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Digital payments - Ebitt

Digital payments

Ebitt meets Mastercard's Elliott Goldenberg to discuss the future of digital payments

Elliott Goldenberg, Head of Digital Payments at MasterCard, takes Ebitt’s questions on innovation in payment systems, the future of retail and Ebitt’s upcoming event, Future Food.

Elliot Goldenberg, Head of Digital Payments, Mastercard

Elliott Goldenberg is the Head of Digital Payments for UK & Ireland at MasterCard. Elliott has more than 12 years of experience in retail, supplying a diverse range of goods directly to merchants. Before joining MasterCard he led the Digital Offers sales team at Barclaycard, launching its Bespoke Offers. He has also worked with many tier one retailers to develop their gift card schemes. Elliott has a passion for embracing technology to create great customer experience in scalable, repeatable ways – integrating all aspects of MasterCard’s technology to ensure integrity, safety and security.

Elliott, how important are digital payments to the future of commerce?

They are essential. Half of all online traffic is online shopping, so digital payments are crucial to commerce. Digital payments will also be hugely important in the physical world, whether it’s using Apple Pay or Android Pay to tap for a coffee, or paying for a taxi within an app. People don’t tend to proactively consider a payment, it’s a means to an end, but they should be a seamless part of your day, wherever you are, whatever you’re doing. Done right, digital payments can transform an experience.

What part do digital payments play in omnichannel retail?

When shopping in any environment, consumers just want the payment to be easy and seamless. This becomes even more important when shopping online – having to remember complicated passwords, type in card and address information or grapple with websites on a mobile can all cause shoppers to abandon their purchases. So it’s really important that retailers get the digital payment right. And they can’t just think of one channel. Think of all the touchpoints and channels that consumers will maintain during their shopping journey. Mobile, social, alerts, apps, loyalty programmes, in-store technology – retailers need to adapt to the ‘omnishopper’ – the consumer who touches all channels and values retailers who are committed to them.

The 'Selfie Pay' app is MasterCard’s latest innovation. Can you tell us more about this venture?

We know passwords are a pain – we undertook some research that showed that consumers around the world are frustrated and concerned about forgetting, losing or having their passwords stolen. So we are giving consumers control of their digital identity and allowing them to authenticate themselves when shopping online by using their face or their fingerprint. The Identity Check Mobile App, or ‘Selfie Pay’ speeds up the online checkout experience – when making a purchase consumers simply snap a selfie and blink, or scan their fingerprint, rather than typing in a password. Ultimately it gives people choice, which is so important when managing their digital identity.

We’re fascinated by ChatBots. What are they and how are they changing the face of retail?

A ChatBot is a service, powered by rules and sometimes artificial intelligence, that you interact with using a chat interface – for example on Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp. The service could be a number of things, ranging from functional (order a flight or a pizza, customer service enquiries) to fun (get tips for days out or even what the weather will be like) and it could be live in any major chat product. If you think about it, up to 90% of our time on mobile is spent on email and messenger apps, so rather than creating their own apps, brands are looking at how they can utilise the ones consumers use most. We call it ‘conversational commerce’, and Dominos and Pizza Hut have live examples of this technology in different parts of the world.

Which brands, in your opinion, are trail blazers in digital payments?

If you look at companies like Uber, they’ve really raised the bar in terms of consumer payments and how seamless it can really be. People want payments to be as simple as possible but also to be safe. Methods such as Apple Pay and Android certainly tick both boxes there and I think more people will start to use these new methods of payment. Mastercard actually work with all these companies and it is our technology that allows the safety and security of a traditional card payment to exist in this digital environment.

You’re a guest speaker at our upcoming event, Future Food. How can digital payments accelerate growing food and drink brands?

When it comes to food and drink, anything that improves the customer experience will help brands. Our pay-at-table app called Qkr allows customers to order items, split and pay the bill, and add a tip, all from their smartphone. Research shows it typically takes 12 minutes between a customer asking for the bill and paying, so this app saves time and frees up waiting staff to help other customers. It’s already being used by restaurants such as Wagamama, Carluccio’s, ASK Italian, Zizzi and Young’s pub and brewery. Digital payments can also transform the experience when dining at home too – just look at how apps have revolutionised the takeaway industry. Consumers can now order food and pay with the touch of a button, rather than fumbling around with cash for the delivery driver. And many people order their weekly shop online or on their mobile with a digital payment – all of these examples have improved convenience for the consumer and benefit retailers.

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