Pandemic Pushes Retailers to Take Serious Look at Payments

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Saturday, September 25th, 2021

According to new research by 451 Research, part of S&P Global Market Intelligence, merchants that were positioned the best during the pandemic have one key thing in common: they prioritized payments within their business. 55% of merchants said payments are a highly strategic area of focus within their business. In fact, they went so far as to say that COVID-19 had had a positive effect on sales.

How? Having the right payment processing solutions in place allowed these merchants to quickly adapt over the past year. They had the ability to capitalize on emerging trends and satisfy customer needs.

Pandemic-Related Payment Processing Challenges

On the other hand, things became challenging very quickly for the businesses that entered 2020 without an adaptable payments strategy. Here are three big obstacles they encountered:

1. Fraud. As digital sales volume accelerated due to shifting consumer needs, many business owners found themselves tripping over a big problem. Fraud, and lots of it. Businesses in the early days, while grateful their e-commerce business was scaling, were hit with a shocking number of chargebacks. More than 67% of merchants witnessed an increase in the volume of fraudulent online transactions.

2. Limited Payment Options. The 451 Research study also discovered that 30% of consumers tried contactless payment methods for the first time over the past year. Many business owners found out the hard way that prioritizing cross-border activity is a must. As the uncertainty of the economy and pandemic restrictions continue, business should especially heed this shift. Consumers (78%) say they will simply go elsewhere if their preferred payment method isn’t accepted, and they are less likely to return to that business in the future.

3. Omnichannel Integration Challenges. Many businesses had to scramble to add experiences like curbside pickup and buy online. Others also added services like pickup in-store. The biggest challenge in implementing these offerings was the fact that most merchants surveyed (54%) said their commerce strategy is handled by teams focused on individual sales channels, not omnichannel. 73% of merchants now report that implementing a more unified view of customers is a top priority moving forward.

How to Boost Your Business’ Payments Infrastructure

One of the top things the pandemic has highlighted is the need for businesses to boost their payments’ infrastructure. The best place to start is to look at your payment processor. Do you have a partner that understands your business’ unique needs and challenges? Do they stay current on the trends shaping the payments industry? 

If you’re looking for the best retail merchant account available, be sure to browse the many reviews and information the team at offers. Discover the payment provider that meets your needs and has the reputation your business deserves.