“As online shopping, live selling, and social commerce continue to grow, the luxury shopping experience must evolve to be more immersive, customised, and secure,” writes Donal McGuinness (pictured), CEO of Prommt

Personalised experiences are the hallmark of luxury retail. When a brand tailors its offerings to match individual desires and tastes, it speaks directly to the customer, creating a unique and powerful connection. It’s not just about the product – it’s about how the customer feels when buying and using it.

Payments are a vital part of this experience. Often the final touchpoint, it can leave a lasting impression that can influence a customer’s decision to return. The payment journey is an extension of the brand, making it crucial to remove friction at checkout, and offer a choice of safe and convenient payment options.

By 2025, Gen Z and Millennials will drive 70 percent of luxury spending. As hybrid shoppers, they easily move between physical stores, online platforms, and virtual experiences. In addition, they expect seamless payment options across all channels, allowing them to engage anytime, anywhere. As online shopping, live selling, and social commerce continue to grow, the luxury shopping experience must evolve to be more immersive, customised, and secure. Businesses can capitalise on this trend by integrating pay-by-link features into social media and messaging apps, allowing customers to make purchases directly from live videos hosted by influencers and brand reps. Moreover, luxury retailers can offer remote personal consultations and follow up with secure, branded payment requests via SMS, email, web chat, and messaging apps, incorporating modern payment options like open banking.

To date, these payment links have largely been based on card transactions, however, more and more luxury retailers are now beginning to experience the transformational benefits that a Pay By Bank option offers. Based on the European Open Banking payments initiative, Pay by Bank is a game-changer for high-value transactions. There’s no hassle of card limits and expensive processing fees. It is a safer, faster, and more cost-effective alternative to time-consuming manual bank transfers, drafts, or cheques.

Less Fraud and More Cost-Savings

Open banking payments are a win-win for customers and businesses. Backed by the EU Payment Services Directive and the CMA 9 banks in the UK, it helps retailers cut costs and protect margins by significantly reducing high transaction fees, card fraud, chargebacks, and payment operations costs.

Customers enjoy a quick, secure, and seamless way to pay directly from their bank accounts. With open banking payments, clients no longer need to worry about mistyping lengthy account details. In a few simple taps, they select their bank, log in to their mobile banking app, and authorise the payment in a native environment. They have more control over who accesses their personal data and enjoy greater visibility into their transactions and account balances. Sensitive payment information becomes ‘invisible’, making it harder for fraudsters to exploit. Customers authenticate payments directly through their own banking app, with their personal information encrypted and safeguarded by industry-standard banking security. Unlike direct debits, the payment is initiated by the payer and pushed to the merchant, and not initiated by the merchant and pulled from the payer.

All providers of open banking solutions must adhere to stringent security standards to safeguard customer data. Open banking technology is safe because the banks themselves designed and built the API endpoints, which play a crucial role in verifying account information and facilitating payments between accounts. Initially developed for online banking, this technology has seen substantial investments in security measures over time. The expertise gained from these investments forms the bedrock of open banking technology.

Smarter Invoicing and Faster Payments

Traditional payment methods like manual bank transfers are slow and carry high operational costs. Merchants usually share their bank details in PDF format, making it necessary for customers to manually set them up as payees before making a payment. This process involves multiple authentication steps and the hassle of entering and verifying lengthy account numbers. Consequently, it causes delays in business communication, as sales staff need to coordinate with the finance team to confirm payments before shipping goods. Moreover, sharing bank details in this way isn’t safe and exposes sensitive data to potential misuse by malicious middlemen.

Advanced pay-by-link solutions facilitate smarter invoicing with merchant-branded payment requests, providing a direct link for customers to settle bills effortlessly. With preset payee information, payments can be authenticated securely in just a few clicks. This highlights how open banking can significantly improve businesses’ accounts receivable processes. Furthermore, with SEPA Instant and Faster Payments in the UK, open banking transfers are immediate, and all parties are promptly notified, so deals can be completed more quickly.

Payment Orchestration

With smart payment orchestration controls, luxury retailers can set automated thresholds to present their desired payment method, depending on factors such as the value, location, product, or transaction type. For instance, a jeweller could accept card payments for deposits and take the final balance through open banking. This enables customers to benefit from credit card protections, and the merchant to benefit from the lack of card fees on the larger balance payment.

Retailers can easily set automatic chase paths for failed transactions or where the cart has been abandoned, and present an alternative payment method to complete the transaction – via bank or card. This strategy allows them to achieve substantial savings on transaction fees and operational costs, while also mitigating card fraud and minimising chargebacks.

Open banking payments are the ideal choice for luxury purchases. Customers experience a seamless, secure payment process directly from their banking app, while merchants enjoy reduced processing and operational fees, as well as strengthened fraud prevention measures.