Elavon, a global payments leader, is helping Small to Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) reopen by offering new eCommerce and Point-of-Sale (POS) solutions as consumer behaviour changes in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
According to a recent Elavon-commissioned survey with Ipsos Mori, spending habits and customer journeys are evolving with more people seeking contactless payments and shopping online. Elavon’s capabilities in digital commerce were extended earlier this year with its acquisition of Sage Pay, which will now be called Opayo.
Almost two-thirds of UK consumers (65%) say they plan to prioritise spending on outings such as day trips, dining at restaurants and meeting friends at the pub in coming months, according to the June survey on consumer spending priorities.
As businesses reopen in phased approaches across the UK, the findings demonstrate the importance of considering consumer interactions to promote health and safety, full customer journeys as well as maintaining superior customer service. The processes for booking tables and rooms online, ordering food and paying for services is central to trading in these new business conditions. These are some of the capabilities Elavon offers through Opayo.
More than two-thirds of consumers (68%) also said that they would actively seek to use cards and contactless payments following the pandemic, confirming the need for businesses to be set up to manage an accelerated pace of evolution in customer shopping habits and payments preferences.
The survey found that more than half of consumers (52%) increased their spending online, and businesses had to move fast to match demand.
Elavon has been helping SMEs to adapt and increase online sales by moving to eCommerce amidst the closure of physical stores and businesses. One example of this is Lola’s Cupcakes, which transformed its operations from a pastry shop to an online grocery delivery service at the height of the lockdown. Customers could order through its revamped website, and had the choice of a number of different grocery boxes to suit their needs, delivered contact-free to their doors.
The number of businesses enquiring about eCommerce solutions rose 30% in May and 52% in June year-on-year reflecting an increased desire to bring their businesses online and diversify the way they serve consumers.
In March 2020, Elavon completed the acquisition of Sage Pay from FTSE-listed business Sage Group. Now Opayo, the rebranding reflects the increased focus on the expansion of the SME customer base and expertise in payments and eCommerce solutions across a wide range of sectors. The new Opayo name will be communicated across the UK in a campaign called Tomorrow Together. In 2019, Sage Pay’s payments gateway processed more than 700m transactions for over 50,000 merchants, online and in-store.
Sean Wilson, Managing Director, Opayo said, “This is an important time to be a trusted payments provider. As Opayo, Elavon will continue to help our customers to continue to grow, adapt and innovate. We look forward to combining our eCommerce expertise for SMEs with Elavon’s strength as a leading merchant acquirer, and helping our customers and partners adapt their businesses to be more resilient.”
Hannah Fitzsimons, President and General Manager, Elavon Merchant Services, Europe added, “We have supported our customers throughout COVID-19 by providing continuous operational support and by standing up the right mix of solutions to help them trade. We are seeing more businesses consider online, face-to-face, or mobile payments at the core of their reopening strategy in new and rapidly-changing market conditions.”