A Startup Canada podcast hosted by Dr. Sean Wise

| November 13, 2018 | Grow Sales, Technology

The digital, online world is impacting what we can do today. From how we connect with others, what we consume and even the ways we shop. With more and more online stores and the skyrocketing rates of e-commerce platforms, the behaviours of us as consumers are ever changing.

We are saying goodbye to cash and coins and waving hello to more ways to pay than just plastic cards. Digital payment methods are on the rise, so much that we often do not need to leave the house with a wallet, a physical one that is.

Iain McLean is the Senior Vice President of Market Development at Mastercard in Toronto, and with a background in ecommerce shops and sales, Iain knows that a cashless economy is closer than we may think.

Electronic payments are replacing cash because of online businesses. Walk us through the merchant side and the user-side benefits of the cashless economy.

IM: We see a continuous trend with e-commerce representing a greater share of our businesses, allowing faster growth in comparison to the rest of the market. In terms of the broad aspect of card accepting, cash is often perceived as free which most business owners, when they think about it, will notice there is a cost when banking cash. People go out with a card, and typically not with a specific amount of cash in their pocket.

What does going cashless mean for entrepreneurs and their businesses?

IM: I think it is essential. Customers and consumers expect to pay with cards online and offline. I think the levels of consumer confidence that we associate with sending off a cheque, or money through the mail are not high. I would say that going cashless is a necessity, it is what consumers will expect and I think business owners of e-commerce platforms also know that.

Cashless buying is not only online, we have restaurants who participate in this as well, like MadRadish and more and more businesses. What do you think is driving this trend? 

IM: We have seen a big shift in terms of the overall proportion of businesses in Canada, e-commerce versus card- present businesses. Within the bricks and mortar retail space, I think merchants are really seeing the value that is added as the proportion of payment card transactions increase. From a check out perspective, it is great and is a way to deliver a product to consumers very fast.

What is the ideal customer payment experience that every entrepreneur should implement to avoid shopping cart abandonment?

IM: It is important to keep the number of steps involved in paying, as short as you possibly can. You make is simple and clutter free and remove any barriers that you can. To give an example, Mastercard’s produce Masterpass allows shoppers to register their information once and then they can use a name and password to check out at any location that allows this product all across Canada. It is the way that the world is going, merchants are operating in ways that make the check out process very very easy by capturing your information once, and remembering it.