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Retail and hospitality businesses struggle to cope with increased customer demand for new payment services

London, UK – A new independent research study undertaken by Vanson Bourne and commissioned by universal integration platform provider for the hospitality sector, Flyt, highlights the barriers and opportunities companies experience when future-proofing their business to meet customer demand. The research consisted of speaking to 100 IT decision makers across the hospitality, retail and travel and tourism industries to uncover the current state of customer-facing technology integration.

When looking into the drivers of integration, the research shows that there is significant demand from customers for better systems and solutions – and this demand is not tiring. In fact, where 40% of respondents felt increasing levels of pressure to deliver new payment solutions in the past 12 months, this is set to increase to 56% by the following year.

This pressure from customers for new ways to interact with retail, hospitality and travel and tourism businesses is leading to increased levels of complexity with their operations. Currently on average, respondents’ businesses are managing 6 user-facing payment solutions, which is set to increase to 7 in the next two years. However, this is adding extra complexity and leading to a lack of faith from IT decision makers in their businesses ability to deliver new payment solutions, with only three out of ten respondents expressing that they had complete faith in their company’s ability to deliver.

Further compounding the increase in payment solutions is the added level of complexity that these solutions bring. In fact, an overwhelming majority of respondents (97%) reported back that their company has faced – or is likely to face challenges when installing new customer facing payment technology. When asked to rank their top three challenges for integrating new technologies, the most common responses were not having the right resources (67%), smaller businesses and startups being able to adapt to new technologies more quickly (63%) and employee resistance to modernisation (61%).

Customer expectations of the retail and hospitality experience are changing rapidly. The rate of change, from contactless payments, mobile payments and now in-app purchases has dramatically improved the customer experience,” said Tom Weaver, CEO of Flyt. “However, this rate of change is hard for many businesses to keep up with. To ensure they can make the most of the opportunity to innovate, retail and hospitality businesses need to focus on integrating their systems. Through better integration, medium to large businesses can operate with the agility of a start up.”

This need for speed is further highlighted by the channels in which customers are able to interact with a business. The preparation to future proof businesses has been somewhat sluggish: when asked about mobile payments, 57% of those interviewed said they are planning to but have not yet deployed a mobile app that allows for cashless app payments to be made in a physical location.

Unsurprisingly, 100% of those who have either deployed or are planning on deploying a mobile app reported that there are advantages to offering customers this type of payment system.

It is clear that change is here, and businesses need to ensure they are fully prepared for it. Those that do can really capitalise on what is on offer. In fact, when we asked the same group of respondents who are planning to or have deployed a mobile app that allows for cashless payments, seven in ten (70%) believe that one of the advantages was an improved customer experience. However, this is just scratching the surface of what is on offer for those that really do successfully launch and integrate their systems together,” said Tom Weaver.

Having already helped restaurants including Nando’s, Gourmet Burger Kitchen, PizzaExpress, Wahaca and Mitchells and Butlers, to augment their bricks and mortar locations with technology, Flyt is on a mission to create time for businesses across the hospitality space. As a universal integration platform provider, Flyt makes it simple and hassle free for physical locations to install new customer facing technologies.

By utilising Flyt’s technology and expertise, businesses can install and connect multiple digital services together. This is enabling both large and medium sized business to operate in an agile and nimble way when deploying new customer-facing solutions. This demand for integration is highlighted with 100% of respondents agreeing that their company would consider trying more innovative system solutions to analyse customer data, if they were easier to install into their existing platforms.

This is only the start. Businesses who integrate all of their solutions together will be able to enhance their operations and deliver an all-round fantastic customer experience,” said Tom Weaver.

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