As online and mobile commerce channels continue to expand due to the progress made in FinTech, Dubai, and with emerging technologies and trends changing expectations of the in-store experience, brick-and-mortar retailers are being forced to re-evaluate their position, offering and approach. Retailers must now find new and powerful ways to engage with consumers. Within this context, payments are increasingly being identified not just as a necessary process to be managed, but as an opportunity. Indeed, 80% of merchants now see payments as a fundamental part of their business strategy, with 92% expecting to maintain or increase investment over the next 12-18 months. As retailers and merchants expand their payments activity and investment, deploying a branded digital wallet like the e-Mal digital wallet in Dubai will be a key consideration for many. In this blog, we will explore the five major reasons why this approach makes sense. But, initially it is crucial to understand the following:
Today’s Consumers Are:
- Tech savvy & empowered by access to information.
- Have more choice than ever before.
- More discerning about where and how much they spend.
- More aggressive in seeking out value and discounts.
- Bombarded by offers & promotions – many irrelevant.
The Customer Problem:
- Too many taps on screen is frustrating for users.
- Carrying debit/credit card or cash in wallet is no more safe.
- Hassle to visit ATM for withdrawing money.
- Dead money associated with E-Wallet.
- Long queues are always time consuming during payments.
“I don’t want to take my mobile out, type in the password, and pay when I’m eating or shopping”
The Merchant Problem
- Competition for customers is fierce. Merchants face high fixed cost overheads.
- Rent, salary, marketing & fixed costs need to be covered.
- Empty aisles represent lost opportunities. Ingredient costs are small, (relatively) to fixed overheads.
- Service offerings are essentially homogeneous.
- Advertising & marketing is costly & inefficient.
- Effective yield management is critical for success.
- Discounted products are preferable to regular ones.
- But, blanket discounting is unsustainable in the long-run.
“We haven’t had payment systems that has matched our expectations which is hassle free”
“Estonian cybersecurity company Hacken, certified e-Mal’s iOS and Android apps as highly secure since no vulnerabilities and loopholes were found. The app was given a score of 10/10 by the Consultant’s Cyber Security team”
The reason why the new version of the e-Mal app is secure and makes it one of the best digital wallets available in the market are as follow:
1: Improved Security and Mitigated Risk
Over the past few years, the retail sector has been beset by high-profile data breaches at large merchants. Given that the average cost of a retail breach is $4 million, not including the reputational and brand damage and the on-going impact on long-term sales, it is clear that there is an increasing consensus across retailers and merchants that security is business-critical. Consequently, many players are moving to take control and bring payments in-house, rather than outsource to a merchant acquirer. Indeed, a research report highlighted that of the 80% of retailers entering payments, 40% identified security considerations as the main driver.
For retailers, the theft of customer payment credentials, transaction history and identity are the main security fears. e-Mal Digital wallet, however, incorporates various technologies and techniques to enhance security and mitigate risk, reducing the likelihood and impact of breaches.
Why e-Mal uses Blockchain
The Blockchain technology facilitates decentralised control over the financial transaction in order to provide more trust between parties with this financial ecosystem home-grown in Dubai.
2: Lower Transaction Fees
To process debit and credit card transactions, the payment networks levy ‘transaction fees’ on retailers. As these transaction fees can be significant, particularly for larger retailers, it makes commercial sense to implement strategies to reduce these costs. One way to minimise transaction fees is by introducing e-Mal Digital Wallet. As these cards can only be used by consumers at the specific retailer, they are not subject to the interchange fees levied by the payment networks. This is called an ‘on-us’ transaction and means the cost per transaction is significantly lower. For some retailers, however, the cost of manufacturing and issuing physical cards is prohibitive. But by digitally provisioning the merchant wallet app to a digital wallet, the costs are greatly reduced. In parallel, for retailers to see reduced interchange costs, consumers actually have to use their digital wallet. For example, the retailer could push an in-app discount using the info hub service when using the merchant app to encourage adoption. This also has the effect of driving brand engagement, recognition and loyalty.
