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Exploring all things great about the UK’s North and what makes it unique in retail and eCommerce

Categories: FinTech

Colin Neil, Senior Vice President of Business Development, Adyen

Manchester. Home of the industrial revolution and the co-operative movement. The city is rightfully known as a city of culture, with prominent figures in the world of music, art, and sport.

Why Manchester?

Adyen has been in London for a few years now, with great success. With that said, we’re seeing lots of great opportunities in the North and in Scotland. The North of the UK is attracting businesses of various sizes that are flexible and utilizing next-generation technology in response to changes in the way we all shop.

Manchester is an absolutely amazing city full of self-belief and warmth. It's also well connected to other major cities in England and across the border into Scotland. Adyen is global but we love to think locally and work closely with our partners.

What should retailers keep in mind in 2018 and beyond?

For me the message is an easy one. Payments are frequently seen as a commodity - where retailers look for the cheapest price. It’s often assumed that lower transaction costs mean more profit - right? Wrong.

How a retailer processes payments is integral to how that retailer develops, especially when today’s shopper expects retailers to be open and in-stock all of the time. Retailers don’t give goods away, they expect customers to pay and, in turn, the customer expects the payment process to be simple. How often have you typed in your payment card details while shopping online and something has gone wrong? It doesn’t really matter how much that transaction would have cost - the business has lost the sale, and maybe future sales, to a competitor.

The UK is progressive when it comes to retail, are there any developments in the sector that you’re particularly excited about?

What really excites me are retail brands that have embraced digital technology to ensure they remain agile and relevant to their customers. Take Scottish retailer Schuh as an example and check out their Kiosk when you’re next in store. A full self-service experience; you can identify the shoe you want, pick a size, colour, see if it’s in stock and pay. The shop assistant will bring you the shoes and you’re all set. This is a great example of how we work together to deliver self service and convenience with our retailers.

The China Daily reported on the aspirations of Manchester to be the UK’s ‘most WeChat friendly city’. How do you think this will manifest itself?

There’s no doubt that Manchester businesses will respond with enriched and technically curated shopping experiences for Chinese visitors. Northerners love to extend a warm welcome to visitors. And of course, the city’s retailers won’t want to miss out on the opportunity of catering to international shoppers with local payment methods.

Let’s think about the tourist journey and what’s possible with apps like WeChat.

From the airport to the hotel, with the WeChat app they can receive automatic updates of the next available train to the city centre and buy the tickets in one click. While they’re on the train, they can find out which restaurants are available nearby. After dinner they can tap and pay from the app and then rate their meal for a loyalty bonus. The same applies to shopping, bars, and even the tax-free form prior to leaving.

Source: Adyen

If you’re attending FinTech Week Silicon Valley, click here to book a meeting with Andrew Toolan, Head of Financial, Professional and Business Services, MIDAS and find out how Manchester, Europe’s top city for business competitiveness, can help you. If you’re not going to FinTech Week Silicon Valley, you can always get in touch with Andrew here.

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