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Macy’s show delivery of omni-channel buying experience with integrated payments

BNY Mellon has just published a report, ‘Global Payments 2020: Transformation and Convergence’, which takes “stock of the state of play today, paint a picture of the future of payments, identify key developments already underway and examine what is needed from market participants aspiring to bridge the gap between today and 2020.” It is full of lots of useful information and ideas on how the market is being “reshaped by both traditional and new types of payment providers. Conspicuous amongst these are new non-bank competitors, some of whom are already well established.”

The executive summary finishes with standard bank line about payment systems: “What this entails will differ according to regions, markets and client segments, but one thing is clear: going forward, it will no longer be sufficient to regard payments as utility products; commoditised, undifferentiated and volume-driven. Instead, successful payments providers, whether traditional or emerging, will be those:

  • Taking a strategic view of payments and “payment-proximate” activities, to devise and offer value-added solutions and products
  • Identifying markets and lines of business where payments are a prominent aspect
  • Updating their technology to deliver services and solutions in line with customer expectations, as opposed to internal operational silos
  • Actively targeting payment flows related to demographics, such as the compensation and pension flows linked to the baby boomer generation, or the emerging middle classes in China and Indonesia
  • Targeting high-growth and traditionally poorly served customer segments such as small medium sized enterprises (SMEs)
  • Exploring non-traditional alliances and partnership models, including strategic cross-sectoral partnerships with those they might not have considered previously (such as mobile or social network operators), to enable access to new client bases.”

And that the “successful payments providers of 2020 and beyond will be those taking action today. Those that do not, risk being left behind.” BNY Mellon are clearly setting themselves a standard for their further development and challenging their competitors, but, maybe, they should also look at how retailers are integrating mobile payments with their sales channels and how they are focusing on the whole omni-channel customer sales experience.

Macy’s and Bloomberg’s plans for omni-channel shopping service experience

Macy’s Inc, owner of the Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s department store chains, has unveiled plans to implement a range of new technologies designed to provide an omni-channel shopping service to its customers.

The plans include Bluetooth beacons in all stores, new mPOS terminals, support for Apple Pay and a mobile wallet app. Shopkick is set to supply 4,000 Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacons to be installed in all Macy’s stores across the US by early fall 2014, with activation beginning shortly thereafter.


A new Macy’s wallet and a Bloomingdale’s wallet are set to be integrated with the retailer’s main apps in November 2014, enabling Macy’s Star Rewards and Bloomingdale’s Loyallist program members to store and access offers and coupons virtually. The wallet can be used in-store, on the go via their mobile devices or at home through desktop interaction.

iOS app

A new Macy’s Image Search app for iOS is set to enable customers to search the merchandise assortment on Macy’s website by taking and submitting a photograph of any outfit, accessory or merchandise item they see in daily life. The visual search is set to take the customer to similar items on, where they can be purchased. The service is to be incorporated into the main Macy’s app in the future.

Omni-channel strategy

The new omni-channel shopping strategy also includes pilot tests of Connect@Macy’s Centers that let customers collect online orders; electronic kiosks and interactive “lookbook” displays that enables customers to purchase items with their mobile device; and others.

CTMfile take: The Macey’s strategy shows how it is the whole shopping/buying experience that is the real driver in payment systems. Faster Payments in the UK usage is continuing to grow fast because it naturally fits into so many different buying situations. Payment systems are just one part of the buying experience, and need to be integrated with other processes and systems.

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