Competition is fierce, technology is evolving at a rapid clip, and consumer expanded preferences regarding how and when to shop make preparing for the upcoming holiday season for both merchants and acquirers a very different game than it was only a few short years ago. What remains the same, however, is the importance of the year-end shopping period to retailers' bottom lines.
Womply recently found that small retailers pulled in 11 percent of total yearly sales between Thanksgiving and Christmas in 2017. And in a new study, BigCommerce researchers discerned growing demand for advanced technologies among merchants. This need has caused some retailers to strategize further in advance than previously on how to deploy new tools and methods to maximize their share of spend by customers seeking gifts and other seasonal items over the holidays.
This issue's lead feature discusses how early strategizing is helping acquirers and merchants prepare to take full advantage of technologies at their disposal to crush the holidays and position them to begin 2019 far into the black. In the article, you'll hear from experts on how to boost engagement, leverage big data, reinforce security, manage cash flow and more. Experts also sound off on several other issues herein. Some are evergreen for our industry; others pertain to new and evolving developments. Among them are the advantages of knowing your competitors, setting up electronic benefits transfer payments, the enduring value of old-fashioned phone conversations, thinking beyond point of sale to point of interaction, and consumers' likely willingness to bear costs of paying with cards.
Along with our usual updates on appointments, acquisitions, partnerships, awards, research, new products, and other compelling developments in payments, we've included excerpts from recent news stories: AmEx under scrutiny for alleged foreign exchange scam; Consumers, issuers really love debit; WSAA 2018 charts payments' new horizons; Mastercard, Visa offer new terms to settle interchange lawsuit, NRF balks; Cash discounting gains momentum, backlash; NACHA takes steps advancing same-day ACH; and Stripe advances into POS, financing. You'll find the full stories, along with additional news under Breaking Industry News at www.greensheet.com.
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