B2B Tech Talk with Ingram Micro
B2B Tech Talk with Ingram Micro

Episode · 1 month ago

The benefits of contactless payment and device innovation with Andrew Kim

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Through the surge of contactless payment during the COVID-19 pandemic, associates experienced a new way to accelerate the point of sale without sacrificing engagement and service quality. Contactless payment isn't going anywhere anytime soon.  

Now the question is: how can tech companies deliver that solution at a mass scale while meeting customers where they’re at? The answer lies in innovation. 

Shelby Skrhak speaks with Andrew Kim , director - Product Management at Zebra Technologies , about: 

- The benefits of contactless payment

- Maintaining high-quality service

- Meeting customer expectations 

To join the discussion, follow us on Twitter @IngramTechSol #B2BTechTalk 

Listen to this episode and more like it by subscribing to B2B Tech Talk on Spotify,Apple Podcasts, or Stitcher. Or tune in on our website.

You're listening to B two B tech talk with Ingram Micro, the place to learn about new technology and technological advances before they become mainstream. This podcast is sponsored by Ingram Micro's imagine next. It's not about the destination, it's about going someplace you never thought possible. Go to imagine next, DOT INGRAM MICRO DOT com to find out more. Let's get into it. Welcome to B two B tech talk with Ingram micro. I'm your host, Shelby Skirt Hawk, and our guest today is Andrew Kim, director of product management for Zebra Technologies. Andrew, welcome. Good morning, shelby. Well, so today we are talking about the evolution of mobile payments with Zebra Technologies. But first off, Andrew, tell us a little bit about Zebra. Thank you, shelby. Yes, no, Zebra's been around for over fifty years. Were a four and a half billion dollar company with over sixteen million devices in the field, nine thousand employees and ten thousand channel partners. We're probably best known for UM scanning as well as printers and then now, recently, mobile computers. Were number one in mobile computers, number one in data capture, number one in Barcode Printing, and number one in our fids. So we have a wide variety of products in our portfolio that can help all enterprises. Yeah, well, so for those who are not as familiar with payment solutions, can you just give us an overview of what traditional point of sale systems have banned? Me, I guess I want to understand how far we've come. Yes, awesome. So mobile payment is the topic that we care about most. Mobile payment is a new sort of industry that we're working to get into. Our customers have been asking us for it for quite a while. The reason that they've been asking us is because most of our customers are looking for multi function devices that allow you to do, you know, to store operations,...

...the back of the store operations, and they also want to do payment. They don't want to buy another piece of equipment just to do payment. They want to leverage what they have. So, as you mentioned, traditional mobile point of sale solutions you have to purchase the zebra device, you have to purchase a third party payment terminal and then you also have to buy a third party accessory that sort of binds them all together and unfortunately that that comes with the host of issues. A number of the biggest one being the size, the weight, and then, you know, just the other part of it is that they are all multiple systems that were never designed to be working together. So there's some some idiosyncrasies with that. For example, charging is a bit of an issue or battery life is a bit of an issue, and those are the major pain points that the customers are sort of dealing with. When when you're talking about traditional mobile payment solutions, it's that you you say that you know these weren't designed to work together. You know in this day and age, need those those technologies to be able to talk to each other efficiently and that that can lead to a whole host of problems like you mentioned. So we know that companies are evolving in the ways that they interact with customers and that often means, you know, meeting customers where they are, and both literally and figuratively. So with that, of course, mobile point of sale solutions have become more prevalent. So I guess can you just tell us the state of mobile payment solutions point of sale? Where are we in the market in terms of adoption and how prevalent are these mobile solutions? No, that's a great question, I think. Well, so what's what's been happening, though, is that there's this promise of mobile payment where, if you do mobile payment you can engage the customer and the aisle wherever the customer is, close the sale and get the customer out the door. This is a great tool, but the problem is that, you know, there are a host of issues that are related to the traditional payment solutions. You...

...know, size and weight being the one of the key aspects, but you know, usability overall has become sort of an issue. So, in addition, covid has actually caused a couple of changes and and everyone you know who's ever used contactless payments, you know, sees the value of it. It's fast, it's it's really easy. But the problem that we've had in America is that they're the payment terminals, even though they're enabled, they haven't been or they're they're capable, they haven't been enabled. Cards are just starting out to get to the marketplace and and really the way I look at it is when when my parents start using apple pay or google pay or contactless cards, that's when it becomes ubiquitous enough and that's the future that we're looking for. However, up until then, what are you gonna do? And so you know you've got to be able to support chip cards, you've got to be able to support contactless and even though Max Stripe is not something that people want to use, it is something that's still used today, and so we've got to be able to support all of that. And so really you know the solutions that are out there. The change that's happening is that people are really the first big change was the e M v. You know there's a liability that that if you're using Max stripes, you know there's more reliability and risk for the merchant. But if you're using an e M v Chip Card Transaction, those are less fraudulent and more secure, and so the banks are happy with that. And then now you know in the future it's going to be contactless. So you know going forward there's going to be a mix of different things. But this is just on the mobile side. On there's also the fixed point appoint sales side, where you have the traditional payment terminals, and then you also have the disability concerns. Right you've got to be able to make sure that those of visual impairment can enter a pin onto a touch screen device. These are not easy things to do, but these are also things that are that are sort of required. And so ultimately, you know, you still need the fixed lanes to address all the self service and all of the you know, the traditional fixed lanes. But then with mobile, you know, it's all about how do you get the customer to close this sale...

