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Technology is impacting every industry and the payments sector is no exception. The availability of digital platforms such as smartphones, tablets and mobile applications means customers’ expectations of how they transact with businesses is changing.

“Digitalisation is a key component and driver in the payments industry. In response to evolving customer demand, banks and financial institutions have invested heavily in the digitalisation journey,” says Samer Soliman, Managing Director, Middle East at Network International, a leading payment solutions provider in the Middle East and Africa region.

N-Genius is built around user experience and customer convenience Image Credit: Supplied

Demographic shift

The change in customer expectations comes amid a global demographic shift as millennials are about to be surpassed by Generation Z. By 2019, Gen Z will comprise 32 per cent of the global population of 7.7 billion, nudging ahead of millennials, who will account for a 31.5 per cent share, according to a Bloomberg analysis of the United Nations World Population prospects.

“Smartphones and social media are second nature to the connected generation, they are ‘always on’ and expect the same of the businesses they interact with,” says Soliman.

According to the report Rise of Gen Z: New Challenge for Retailers by consultants Ernst & Young, Gen Z is highly educated, technologically savvy and judge everything by the quality and speed of their experience. They demand instant and seamless service in all areas of their lives, including payments.

To provide customers with a frictionless experience, checkout processes are becoming truly seamless.

Network International’s new N-Genius payment platform allows businesses to transform the way they manage and accept payments, both in-store and online. “Our new platform is built around user experience and customer convenience, enabling merchants to accept payments anywhere their business takes them without compromising on security, speed and convenience,” says Soliman.

Samer Soliman Image Credit: Supplied

Customer experience

With Gen Z and millennials expected to propel a new era in consumer loyalty, customer experience will be at the heart of payments evolution. This is where N-Genius goes beyond just payments. It gives businesses an intuitive payment technology platform to create better customer experiences. "The whole customer experience is a key component of what we’re doing, we examined customers’ payment journeys in detail, while creating this platform," says Soliman.

It accepts all major credit cards in addition to contactless and mobile wallet solutions such as Apple Pay and Samsung Pay, and is equipped to handle new payment solutions such as Alipay and integrated solutions for enterprises. Supported by Android, N-Genius is designed to keep up with the fast-changing payments landscape, and gives our merchants fast access to the latest capabilities with minimum intervention.

The platform also supports e-commerce, with capabilities for seamless online payments and web stores. “Acting as an omnichannel platform for merchants, we have introduced new online capabilities, which include giving our customers the tools to build a webstore with more than 60 predesigned templates,” says Soliman.

Paul Clarke Image Credit: Supplied

Modern design

The device’s sleek, modern and minimalistic design is also aimed at enhancing the customer experience, says Paul Clarke, Group Head of Product and Innovation at Network International. Its large, simple, intuitive touchscreen offers an enriched user experience, a big step up from hardware-based terminals currently in the market.

“The touchscreen is different from anything we have ever seen before in the UAE, so it is highly intuitive for customers to use and can provide them with a whole host of information,” he says. “The lighting can be changed for darker or lighter situations so it is much more user-friendly.”

“It is 3G and Wi-Fi enabled, which means it can take transactions in anywhere with a signal, anytime.”

N-Genius comes in a range of different sizes, from small devices that use electronic receipts and SMS to large pay-at-table devices, making it ideal for retail and hospitality firms that want to offer anywhere, anytime payment convenience to their customers.

Integrated solutions

For retail and hospitality clients, N-Genius offers solutions that allow till systems to be fully integrated into the platform by a simple API. “We’ve made it really simple for clients to connect and integrate their software. Our merchants can pick up the platform and plug it into their integrated solution really easily so they get all the benefits the N-Genius platform provides," says Clarke.

This means hotels and restaurants can use N-Genius to consolidate their payment processes and offer guests a seamless payment experience from check-in right through to check-out.

Customer on-boarding is also much easier with N-Genius, says Clarke. “We have introduced a capability that allows customers to be on-boarded digitally, reducing the time it usually takes from about 14 days down to 24 hours.”

“We also provide our customers with a mobile optimized self-service portal so they can log on anytime and access statements, transactions, perform refunds plus a whole lot more, for which they would have previously done via the call centre or e-mail.”

Secure and trusted

N-Genius incorporates a high level of protection with the latest payments card industry software. “N-Genius offers a tokenised platform, in addition to the 3D-secure capability that we already have for our online business. The key reason for us investing in these security protocols is to ensure our customers can do more business while protecting them and the cardholder,” says Soliman.

”N-Genius helps an increasing number of UAE businesses enhance their proposition and customer experience and we think it’s only a matter of time for it to become the preferred payments platform in this region,” concluded Soliman.

For all enquiries on N-Genius, please go to: https://www.network.ae/en/contents/view/n-genius