Merchants, just like customers, are dependent on providing the latest and greatest forms of payment methods in order to appease and retain their clientele. 

But what are merchants seeking in 2024? As more and more payment methods become accessible in a wide range of countries, are there any other aspects to the customer journey that merchants must uphold in order to avoid cart abandonment? 

Yasmin Ferdousbarin, Global Product Director for takeaway delivery service Just Eat, explains that the company has been focusing on localisation efforts in a myriad of markets it is active in. 

Speaking at the recent Money 20/20 Europe event, Ferdousbarin outlined three key reasons as to why consumers may be leaving the checkout journey early. 

She revealed: “Our supply needs to be local. Whatever is going on in that country, we need to supply and offer that. But what we have also identified is that we are providing the right payment methods in that country and that it is working. 

“What we try to understand is what is going on at the checkout, why are customers abandoning platforms? If you look at external data, the main three reasons are because of privacy reasons, convenience and preferred payment methods.”

Supplying local popular payment methods to accompany the various amounts of currencies worldwide is not only a merchant requirement, but a payment service provider necessity too. 

Ferdousbarin added: “I also believe by offering a wide range of payment options from a local area, we embrace balance and is an area in which we can play an important role to also help the user experience, because users are leaving because they can not find their preferred payment method.”

Within the UK for example, Visa and Mastercard payments dominate the market, as they do in Spain, Italy and Germany, whilst the surge in digital wallet usage has also become one of the most common payment methods in the three aforementioned countries. 

By 2028, global payment methods will grow 60% of transactions. Ferdousbarin accepts that now is the time to expand payment methods in order to keep up with this incremental growth by understanding the user. 

And understanding the user also requires a smooth user experience, an importance that the JustEat Director believes is something far too many merchants get wrong due to the simplest of mistakes. 

She explained: “A lot of people think about user experience as the design of the user interface, it’s not, it’s way more than that. People need to understand the context that the customers are in, what they are going through and the problems that they have. 

“By joining this industry a few months ago from the customer experience side, 99% of the customers do not even understand what you are trying to say, next to functionality.”

A solution raised during the panel discussion was the introduction of Open Banking to accelerate the customer journey. 

Open Banking-powered payment solutions, such as Pay by Bank, were highlighted as methods that can be easily integrated into merchants’ checkout processes and boost payment acceptance, making this a streamlined approach for both merchant and payment provider. 

Ferdousbarin added that Open Banking solves the privacy, security and convenience issues stemming from the customer journey, giving them greater control and flexibility when it comes to choosing their preferred payment options. 

Despite e-commerce and retail banking growing leaps and bounds over the past decade, there are still mounting concerns from merchants when it pertains to customer retention. 

This is why it is key that the merchant-to-payment service provider relationship is not only key in benefitting one another to share knowledge in their respective fields, but also ensures the customer enjoys a quick and seamless experience.