Marianne Salmans, Vice President Retail, Digital Payments at Nuvei
"[Localisation] means offering the payment methods popular in a given locale even if the merchant is located abroad and making sure each transaction goes through the acquirer with the highest chance of approval."
Founder: Philip Fayer
What does your company do and what is your USP?
Nuvei is a global payment technology partner. We provide full-stack processing to retailers around the world, removing payment barriers domestically and internationally and driving their business success. Recently, we went public and achieved Canada’s biggest ever tech IPO.
It’s hard to pick one unique selling point because we have so many! One is just how easy our technology makes payment journeys for customers worldwide. Another is our ability to localise our services in terms of customer experience, acquiring partners and payment methods. We’re very proud of our ’always-on’ philosophy too, providing over 99.99 percent system uptime throughout the year. But maybe our most important characteristic is being a truly strategic partner to our clients.
How do you deliver on this USP?
Quite simply, we listen to them - we’ve invested in our customer service and customer success departments so that we can really get inside our clients’ shoes and see what kind of payment strategy would work best for them. We’ve become very skilled at customising our services to fit around our clients’ specific needs.
We’re able to adjust our offerings because our systems are completely modular and acquirer-agnostic, providing an extensive suite of conversion-optimisation and fraud-prevention tools, and a plethora of third-party applications. With one integration, our partners can offer more than 450 local payment methods and nearly 150 currencies worldwide to their customers.
You mentioned 99.99% uptime? How do you achieve that?
We maintain high payments uptime with two backup data centres. If there’s any problem down the chain, our systems automatically revert to a backup. We also apply updates and carry out maintenance with no interruption to service. We’re able to handle tenfold volume spikes with ease, so we’re accustomed to processing shopping peaks like Singles Day, Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the Christmas season.
Retailers don’t want people stuck at the checkout and cancelling their purchases in frustration over downtime or any other bad checkout experience. It’s a huge conversion killer, especially now that so much economic activity takes place online.
How would you describe your vision?
Nuvei’s purpose is to make our world a local marketplace and we work really hard to achieve that. There’s so much more to localisation than people realise – it’s not just changing the language on a payment page! It means offering the payment methods popular in a given locale even if the merchant is located abroad and making sure each transaction goes through the acquirer with the highest chance of approval.
We are able to maintain high approval rates because we have more than 200 acquiring partners worldwide. Our smart routing engine is completely agnostic, cascading between acquirers to direct each transaction on the route where it’s most likely to be approved. This capability has a tangible impact on bottom lines, because transaction rejections can be very high if these connections aren’t there, and research shows that when this happens, customers tend to blame the merchant.
What new technology have you developed to support retailers?
Again, it’s hard to choose where to begin! One example is our proprietary (solution name/authentication engine) which handles all SCA related processes, while optimising conversion, enabling liability shift and providing security to our merchants and their customers. Customer Authentication adds extra stages to the payment journey, but we’ve streamlined the 3DS2 authentication process while maintaining full SCA compliance. It uses an exemption engine to provide fraud protection of a more precise nature, assessing each transaction and only applying SCA on those that need it.
To put it simply, we use technology to ensure a quick and easy checkout process – with one click wherever possible - because we know that nowadays customers have little patience for typing details or checking boxes. Seamless payment journeys build customer loyalty.
We further enhance the payment experience with tools like the automatic account updater (which keeps track of changing customer card data), Paylink (a mobile QR-code payment service), Dynamic Currency Conversion (which provides a transparent and easy-to-understand conversion interface), and many more.
What challenges do you see in retail today, and going forward?
The pandemic has further driven retail online and made competition fiercer than ever before, so winning customer loyalty is more challenging today than it has ever been. At the same time, these developments have given an additional boost to innovations in payment technology, and I think that a big challenge for retailers going forward will be keeping up with these changes. We believe that the best way to do this is with a payment partner that’s dedicated to its craft.
For example, as online sales have gone through the roof, so has fraud. Retailers are all too aware of the rising number of cases of fraud - identity theft, chargebacks, and so on. It’s vital for them to be up-to-date with their protections and to remain fully compliant even as regulations change, and this is only possible with specialists.
Nuvei combats fraud with risk-management tools like our customisable fraud engine, tokenisation capabilities, and Identity Manager. Chargebacks, the bane of online retailers everywhere, can be reduced and managed with our suite of dedicated products. Examples include Dynamic Descriptor, which lets retailers decide how to appear on credit card statements, real-time alerts, detailed reports, and integrations with third-party services such as Visa Order Insight that stop chargebacks from happening in the first place.
What advice would you give to retailers as we enter 2021?
That they should be aware of how critical the right payment strategy is to conversion and growth.
While it’s been fascinating to watch our predominantly face-to-face economy shift online to an ever-greater extent, working in retail payments has given me a unique perspective on how important it is to offer a unified solution that allows your customers to pay with ease and security wherever they are and efficiently supports your back office and logistics functions.
The fact is that payment strategy is no longer an incidental thing – it has a significant impact on your bottom line. Please don’t hesitate to contact me for a chat about how payment technology can help you grow revenue.
Marianne Salmans is the Vice President Retail, Digital Payments at Nuvei, responsible for optimising payment strategies for EU-based retail partners. With 14 years of fintech experience advising clients based in the US, APAC and Europe on their global payment strategies, she brings a wealth of insight and experience to the role. In her spare time, she enjoys golf, yoga, and travel.