WorldPay’s Kevin Dallas tells TechWeekEurope how the UK is helping evolve a dynamic and growing online payments industry
Of all the benefits that the growth of the Internet and connected technology has brought us, the emergence of e-commerce and online transactions has to be one of the most significant.
From shopping to paying bills, millions of transactions are carried out online every day, but what are some of the challenges facing the companies that power this ecosystem?
Handling around 44 percent of all payment transactions in the UK, Worldpay is the nation’s leading payment provider. The company has a long history in this country, with a history dating back to the widespread introduction of credit cards, and was also behind the first contactless payments ever made here.
Nowadays, though, Worldpay has grown into one of the world’s largest payment companies, handling around 26 million transactions per day. The company has facilitated this growth thanks to its work in five main areas, Airline, Gaming, Travel, Digital Content and Global Retail, and plays a key role both in helping British businesses reach overseas, (counting Asos’s international launch as one example) as well as helping foreign companies (including Abercormbie and Fitch) enter the UK.
“We work with just about everybody,” Kevin Dallas, Worldpay’s chief product officer, told TechWeekEurope earlier this week.
“We’re always raising the bar.”
And it is this international reach which he believes sets Worldpay ahead of its competitors, as it can offer more payment types and the ability to process transactions in more countries than anybody else.
So how does the UK stack up against markets such as the US?
“There are definite differences that you see between the US and the UK,” Dallas (pictured right) says, “The UK is a far more sophisticated e-commerce market.”
This, he believes, is due to our willingness to wait longer for goods to arrive, due to the smaller scale of our retail industry – something our impatient cousins over the pond wouldn’t always be prepared to do.
And the UK’s standing as one of the largest e-commerce economies in Europe, despite not holding the same position when it comes to GDP, speaks volumes about customer willingness to adopt new payment methods, he believes.
“Payments are becoming ubiquitous and invisible,” he notes, using the example of paying for an Uber ride to show how quick and unconscious making online payments can be.
So what does the future hold for online payments? Dallas believes that as companies increasingly adopt multi-channel approaches, a major shift change is needed.
“We need to retire the name ‘e-commerce’ at some point,” Dallas says, noting that the distinction between the online and offline channels is “blurring entirely.”
“I think it’s time that e-commerce is just commerce again,” he says, “Everybody is becoming multi-channel.”
So instead, Dallas says we need to welcome in the age of ‘integrated payments’, where payments and identity become more closely linked, as multiple channels merge together and become one.
And with research out this week showing that cashless payments in the UK outnumbered those using physical money for the first time, it seems that companies like Worldpay, which has recently moved into Brazil and India in an effort to try and expand its horizons even further, will pay an increasingly major role in how we shop and spend money.
All clued up on mobile payments? Try our quiz!