NEW YORK, May 4, 2017 /PRNewswire/ --
When it comes to e-commerce, integrated payment solutions provide consumers more flexibility in their shopping than ever before. The conveniences of these solutions have long been in the making (the first online payment services started in the 1990's) and today promise to be the future of payments. For consumers, integrated payments mean the capability to initiate a transaction on a smart device, complete the buying process online, and finalize the transaction in store or via home shipment. For merchants, this translates to streamlined accounting, stronger customer relationships, integrated payment acceptance into next-generation and legacy point-of-sale systems, customer management systems, and more selling and marketing opportunities through business data analytics and loyalty programs. The companies driving this improved consumer experience include Net Element, Inc. (NASDAQ: NETE) (Net Element Profile), (which offers an array of omni-channel payment solutions, as well as Vantiv Inc. (NYSE: VNTV), Global Payments Inc. (NYSE: GPN), Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) and Alphabet, Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG).
Payment processing integration saves merchants time by eliminating manual processes such as entering credit cards. It also has the potential to reduce human error, increases cash flow, and reduces labor costs. Integrated payments can also allow merchants to accept payments across multiple sales channels such as: face-to-face, online, mobile, smart televisions and in-application. In doing so, integrated payments can improve customer service as the merchant can spend more time on customer interaction, satisfaction, marketing and other vital business components.
As a global provider of multi-channel payment technology solutions and value-added transactional services, Florida-based Net Element (NETE) recognizes the potential of omni-channel, integrated payment solutions. In 2016, Net Element was named one of the fastest-growing technology companies in South Florida Journals 2016 Technology Awards. Its PayOnline subsidiary, for example, manages electronic commerce through a simplified approach to enterprise online transaction and mobile payment processing. It addresses payment acceptance, processing, risk prevention and security, operating as a single software-as-a-service suite. Among many other features, PayOnline's recently launched 'Instant Credit' service allows online merchants to sell goods and services on credit. Consumers benefit from the ability to interact directly with integrated credit institutions to secure instant access to loans, while merchants have the means to achieve higher conversion rates at checkout and increase average ticket size. The solution is ideal for the e-commerce of high-priced items such as digital technology and household appliances for which consumers may need credit. In addition, PayOnline offers mobile payment acceptance across all mobile devices, including Apple iOS, Android and Microsoft. PayOnline's proprietary Pay-Travel: solution integrates the exiting financial instruments already used by the travel industry into a best-in-class, multi-channel, Global Distribution ("GDS") platform, which allows users to effectively manage all aspects of their payment needs in a flexible, easy-to-use solution integrated with popular GDS solutions such as: Amadeus, Sabre and Travelport. In 2016, PayOnline was named the best processing gateway by Tagline, and was recognized for its payment services by Markswebb Rank & Report, ranked as a Top 5 payment acceptance company.
Net Element's Unified Payments subsidiary, recognized in 2012 by Inc. Magazine as the #1 Fastest Growing Company in America, offers a secure mobile point-of-sale system designed to help small businesses drive revenue and profitability. Unified Payments facilitates quick payment acceptance and allows product inventory to be used to build orders. Customer details can be recorded instantly, and the service comes with an EMV-compliant bankcard reader and smart payment terminals. Through an online business analytics dashboard, Unified Payments Insights focuses on big data to give merchants the chance to compare current revenue, social media activity, and online reputation. The platform allows businesses to see what customers are saying about them on websites such as Yelp and TripAdvisor, manage customers from acquisition to retention, monitor the competition with alerts and feedback, manage social media activity, and analyze business performance. In addition, Unified Payment offers its merchants fully integrated an omni-channel gift and loyalty platform, which enables small-to-medium size businesses to centralize their customer data spanning in-store, online, social and mobile channels.
Additionally, through its partnership with Planet Payment, Inc., a leading provider of international and multi-currency payment processing services, Unified Payments offers online merchants Planet Payment's Multi-Currency Pricing. This offering enables merchants to more effectively expand into foreign markets by displaying pricing and accepting payments in a variety of local currencies. The gold in this capability goes back to the consumer desire for convenience. Multi-Currency Pricing provides online merchants the tools needed to create an enhanced shopping experience for international customers.
