The State Of Retail Payments — Outlook For 2019” is a biennial study by the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Forrester that profiles US enterprise retailers’ views and decisions about payments. It outlines key priorities and challenges for digital business professionals and payment decision makers. The role of emerging digital payments and how merchants are investing in new payment technology are also explored in this report.

Three key takeaways from the study are:

  • Fraud and security concerns still dominate payment agendas. For the past 12 months, fraud has remained the top concern for merchants, with 55% of those surveyed listing it as a top payment-related challenge that their team faces. Along with building a fraud prevention foundation, retailers’ top priorities include: the costs of acceptance, chargebacks, and new security and fraud solutions.
  • Customer payment experiences also are on the radar. The top initiative for payment leaders over the next 18 months is to better support omnichannel retailing scenarios. Retailers are not showing overwhelming interest for contactless. Twenty-six percent of merchants said they had no interest in implementing or enabling near-field communication (NFC) contactless technology in their POS. This disinterest is up from 2% in our 2016 surveying efforts.
  • Merchant-vendor relationships are on the upswing. Now that the issues surrounding the implementation of EMV (which were called out in the 2016 retail report) are largely resolved, the relationship between merchants and their providers has turned a corner. There are still some challenges that merchants face, including unavailable platform capabilities, insufficient reporting, and inexperienced support and developer tools while integrating.

To make sense of these payment challenges and trends that retailers will face and what we recommend to focus on, see the full report.