FSI Member Spotlight Episode #14: Payments 101 and the Importance of Omnichannel CX
In a recent FSI Member Spotlight, Praxent had the opportunity to meet Courtney Kelly Peters, VP of Partnerships at FreedomPay. Courtney has been with FreedomPay for over four years, beginning as a Sales Executive and taking on her current leadership position over the past year. FreedomPay is a cashless commerce solution offering simplified, cloud-based integrations across industries world-wide.
Courtney was recently recognized by the Financial Technology report as one of the top 25 Women Leaders in Fintech of 2020. This recognition prompts Courtney to reflect that while women don’t currently make up the majority of leaders in the fintech space, there are many ways other aspiring young women can take the lead in fintech. She believes that thinking outside the box – both in terms of personal capabilities and organizational capabilities – is key. Equally important is the confidence in voicing one’s opinions, regardless of seniority. Courtney recommends finding a mentor relationship to help foster and encourage this sense of confidence in developing a leadership voice and credits her team at FreedomPay for their part in helping her accelerate her career.
FreedomPay is a small but nimble team with approximately 80% of the total organization consisting of development. Breaking down the basics of payments, Courtney describes how FreedomPay enables payment transactions to occur across both traditional and emerging technologies by collecting data at the payment gateway, while also providing payment data security with an encrypted payload to ensure breaches and attacks aren’t part of the everyday payment journey. From there, Courtney goes on to describe the role of payment processors and their role in communicating with banks and back out again. Crucial to both merchant and customer, all aspects of this payment journey occur in real-time.
Courtney also voices the importance of transforming to meet the needs of younger generations by delivering evermore frictionless transactions and payment experiences. No longer does the journey end at the transaction, but it’s now linked back to social networks and other feedback mechanisms which transform the payment experience from a vertical transaction to a horizontal, continuous journey. Courtney anticipates further changes to the customer journey, citing QR pay with instant tagging as just one example of a more social, digital interaction than traditional payment transactions. Without this ability to link customer data both in store and above store, merchants and financial institutions alike will only see fragmented pieces of the customer. Understanding marketing trends and which influences lead customers to make their payment decisions is also crucial to promoting robust commerce connectivity. The omnichannel approach towards connecting a richer ecosystem of technologies will only increase in importance, in Courtney’s view. For a more in-depth discussion of contactless, BNPL, embedded, and other alternative payment solutions, check out the full FSI Spotlight video.
- – Omnichannel customer experience not only provides a more streamlined, personalized, frictionless payment experience to the customer, but is also crucial to viewing and capturing data from a vendor perspective.
- – While the trend was long anticipated by fintech leaders, contactless payment has greatly accelerated over the course of the pandemic. Consumer confidence is increased when more convenient payment and checkout options, such as QR codes, are offered.
- – BNPL will continue to be a growing trend as well, as more merchants experience the value in flexible payments and enabling new consumer segments to afford their products and services. Interestingly, while FreedomPay has seen plenty of BNPL adoption in retail, increasingly, the food and beverage industry is also warming up to the idea of utilizing BNPL as a payment alternative.
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