eWise payo has grown at a huge rate of
knots since launching in January, advancing a simple yet disruptive
proposition: pay online or via the mobile channel through your bank
account. According to eWise Payo MD John France, its system is
faster and safer for consumers and more profitable for banks and
merchants.

 

Photo of eWise Payo managing director John FranceAt the
retail point of sale where a payment is made, there is a certain
amount of customer-related data which can be captured in the card
world, in a format that is dictated by the card schemes.

Eventually, selected elements of this data are
passed back to the banks. In effect, the information that banks see
today is stripped down and second-hand at best, lacking valuable
consumer spending and behavioural detail.

Detail, that would otherwise allow banks to
make more informed, assured authorisation decisions.

The card issuer (or bank) authorises a payment
based on factors such as bank balance, spending patterns and
whether a merchant is trusted or not.

Through a customer’s current account – the
account that generally feeds all other payment methods – they have
a central view of how their customers spend their money.

The merchant acquirer is in a prime position
to decide upon the data that is sent to the issuing bank; including
information about the specific merchant, the type of device used
for the payment and the way the transaction was authenticated – all
of which are derived from the point of sale.

But, when it comes down to information such as
what sorts of items and the quantities that were purchased, this
type of data isn’t passed on to the bank – or if it is, (for
example with corporate or purchasing cards), additional fees will
apply.

In addition to this, the card schemes require
merchant acquirers to maintain records of merchant names and
primary business activities, but even this has proven difficult,
with in excess of 1m UK merchant outlets and a dependency on the
merchant acquirer to ensure that this is always kept
up-to-date.

The overriding issue is that as consumers,
your banks know very little about you – when it comes to knowing
what sort of items you like purchasing they have limited knowledge,
given they have very little to actually base this on.

Banks are forced to simply authorise the
transactions you make, and nothing more. Larger banks may utilise
some form of fraud tool to assist in the decision making
process.

The tool, however, is usually limited to
patterns of transactions rather than the make-up of the customer’s
typical shopping basket, so they are still largely in the dark as
far as knowing the individual’s real preferences.

Retail empowerment

When it comes down to understanding a
customer’s spending patterns – retailers are a great deal more
empowered.

They have access to and can retain far more
information relating to shopping habits and will understand their
customer preferences in much greater detail.

Individual retailers capture relevant
information in-store, and this type of data is extremely
useful.

Retailers have done well to understand how
customers buy in store, but not outside. Through the current
account, banks know where their customers typically spend, but they
rarely have specifics. 

But, if retailers were able to collect even
more information about their customers, they could pass this on to
the banks, and – in turn – the banks could send out targeted offers
and content.

Empowering banks in this way will provide them
with richer information when it comes to authorising transactions,
allowing them to make more informed decisions– by tracking details
in relation to overall customer spending patterns.

They could even build up loyalty programmes
for consumers to incentivise them to shop with specific merchants,
and – as the consumer – you could decide whether you wanted to opt
in or out of these programmes.  

Through eWise payo, an Online Banking Enabled
Payment mechanism (OBeP), the consumer initiates secure and private
payments for goods and services or bills online, without having to
provide personal financial information to any third parties. They are directed straight to their bank’s website
where they will log in using their existing account
credentials.

eWise technology enables the secure payment,
leveraging the UK’s Faster Payments network, thereby generating a
near immediate payment for the merchant, and the bank has
authorised the consumer making the transaction.

With an OBeP all parties are known; the
merchants are effectively sponsored in by banks, and the consumer
making the transaction will be identified and authenticated by the
bank in questions.

All parties have signed up to a code of
practice, the transaction is effectively validated from both sides
– as all parties are known and trusted. The only party to lose out
with an OBeP transaction are the fraudsters. In this context, the
bank will have a great deal more data in relation to a specific
purchase.

And the combination of QR codes with OBeP
transactions allows for every piece of data to be captured in
real-time, irrespective of which of their online bank accounts the
customer is paying from.

This type of data is far richer for banks –
enabling them to capture details relating to gender, age and
location – data which is 100 percent accurate.

Offers can also be linked directly to a
payment, for example – a consumer may purchase a 3DTV, and then be
prompted to visit another retailer for a two for one offer on 3D
glasses in real-time.

In turn, the bank can verify if the offer (or
voucher) was cashed, and the overall success rate of that specific
campaign, again in real-time.

Targeted and relevant offers

Offers will be targeted and relevant, and open
to loyalty. Consumers will have a propensity to purchase where they
are given the right information; it’s purely down to the data
provided at the point of sale.

In today’s competitive customer environment,
it is about being able to identify when a consumer will buy, and
linking that knowledge back to the purchasing decision, through the
insight provided on spending patterns.

Mobile apps add value; they create convenience
and focus for the consumer and the bank alike. Where a customer
subscribes to location-based services, they can be targeted with
relevant offers at relevant times, and be sent relevant and timely
QR codes, or vouchers by tracking codes.

Banks can mine their data, potentially
charging merchants to obtain useful, accurate and relevant customer
data. And, ultimately where a consumer feels the information
provided was useful they will be likely to repeat their custom, and
increase their loyalty.