In a recent conference, industry veterans Alexandre LECLERC and Grégoire TOUSSAINT provided profound insights into the historical evolution and contemporary significance of payments from a retailer's standpoint. With their combined expertise spanning over a decade in the payments industry, our two experts offered invaluable perspectives on the transformative journey of payments and their pivotal role in shaping the retail landscape.
Alexandre LECLERC speaking at trustech 2023

The Historical Approach of Payments

Alexandre LECLERC initiated the discussion by shedding light on the traditional perception of payments as a mere operational necessity, often likened to a "toll barrier" in the customer experience journey. Historically, payments were predominantly viewed as a cost item managed by treasury teams, with minimal emphasis on enhancing customer experience or leveraging payments strategically. The market was characterized by a lack of diversity in service providers, primarily dominated by banks, thereby limiting innovation and strategic utilization of payments by retailers. 

 

Analyzing the Present: Interests and Challenges for Retailers

The contemporary interests, challenges, and considerations for retailers in the dynamic payments landscape were also discussed. The critical pillars of security, economic model, and customer experience as paramount considerations for retailers were highlighted. Unlike the past perception of payments as a cost item, retailers now recognize their strategic potential in positively impacting sales figures and customer satisfaction. 

 

Economic Considerations and Organizational Impact

The discussion further explored the economic aspects of payments for major retailers, emphasizing the evolution of payment management and its organizational impact. Alexandre LECLERC emphasized the increasing professionalism among retailers in analyzing payment components beyond simple rates, leading to a more strategic approach in managing payment economics. 

 

Exploring the Evolution of Customer Journeys in Retail

The conversation expanded to explore the evolution of customer journeys in retail, emphasizing the fluidity, importance of customer experience, role of technology and innovation, collaboration, and governance. Alexandre LECLERC stressed the significance of finding a balance between innovation and cost-effectiveness in implementing new payment methods, while also highlighting the importance of collaboration between stakeholders in shaping payment ecosystems. Then, Grégoire TOUSSAINT underscored the correlation between investing in payment functions and their positive impact on cost reduction and revenue generation, highlighting the need for internal organizational structuring to facilitate payment optimization. 
 

Conclusion

This exchange provided comprehensive insights into the evolving landscape of payments in retail, underscoring the importance of strategic considerations, customer-centric approaches, and collaborative efforts in driving business success amidst the dynamic payments ecosystem. As retailers continue to navigate the complexities of payment optimization, a holistic understanding of historical trends, present interests and challenges, economic considerations, and evolving customer journeys will be imperative to unlock new opportunities and foster innovation in the retail industry.
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