Jason Howard, Executive Vice President of Ethoca, shares his views with PaymentExpert on the growing evolution of digital receipts and how firms should ensure they are ready. 

Digital innovation has accelerated over the last two years, with ecommerce and digital experiences becoming critical to every facet of our lives – from work to shopping and everything in between. We’ve seen next-gen technologies like touchscreen kiosks and click-to-collect ordering begin to blur the lines between in-store and digital commerce. Digital receipts will also soon become a commonplace tool that bridges the gap between digital and physical commerce.

Paper receipts are out… almost

Paper receipts can be difficult to manage as they’re prone to getting torn or lost. And, unless you have a meticulous filing system, they can be nearly impossible to find. The solution? Placing receipts directly where customers most often review their purchase history – within their digital bank channels.

With 66% of consumers using digital banking three times a week or more, this would be ideal for a new generation of digital receipts that offer clear purchase details and more branding opportunities for merchants. There are clear advantages to digital receipts over paper as they can’t get lost or damaged and they arrive in banking apps automatically, providing a new level of ease and convenience for customers.

Benefits for merchants

Many of us will have experienced seeing a charge we don’t recognise on our bank statements, and, fearing it may be fraud, called our bank to file a chargeback. We know from our own research that transaction confusion is a major cause of chargebacks, so giving customers more purchase information in their digital bank channels could help alleviate that confusion. Details like a clear company logo and name attached to a charge can make a huge difference in making sense of one’s purchase history. 

Additionally, having contact details on a digital receipt makes it easier for customers to reach out to a merchant if they have any questions. Concerns like shipping delays, goods not being delivered or even questions about the final sale amount can all lead to service-related disputes that can quickly become a chargeback. Giving merchants the opportunity to address these issues upfront can help reduce chargebacks and their related fees, while also providing a better customer experience.   

Branding and engagement are also improved with the adoption of digital receipts; while the post-transaction experience is often overlooked, it’s a key point in the purchase journey. Having digital receipts with a merchant’s name and logo helps further extend their brand’s presence – and sharing enhanced details is just the start. Once the connection between merchants and issuers is made, it opens the door for greater functionality – like embedding offers, loyalty and reward information and even warranty management directly in banking apps.

A time for change

Digital receipts are growing in popularity and are something merchants should be aware of. With most consumers comfortable doing almost everything digitally, retailers are starting to see how digital receipts could solve a number of long-standing problems, including reducing purchase confusion, chargebacks and their related costs – while also extending brand presence.