MAG 2023: Advocacy Is Key to Keeping Up to Speed in the Payments Industry

A key theme at MAG in Atlanta this year was the importance of advocacy and technological adaptation. Read how merchants can stay competitive!
by Justt
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Published: October 2, 2023
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A deep understanding of market trends and consumer behaviors in the payments realm is more vital than ever. Managers and leaders stand at the epicenter of this transformation, tasked with the dual responsibility of fostering innovation within their teams and guiding their organizations to adapt to these shifts with agility and foresight. At MAG Atlanta this year, advocacy and technological adaptation were prevalent topics across almost every session, with the primary goal of ensuring the thriving of payments & eCommerce teams in this dynamic environment.

The payments ecosystem, particularly in eCommerce, resolutely requires an agile and anticipatory approach to business strategies. In this context, the role of advocacy emerges as a potent tool for leaders to cultivate a culture of continuous dialogue and collaboration, where ideas and insights are not just welcomed but integrated into the broader organizational narrative.

We at Justt seek to advocate for industry professionals to harness technology as a linchpin to streamline processes, minimize risks, and foster an environment that is resilient and forward-thinking, setting the future up for growth and excellence in the payments domain.

1. Evolving Shopping Preferences

Let’s first identify market behaviors that quite clearly stress the need for advocacy within the payments space. In recent years, consumer preferences have transitioned markedly, fueled by advancements in technology and changing demographics. Customers now seek seamless, quick, and secure transactions, which necessitate that eCommerce and payment platforms evolve at a similar pace. To stay relevant, businesses need to invest in studying these shifts meticulously and adapt their strategies to align with new consumer expectations.

2. Flexible Payments & Digital Wallets

The growth trajectory of mobile payments, digital wallets and BNPL is a testimony to how consumer behaviors continue to evolve at such a rapid rate. For example, in North America, already over 47 percent of merchants with revenue above $50 million per year offer BNPL at checkout, according to the 2023 Justt Chargeback Pulse report. Meanwhile, close to 53 percent of U.S. consumers have used BNPL over the past 12 months, according Justt’s Comparing Consumer Attitudes Towards Chargebacks in 2023 report. These platforms (mobile payments, digital wallets and BNPL) offer convenience and security, elements that are becoming fundamental to transactional relationships. It's imperative to foster a deep understanding of these platforms, not just as transactional mediums, but as tools that have the power to redefine the merchant-consumer relationship with emphasis on customer experience and loyalty.

3. Importance of Data-Driven Insights

Harnessing data effectively can provide invaluable insights into customer preferences and buying behaviors. Properly using proprietary data analytics allows for the creation of hyper-personalized experiences and facilitates informed decision-making processes, forming a vital component in keeping pace with the rapidly changing landscape of the payments industry and consumer expectations.

The Role of Managers and Leaders in Shaping Teams

Managers and leaders are central in fostering an atmosphere where teams can actively participate in organizational conversations instead of limiting them to a department. By encouraging open dialogue, leaders can ensure that teams are not only heard but are included in shaping strategies and policies. It's vital for everyone within the organization to evolve a culture where feedback is welcomed, and diverse perspectives are valued.

When it comes to building out a robust team, it requires a multifaceted approach that takes into account the unique skills and strengths of individual team members. Leaders need to identify and nurture these skill-sets in order to successfully create a collaborative environment where teams can learn from each other and grow together; thereby contributing to the broader company goals more effectively.

Advocacy plays a crucial role in bridging the gap between teams and senior management. Team leaders must consistently champion the needs and concerns of their teams, ensuring that they are represented in organizational decisions. This is best accomplished when team leads first solidify their own credibility in the eyes of the broader organization, therefore, making it easier to advocate and loop in the voice of their team to the conversation - even if the team can’t be present when the time arises.

Technology as a Catalyst for Streamlining Processes

Automated systems have emerged as essential tools in streamlining payment and eCommerce operations. These systems can facilitate faster transactions while also significantly reducing the risk of errors both for customers and teams. Implementing automated payment solutions can thus contribute to more efficient and secure operations, meeting the growing demands of consumers for swift and secure transaction experiences.

Yet often, with the newness of these solutions, teams are unaware that they exist! One of the strongest forms of advocacy can start within the team itself by empowering team members to explore the market for new and noteworthy technologies. Leaders should work towards incorporating technology advocacy in team development plans, as now the entire team is able to collaborate and pinpoint the right solution for their specific workflows and business needs.

Technology stands as a vital enabler in empowering teams to innovate and execute strategies at a faster pace. But teams often don’t feel confident enough to explore solutions that will enhance their own productivity out of fear of either being replaced by it or going against the vision of the managing parties. By integrating conversations around technology into daily operations, teams can start to think more strategically and confidently about streamline processes, thereby freeing up time and resources to focus on better impacting the company’s strategic goals.

Start today, or risk falling behind

It’s increasingly clear that advocacy and technology adoption are not merely optional strategies but essential pillars that sustain growth and innovation. Managers and leaders bear the significant responsibility of evolving environments where teams can thrive, characterized by open dialogue, collaboration, and a forward-thinking approach to technology integration. Industry professionals can pave the way for a future where growth and excellence are not just envisioned but realized in the payments domain. By embracing the principles of advocacy and technological adaptation, we can all stand at the cusp of a new era, marked by resilience, efficiency, and the unprecedented opportunities for growth in the payments industry.

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