Backstage with Heartland
Heartland was founded in 1997, and has since been building its business solutions portfolio, service centers and sales team to support a long and growing list of clients. In 2016, Heartland was acquired by Global Payments, and Global Payments merged with TSYS in late 2019, making the group one of the biggest business solutions companies in the world.
Heartland provides service-driven commerce and state-of-the-art financial technology products and services to businesses. The company’s credo, “Entrepreneurs Respectfully Serving Entrepreneurs,” reflects its customer-centric approach to product development, sales and service.
Following are excerpts from our interview with Ammar Ahmed, Senior Director, Billing Solutions, Heartland.
Contactless will be an enabler in the future of payments
Q> There’s no doubt that the pandemic accelerated adoption of touch less commerce. Do you expect post-COVID contactless technology adoption and usage to continue to scale? What is the basis for your forecast?
Yes, since the pandemic our online portfolio grew 3-4x as more merchants were forced to offer contactless payment options such as hosted payment pages, text to pay, QR code payments, Apple pay, Google pay, and ACH. Payments Journal did a study on the use of contactless payment since COVID-19 pandemic and they discovered that contactless payments have risen 30% and 70% of those who were polled will continue to use contactless as their preferred method of payment.
Q> What attributes of contactless payments have made them integral to omni-channel commerce and cross-channel shopping?
Obviously, no contact is the biggest driver to making these integral to the omni-channel, cross-channel shopping experience. Contactless also provides less friction (no need to take a card out of your wallet) and easily allows customers to Buy Online and Pickup in Store.
Q> What new trends in omni-channel shopping behaviors are being driven by contactless payments?
New trends and behaviors being driven by contactless in the omni-channel shopping experience include: Buy Online Pickup In-Store, Buy Now Pay Later, Touch-less Self Checkout seen at many restaurants and retail stores, online ordering and delivery of groceries and increased utilization of food delivery services like GrubHub, Postmates and UberEats.
Emergence of 5G Technology
Q> What benefits and opportunities will 5G mobile technology present to merchants and consumers?
5G provides more opportunity to utilize mobile channels for shopping due to speed and proximity based interactions.
Q> While specific applications of 5G are still evolving, what are some near-term expectations for how it will transform our lives?
5G is super fast especially when compared to its predecessors like AOL and the evolution to DSL and Gigabit speed. To put it into perspective, 5G is approximately 100 times faster than 4G. The expectation is mobile speeds can reach up to 10GBs per second. So how will this impact and transform our lives? – Well, let’s take a look at just one of the use cases. 5G will assist in performing remote surgeries where a doctor can perform an operation remotely utilizing a robot as there is no latency in commands. That means we will truly have doctors without borders. Hospitals who are unable to hire or fly in specialized doctors due to cost or availability now can have access to those professionals which will have a major social impact on society.
Q> How can payments industry stakeholders leverage the power of 5G technology?
Payments can leverage the power of 5G to provide faster transaction speeds, improved security validations and quick delivery of alternative services.
The QR Code
Q> How are QR codes helping to advance touch less commerce?
QR codes have been around for a while. Unlike barcodes, QR codes are multi-dimensional which help touchless commerce and provide an easy way for merchants to redirect customers to invoices or hosted payment pages .
Q>What are some recent innovative uses of QR codes that you’ve seen?
QR codes have recently been used to provide server-less checkout, deliver digital menus and invoices. Due to QR codes using your phone camera to recognize, there is no need to have an app or dedicated scanning device.
Q> What are your near-term expectations for QR code technology?
This technology has been around for about 10 years, but was used as more of a novelty. Now, we see the technology expanding and becoming more adopted – driving new innovation in a touchless world.