The beginning of a new year is followed by many entities announcing the increase in the prices of their goods and services.
The pandemic brought positive points, such as the acceleration of digital transformation in various activities, particularly in banking where we are seeing investments in the digitalization of channels and payment methods, especially those leveraged on debit and credit cards.
It doesn't take much to increase fees that fall on indispensable tools for the day-to-day management of small and medium-sized businesses that make up the European economic reality and that are mostly merchants. In a country so well known for its culture, geography, and hospitality for tourism, do we want to encourage the fact that tourists face the awkwardness of having to walk a block to withdraw cash to pay the restaurant bill?
Electronic payments are essential tools for a good experience, not only at the moment of purchase, but also for the pleasure of buying a special item, enjoying a good meal and good accommodation in a relaxed manner. We must keep in mind that electronic payments contribute to a large extent to the conversion of the sale, while their non-existence produces the opposite effect.
The customer's money is held hostage
This increase is baffling. Especially when the digital transformation of the banking industry, due to the availability of other channels such as home banking, leads to a natural shutdown of branches. As a result, customers become more dependent on cards to access their money either through payments or ATM withdrawals, which should allow banks to reduce their effective costs.
What Digitalization Brings Us
Digitalization is making us rethink and redesign customer experience, which puts the customer at the center of the business whatever its nature is. Investing in user experience through automation and personalization processes in order to provide sustainability, satisfaction, and gain loyalty is the intended end goal.
Where does that leave satisfaction and user experience, if we have to pay more for what is evidently simple and sustainable over the years? Certainly not through successive increases in bank fees, especially for customers who very often use cards in whatever format they are supported.
And if digitalization is about personalization, why not innovate with a price list tailored to each merchant’s profile? We are moving towards more personalized and innovative profiles.
At the turn of the year, this reflection is incorporated into our goals, to allow merchants to provide a frictionless payment experience with more efficient costs.