Net Element's Digital Provider subsidiary offers a large portfolio of customizable payment solutions that enable organizations to monetize their goods and increase conversions. With Digital Provider, customers can charge their purchases directly to their cell phone bill using just their mobile number- no credit cards or sensitive bank account information is required for the purchase. Ultimately, this capability simplifies the pattern of interaction between customers that visit a business' online store and all other online services. These services are coupled with call center rentals, automated mass payments, and a package solution that provides organizations the chance to fund raise for charitable cause.
Phone, mobile device, online and point-of-sale terminal payments are all processed by Net Element's single payment processing platform, but the company isn't the only player in the integrated payment space. Vantiv (NYSE: VNTV) offers in-store and online point-of-sale solutions that also support both methods. As part of its strategy to bolster its e-commerce technology capabilities, Vantiv recently announced a plan to purchase Paymetric, which provides electronic payment solutions for the enterprise to streamline the order-to-cash process, reduce the scope and financial burden of achieving PCI compliance and improve return on electronic payment acceptance. Paymetric integrates ERP and CRM systems with robust payments capabilities to help companies optimize workflows, save time and reduce costs.
Vantiv recently reported total first-quarter revenues of $928.2 million, an increase of 13% compared to the year prior, and expects continued growth as it forecasts full-year 2017 revenues to increase 9-11% year-over-year.
Global Payments (NYSE: GPN), also a recognizable force in omni-channel payment solutions, currently serves 2.5 million merchant locations. A member of the S&P 500, the company has merchants and partners in North America, Europe, Brazil and the Asia-Pacific region spanning 30 countries. The Atlanta-based organization offers e-commerce, onsite payments, cross-border, development, and integrated solutions.
The company recently unveiled its new vertically integrated TouchNet® OneCard VIP™ platform for campus-wide transactions. According to the press release, the platform is represents new cloud-based campus ID software designed to simplify student life by maintaining student access privileges and enabling payment transactions across colleges and universities. This is yet another example of how today's leading companies are rising to meet the demand for omni-channel solutions that create a unique user experience.
Perhaps the most familiar name in integrated payment systems is Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN) Amazon Pay keeps customer information secure and transactions fast for small and large companies. It now reportedly has over 33 million customers worldwide (as of April 2017), doubling in a year, and was recently expanded to Italy, France and Spain. Aside from supporting plug-ins to connect with e-commerce partners such as Shopify, BigCommerce, and PrestaShop, Amazon Pay lets businesses brand the checkout experience, increase conversions, and grow their operations. A global partner program helps connect merchants with e-commerce platform providers, professional developers, and agencies. The company also said the Pay with Amazon button is seen on about 10 percent of top U.S. e-commerce sites, not only representing consumer demand but opportunities for retail investors looking to take on the market.
Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG), a conglomerate of companies that includes Google, recently established an agreement with PayPal Holdings to combine Google's digital wallet with PayPal for Android smartphone users, who can now take advantage of the most popular payment method (PayPal is available on 70 percent of e-commerce sites). Alphabet is also now the publicly-traded entity, as all shares of Google (now a wholly owned subsidiary) were converted to the same number of shares as the company. The agreement opens the door to making PayPal available in stores and may boost the mobile payment efforts of Google, which the company has been trying to get off the ground for some time.
On the user side, the agreement enables consumers to link PayPal accounts to Google's digital wallet - Android Pay. Anyone using the digital wallet will be able to use PayPal to purchase products at large retail chains. Ongoing efforts and deals are transforming PayPal from a website tool to a versatile system for in-store payments, transferring money overseas, and shopping using smartphones. It's yet another example of how electronic payments are becoming a standard in consumer shopping, no matter where a purchase is made.
Net Element, Vantiv, Global Payments, Amazon, and Alphabet are all onboard to satisfy the demand for simple and secure integrated payment solutions. Retailers, consumers and shareholders will only continue to benefit as these brands compete for market share and develop global networks. Building its presence in developed and emerging markets, Net Element stands out from the rest as it caters to the demand for fully integrated online payment solutions. These solutions are allowing people to complete purchases online, have products shipped to them, or start the process on the Internet and end it at the store.
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