3: Enhanced User- Experience and Engagement
Physical retailers are in direct competition with ecommerce giants who promise convenience, wider choices and cheaper prices. Black Friday, a key indicator of the retail landscape, saw 10 million more users shop online than in-store. The assumption for some would be that ecommerce will eventually render physical retailers redundant. By 2025, however, 75% of all retail sales are predicted to still take place in-store. The on-going primacy of the in-store retail model is partly due to a long-term, structural trend known as the ‘experience economy’, in which consumer purchasing behaviour is driven by the quality of the overall experience, rather than the nature or value of the goods itself. Indeed, the emergence of the experience economy is demonstrated by the fact that the ecommerce giants themselves have diversified into physical stores. For physical retailers, e-Mal digital wallet is key to delivering a powerful and engaging in-store offer to tap into the demand for the experiential economy.
Personalised Shopping Experience
Data has never been more powerful. By providing e-Mal digital wallet, retailers have direct access to detailed shopping data, which can be utilised to improve existing, and develop new, services. In addition, shopping data can be intelligently deployed to deliver a hyper-personalised buying experience. It can also leverage past and predicted behaviour across numerous channels to deliver smart recommendations and identify cross and up-sell opportunities to increase transaction amounts and enhance revenues.
4: Streamline Checkout
Put simply, the current in-store assisted checkout experience is wholly incompatible with modern lifestyles and expectations. The reasons are clear. 86% of consumers avoid stores with long queues and 70% would be unlikely to return to a store if they were previously subjected to a long queue. In addition, 38% have abandoned a purchase due to excessive queuing times. This issue is particularly pertinent for retailers, as consumers are more likely to drop out of a retail queue than for any other good or service. To compound the problem, assisted checkout lanes require expensive infrastructure and are labour intensive. Self-checkout technology has emerged as retailers to have looked to streamline the process. But self-checkout is more of a stopgap than an endgame as it still requires consumers to queue and staff to monitor the costly equipment.
Retailers, who offer pay with e-Mal digital wallet, have the capability enable consumers to checkout via an in-aisle payment using QR Code, removing the requirement to queue and reducing dropout. There is also the potential to integrate ‘order ahead’ functionality to reduce waiting times at the counter. And the benefits don’t end there. In-aisle payments lower overhead costs and reduce the number of POS terminals required since the merchants will accept payments using the e-Mal merchant wallet app. They also deliver greater operational flexibility by enabling staff to be redeployed across other functions within the store to improve the overall customer experience.
5: Digitise Physical Cards and Receipts
Physical retailers are compelled to produce and distribute vast amounts of collateral, whether it be plastic store and gift cards, cardboard coupons, paper receipt or print advertising. This activity has a huge monetary and environmental cost. For example, in the UAE alone, over 250 million gallons of oil, 10 million trees and 1 billion gallons of water are required just to service annual demand for paper receipts.
Digital wallets offer a clear alternative to this unsustainable activity. As previously discussed, plastic store, gift and loyalty cards can be provisioned virtually with minimal costs. Also, tailored push notifications and in-app offers are far cheaper and considerably more effective than putting leaflets in the mailbox or handing out flyers. Finally, digital receipts can be stored in-app.
For retailers, a mobile wallet is a vehicle to considerably more efficient, cost-effective and sustainable future, while delivering increased consumer engagement, loyalty and insight.
In summary, it is apparent that a well-executed digital retail wallet deployment can deliver improved payment security, reduced operational costs and increased revenues. The industry is recognizing these benefits and reacting accordingly. With at least 28% of the newer merchants in the market looking to launch along with digital wallet within six to twelve months, with a further 18% considering an implementation without a firm timeframe. The challenge for retailers will be to accelerate time to market and provide a seamless and enhanced experience from the outset. As market demand and consumer expectations evolve, functionality can then be upgraded to meet emerging requirements.
TL;DR: The e-Mal iOS and Android application was given a 10/10 by Hacken’s Cybersecurity team.
For Merchants and Retailers, Start your e-Mal Journey now: http://bit.ly/Merchant_OnBoaring_e-Mal and our staff will contact you at the speed of Blockchain!