentioned, a significantly high level of enthusiasm was detected among organizations from Latin America. Nonetheless, the majority of merchants from both Latin America and North America perceive payment management as essential, as the following stats reveal:

  • For 77% of organisations, ecommerce payment management is very efficient

  • 74% believe that it maximizes profitability

  • 72% agree that it’s driven mainly by customer experience

  • For 69% it’s streamlined and in thus increases the efficiency of an organization

On 14-16 May, MRC will be hosting another conference, MRC Dublin 2018, where the thought-provoking discussions and knowledge sharing will continue.

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