Disruption in the financial services industry is evident in global innovations changing the way consumers and businesses engage with each other. This means we have to work closely with our clients, often collaboratively, to build solutions that are truly meaningful to them. In the dynamic world of franchising this can often mean coming up with simpler ways to help the business get paid or drive new customers into their stores.
The shift towards mobile payments is a huge trend at the moment. Consumers are spoilt for choice with the variety of ways to pay in physical and online stores, and through in-app purchases. We see quick response (QR) codes, contactless payments (NFC) and mobile and eCommerce solutions growing in scale as customers start shifting towards using their cellphones to make purchases.
QR codes have a massive role to play in mobile payments, with transaction information easily stored behind these two-dimensional barcodes, which simply need to be scanned to initiate a payment interaction.
In this regard Nedbank‘s partnership with Mastercard is showing great growth with the Masterpass™ mobile payments solution.
We also see the concept of omni-channel retail being a big deal, with stores that used to be limited by location, through brick and mortar, now also having eCommerce and potentially app interfaces to connect to their customers.
Alternative lending for business growth is another hot topic. In 2016 Nedbank launched GAP Access™, an innovative offering that enables businesses to access cash advances to bolster their working capital. Instead of monthly lump sum repayments, the advance is reduced daily through a settlement directly from the payments received through the point-of-sale device.
These trends, along with big data and some others, are all key to the evolution of the franchise business in the new digital era.