...and get the customer out of the door as quickly as possible while, you know, making sure that the experience is still, you know, serviceable and good. Yeah, well, you brought up a lot of interesting things there. When you talk about the contact lest, I'm I'm ashamed to say that for the longest time I just didn't mess with contact list. It took a walgreens associate older than me to, uh, to say, you know, you don't have to put it in the you know, in the thing, you can actually just, you know, tap it there, and I was like, I knew that was possible, but I didn't want to try it because I didn't look dumb if it didn't work. And so, you know, you're right that the day that, you know, our parents become comfortable with that and and that is the standard way. Uh, you know, that's I guess when it will become ubiquity is right. Yeah, well, What's interesting is that Master Card just came out and with a research report where they indicated that over fifty percent of Americans actually have configured their contactless payment but they don't use it all the time. And and really that's the thing and the reason why the usage is so low in America is because the terminals haven't you know either. They're still older and they're not capable, but the ones that are capable, some of them just haven't turned on, and I'm not sure exactly the reason why, but you know, part of it probably is because there weren't any cards, and I'm sure that there's some conflict with you know people. The bank's not wanting to give away the business to apple and Google. I'm sure that has a lot to do with it as well. Yeah, well, so you mentioned these models that have become kind of, you know, bricks, if you will. The the hardware certainly has evolved greatly from from these clunky models, I guess, of of your if you will, and now they're more like phones and tablets that were all used to using. So, Andrew, I know you come from a mobile device manufacturer background. So how have mobile POS systems become more like our modern mobile devices?...

Right. That's a good question. So one of the things that we've been focusing on at Zebra is this whole concept of multifunction device. Right. That is the sort of the core of what we do. Customers want to use our device for as much as they can use it for, and that's what we're known for. On our mobile computers you can you can have your point of sale application, you can have your inventory applications, you can have your picking applications, you can have all these different applications on your device and still do payment, which is different than some of the you know, from a size perspective, from traditional points to mobile point of sale. You know we're working on a solution that that actually is smaller and and fits better in your hand. We designed the everything to work together, so you know, battery life is going to be phenomenal on our solution. But the real bonus is that you don't need, you know, special keys or application stores or you don't have to go through the jumping through all those hoops to install your own applications or update your own applications, because that's, you know, that's the benefit of the multifunction device. So we have the solution that we've been working on that allows you to take the chip cards that it takes you, allows you to take contactless cards and as well as Max Right. But you know, and we're we're certified by all the major card brands and you know, we're we're adding more, you know, acquirers over over time, and so all of these things are available will be available soon to our customers. But the great thing is that you'll be able to do tap right away on our solution. You'll also, if you if the TAP isn't configured, you can do the chip and then if the chip is broken, then you can do the Max Right. So we have a way to help customers transition from, you know, the chip world to the contactless world with our solution. And then in the future we'll have another solution where you won't even need a credit card reader. It will just be contactless and it will just be the zebra device and you're able to just tap and go, which is what the what the beauty of the solution this right. And so that's those are the...

...future. That's the future of where we're heading and it will be available on most of our devices today with the current solution and then the future solution will be available on all of our devices. Well, you know, looking, I guess big picture. I mean Zebra has certainly adapted to these these ways of new commerce, but how do vendors like Zebra really help companies drive payment into these these new interactions, new ways of taking payment to really maximize their commerce? So a lot of the folks that we work with, our customers that we're talking to these days, their primary focus is engaging the customer at the point of interaction versus waiting for the customer to come to them at a specific station. And the reason that's important is because customers, you know the easy transactions are. You know, people know it. They buy X, Y and Z and they just walk out the door. But when you have a more engaged sales process with, for example, let's take shoes. Right you want to try your shoes on. You know, once you found the shoes, now you gotta walk over to an area, get checked out and then then you can leave. What if that you can just after you finished and you said you want the shoes, you just sort of say yes and the Guy Chart checks you out right there. That's what we're trying to do is how do we increase the point of engagement? What if a customer can't find the product in store, a customer, an associate can then basically help the customer find the inventory on the website, take the sale and actually ship it directly to the customer without having any delays. Otherwise, the alternative is that the customer has to go online themselves, make the purchase or, you know, go to another store. These are all lost sale opportunities, whereas you know, by having the mobile payment right then and there, you're able to do it on the spot, on the floor with the customer when they need it. So that's, I think the whole key is, how do we get more customer engagement, even in these in these times of Post covid where no one wants to touch each other, which is fine. We have the contact less unless you do the TAP, but ultimately you still have that...

