NMI’s executive team discusses digital omnichannel dominance and many other predictions for 2024 in Payments 2024: NMI Executive Predictions and Insights for the Year Ahead.

Consumers want to shop how, when and where they want. The more convenient a checkout process is, the more likely they will choose it. For merchants, software providers and payment specialists, digital omnichannel shopping experiences aren’t just a differentiator — they’re a baseline requirement to compete in the market.

Omnichannel solutions merge various channels, such as online and in-store shopping, to create a unified customer experience. For instance, customers can buy online for delivery or pickup or shop in-store and pay on their phones to avoid checkout lines. That seamless channel integration also extends to mobile and unattended payments; it even allows customers to buy directly from social media posts without leaving the app.

Merchants and Providers Must Invest in Frictionless Omnichannel Experiences

Omnichannel commerce allows consumers to choose the most convenient shopping and payments experience. Consumer mobility and choice are necessary — especially for millennials and Gen Z. Merchants that don’t offer flexibility, speed and convenience may lose customers in the year ahead.

However, choosing the right omnichannel mix isn’t always easy. Merchants and payment providers must stay grounded during this digital omnichannel revolution.

“The lines of omnichannel acceptance will continue to blur across card present and card not present environments, leading to growth in solutions like tap to mobile and biometric-powered checkouts,” says NMI Chief Product Officer Tiffany Johnson. “We’re also going to see a stronger consumer desire for a unified online, mobile and in-store experience. It’s hard to truly master a seamless omnichannel payment experience, but consumers will continue to crave speed and convenience in their transactions, so the industry is going to have to move forward quickly.”

Luckily for merchants, payment technology advances make it easier to quickly deploy frictionless omnichannel solutions through partnerships with unified providers like NMI.

Cloud-Based Omnichannel Payments Will Reduce the Role of Specialized Hardware

Digital omnichannel commerce connects the distinct channels of a merchant’s business through the cloud. Cloud-to-cloud solutions make integrating disparate solutions like in-store POS (Point of Sale) systems and online ecommerce platforms easy and instantaneous. They also help providers manage the enormous amount of data generated that needs to be used, stored and secured.

Cloud-based payment processing turns most mobile devices into both a payment method and a payment terminal. Advances in data security and the ubiquity of high-speed connections allow smartphones and tablets to accomplish processes that were once limited to purpose-built payments hardware. In some cases, the seamless integration of online checkouts with in-store experiences could reduce the need for hardware altogether.

“I think we’ll soon see outdated payment methods become relics of the past,” NMI CEO Vijay Sondhi said. “The cloud, in conjunction with mobile devices, eliminates the need for specialized hardware. That offers real value to merchants from both a cost and operational simplicity standpoint.”

Less dependence on specialized hardware allows merchants to save money. For payment providers, however, hardware revenue could slowly cease. To counter unexpected losses, providers should prioritize reinforcing their software offerings and related support capabilities.

For more of the NMI executive team’s predictions for the year ahead, download Payments 2024: NMI Executive Predictions and Insights for the Year Ahead.

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