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From omnichannel. To unichannel.

The word “omnichannel” is losing relevance. It might have sufficed in the e-commerce landscape of five years ago, but today’s scenarios are vastly more complex.

The word “omnichannel” is losing relevance. It might have sufficed in the e-commerce landscape of five years ago, but today’s scenarios are vastly more complex. 

The big problem with omnichannel is that it isn’t nearly omni- enough – a sentiment I hear more often every day, as the realities of building and growing a global 21st-century payments business take hold. 

The idea that payments organisations can design their services around specific payments types for specific situations looks increasingly old-fashioned as the geographical and technological barriers between consumers and merchants become ever more blurred. Increasingly, merchants and consumers are asking us to be a single provider of payments services and resources. They want us to provide support for literally every scenario they might encounter, under a single roof. They want end-to-end service, from the time that an order is placed and received to the moment that it’s delivered. In effect, they want a unichannel – not another loosely connected set of tools for a set number of scenarios, but a single, consistent platform that gives them control over every present and future aspect of their commercial payments activity. 

Towards unichannel

Delivering this is, of course, non-trivial. Traditional Point-of-Sale (POS) and online card payments are small, but integral, parts of a bigger picture; today, organisations like Paysafe need to think about everything from more powerful and flexible terminal hardware to trends such as in-app payments, click-and-collect, prepaid cards, blockchain and more. We also have to take a huge variety of local preferences and geographic trends into account, from GOLO in North America to layaway plans in the Nordics, multiple alternative payments methods in Europe, cash-on-delivery in Latin America. 

And that’s just really the beginning of the story. We need to work with vastly different regulatory regimes across the territories where we operate, alongside dozens of currencies and foreign exchange platforms. We have to integrate and cross-reference all of this with every current and relevant payments mechanism. And crucially, we must think about what’s coming next; all the trends, technologies and companies that will matter whether in six months or six years. 

Our acquisition of MCPS

The big question facing the industry is this: how do we replace the fragmented set of tools that make up so-called omnichannel strategies today with a universal digital key that unlocks all the services that modern merchants need to compete and thrive? Paysafe has been focused on this question for two decades, growing organically and by acquisition to the point where we now offer a pretty amazing portfolio of products and services under one umbrella. Today’s acquisition of MCPS  is the latest iteration of that strategy – another step towards a universal payments platform that genuinely expands our POS activities across offline, online and mobile platforms and enhances our scalability within the North American payments ecosystem.  

Single set of digital keys

We’re well on the way towards becoming a truly universal digital resource, with that single set of digital keys for every client. Already today, Paysafe customers really can focus on their core business without having to worry about the tricky payments stuff around the edges; whatever, however or wherever they want to sell their products and services, we now give them the means to do it. 

The omnichannel concept looks increasingly outdated in a world where financial borders and barriers are blurring faster every day. Today’s merchants urgently need a truly universal and integrated approach to payments – a single set of digital keys that unlock a new universe of potential.