...engagement. Like I don't know about you, but you know when I go shopping, I'm not I hate shopping. I'm kidding, but you like shopping. Is is one of those things where you, once you find what you want, you just want to get out and you don't want to sit there. But if you can't find what you want, you want, you don't want to look it up on a box. You don't want to go, you know, wait for somebody. You just you just want to find someone ask the question and get help and get out the door. That's the stuff that mobile payment helps to facilitate and that's how it increases engagement in sales for mature well, and it seems like you know, as somebody that does, is quite fond of shopping. That is a service to the customer. So you know already you're you're taking a chance when you're buying shoes online. So the difference between buying a shoe online and, you know, doing it in the store, you know, it's kind of night and day. But you know the challenges is that. Well, you know, maybe they don't have the you know, the size that I need. That solves it, you know, if you're able to say, okay, well, you know, we don't have that particular size, but when we go ahead and order it for you and ship it to your house, yeah, I mean that that is cutting that that step where I get home, I maybe forget, I delay, I forget how much I like those shoes. How much I wanted those shoes and yeah, I've walked away, I've abandoned my card, so to speak. Right right. But that service aspect is so important because I know that everyone's worried about covid and everyone's worried about, you know, customers not wanting to engage, but I don't, you know, again, I have not seen that. I know that the folks that I work with, people want the service. We're a service economy, like you know, and everyone wants to be served to some degree and you know, having that service, that extra little bit of service, can make the difference between a sale and, you know, and walking away right right. Well, as a follow up to my last question, do mobile payments really, and we've kind of answered this already, but you know, do mobile payments really maximize commerce?...

I mean, do they boost the bottom line for businesses in retail and hospitality? I believe yes, and the reason I can say that confidently is because right now the alternative is you have some mobile payments, but a lot of the associates they do it begrudgingly because you know, it's something that they're supposed to do. But if you give them the right tools and the right processes in place and it allows them to be more engaging. It allows them to close sales, you know, faster, and that's really what it's about. And if you're able to close sales faster, if you're able to get more engagement with customers, happy customers. You know, I know when I'm happy, I go back and buy. I know that. You know, with this current economy, things are are, you know, a little bit of up in the air, but hopefully things will, you know, we'll get better soon and at the end of the day, we're still a capitalist economy. We gotta buy things to survive, we gotta make things to survive, we gotta sell things to survive, and so that's all we care about. We want to make sure that we provide the best experiences for consumers as well as for merchants. Yeah, well, as we start to wrap up our episode, I want you to kind of get the crystal ball out and tell me, in looking ahead to the next year, where do you see this technology going? So I do believe that multi purpose android devices that do payment are going to grow. There are a lot of the traditional payment terminals are expired or expiring and merchants now have a choice between single purpose android devices or traditional service to android are traditional mobile payment solutions or the one that zebras working on within, and so these are things that we can do, but again, I think that those will grow over time. But fundamentally, being able to engage customers at the point of interaction, being able to, you know, take this new technology of contactless payments and really be more engaging to the customers, is all a good sign because, you know, ultimately we're providing tools to the marketplace. Right, we're not. We're not doing the work that's with the retailer or our customer does, but we got to provide...

...them with the tools so they can do their jobs efficiently and maximize their value. Right, the value that we offer is just a tool. So what they're offering is the service to the customer, and that service, you know, again, even in these times of of covid and post covid like, people still want service. That will never go away and I think that's ingrained in our culture. And you know self service is great and it works, but you know, there's a reason why people are standing around waiting and answering questions, right, right. Well, so for listeners who want to find out more about what we talked about today. How can they reach out? So they should talk to their ingram micro representative, bell get in touch with zebra or reach out to Zebra directly, and then we'll we'll find ways to to help support our customers and their customers. Excellent. Well, Andrew. Thank you so much for joining me. Thank you, shelby, for this. This has been a great podcast. Thank you, and thank you listeners for tuning in and subscribing to two B tech talk with Ingram micro. If you like this episode or have a question, please join the discussion on twitter with the Hashtag B two B Tech Talk. Until next time, I'm Shelby Skirt Hawk. You've been listening to B two B tech talk with Ingram micro. This episode was sponsored by Ingram Micro's imagine next B. Two B tech talk is a joint production with sweet fish media and Ingram micro. Ingram micro production handled by Laura Burton and Christine Fan. To not miss an episode, subscribe today on your favorite podcast platform.

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