Industry insights Read time : 3 minutes

Omnichannel: It’s not just for retail anymore


It’s not surprising that 2019 was another banner year for omnichannel adoption in retail, and 2020 is poised to be no different. However, what might surprise you is the rise in omnichannel adoption in other markets. What about omnichannel adoption in transportation? Or omnichannel adoption in healthcare? Or the unattended vending machine market? NMI has seen a 20 percent growth in merchants processing omnichannel payments, but much of that growth is happening outside of retail. Before you think your non-retail customers aren’t suited for omnichannel, consider the following.

Benefits of omnichannel outside retail

The concept of making purchasing easy for retail consumers, whether in-store across multiple locations or online from anywhere, not only increases sales, but it also improves the customer experience. With such great results, it’s no wonder that other markets are now seeking payment solutions that will make omnichannel a reality for them.

With a few small tweaks, the omnichannel model can produce the same benefits that we see in retail. The correct underlying backbone—provided by a single omnichannel payments provider—allows customers in any vertical to be tokenized, giving companies the ability to track and understand purchases, customer engagement, and more regardless of how, where, or when the transaction took place. Additionally, with a single payment partner to handle online and in-person transactions, managing such an omnichannel payments environment is easier than with separate payment providers for each sales/transaction channel.

Examples of omnichannel outside retail

Currently, one of the best examples of omnichannel outside retail is the transportation industry. When it comes to light rail and busing, customers historically had to go to a ticketing agent or kiosk to pre-purchase a pass or closed-loop payment card.

New open-loop payment solutions in transportation allow for a contactless credit card or mobile device to be used in place of a ticket to "tap on" and "tap off" when getting on or leaving a bus or train. Physical tickets can also be purchased from a ticketing agent at a POS terminal, via an unattended kiosk, or on the train ("tap on/tap off") itself. Virtual tickets can also be purchased via a mobile app.

The result is that the transportation company can sell tickets on a variety of different channels—in the above example, five different online and offline ways—using a single omnichannel payment solution to drive commerce. The results include happier customers who now have multiple payment options, and the transportation company has lower admin costs (having a single payment vendor) and access to valuable customer insights.

Beyond transportation, we’re seeing healthcare organizations and dental offices, already required to protect private information, moving to tokenized payment methods. This allows patients to remain anonymous while still making payments in multiple convenient forms—in-person, online, via a mobile device, and more.

Finally, the vending machine industry is now rolling out tap-to-pay and loyalty programs. Soon everyone will be able to use an app to pay for vending machine items from their mobile device as opposed to the machine itself. This industry is also now using proximity readers in the vending machines to sense when customers are nearby and push out notifications to increase sales engagement.

As you can see, with some outside-the-box thinking along with the right omnichannel payments partner, it’s possible to create powerful and ground-breaking solutions for your customers.

Contact NMI to find out how we can help you expand your solutions outside of retail.

NMI Team

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Find out how we can help you expand your solutions outside of retail.

Get in touch