In recent months, there has been an increase in online sales in Serbia, and retailers are now much more interested in e-commerce than ever before. We talked to the Digital Channels Manager at OTP Bank, Vladimir Dornik, about the Apple pay service in Serbia, new payment methods and what awaits us as a result of the development of digitization and solutions.
What does the introduction of the Apple pay application mean for people in terms of cashless and card payments?
Apple Pay is a mobile wallet functionality that allows customers to digitize their payment card and pay by a smartphone or smartwatch without having to pay with actual money. As a result, the user pays bills by putting their phone on the POS device just as they would do with a payment card. Instead of typing their PIN in the POS device, users confirm their identity with biometrics, which is a safer and faster way of authentication during the payment process. In fact, when paying with a mobile phone with a card, the client is charged from the debit or credit card which they chose in the mobile wallet at the time of payment, because they can have more than one card ‘stored’ in their mobile wallet, regardless of the card’s issuing bank.
On the other hand, I would also like to underline that our customers, who have an Android phone, have been able to in the same way via the mCard mobile wallet since last year.
Participants of several online conferences have concluded that the coronavirus brought on the Golden Age of e-commerce in Serbia. What is your view of the current situation in the e-commerce segment in our country?
Retailers are now much more interested in e-commerce than ever before. Online shopping definitely takes precedence because customers don’t want to spend time in a physical shop if they don’t have to. Therefore, they choose stores that have a webshop and those that do not, they perceive as less competent until they start offering online shopping services.
In only three months, over 200 new retailers contacted our bank and wanted to find out more about the card and instant payments. Some of them don’t even have a webshop and are just planning to start one, but have still inquired about payment options. In a conversation with them, we learned that the Pay by Link functionality solves all their problems, because thanks to it, they can immediately sell their products and accept remote payment for them without waiting for their website to be set up.
How much do banks with an innovative approach and allowing new payment methods contribute to boosting e-commerce?
Innovative payment systems certainly contribute to the development of e-commerce as they make room for new business models, but they also cover business models that could not use standard functionalities to provide their services in an adequate way. As an example, I would like to mention a card on file option thanks to which customers can use CarGo’s services without fretting about in which way they are going to pay for a taxi ride or toll because the ENP device is now directly connected to their payment card. Also, thanks to the same functionality, they can order their favourite meal via the Glovo application without having to enter the information on their card every time, or finding the exact amount of cash to pay the delivery guy when he comes with the order.
What new projects will OTP Bank Serbia implement by the year-end?
OTP Bank will have launched a developer corner by the year-end, intended for retailers interested in e-commerce services. This platform will contain the required information about all e-commerce services, as well as a test environment that allows retailers to test what they are interested in. Also, the platform will make it possible to apply and submit all the necessary documentation for concluding an agreement on accepting payment cards or instant payment in the online store. The platform is a one-stop-shop for e-commerce at OTP Bank.
In November 2019, you talked about the topic interestingly titled as „Would you give your payment card to a drone“. What is your answer – yes or no?
You need to fill up a fridge or a car for it to have its use-value. Drones have the capacity to be used in farming, as well as for making payments for us. And that can only make us happier, save us time and reduce worries. The one thing that I will definitely miss is saying: “Hey, waiter, the bill is on me“ when I’m in a restaurant with friends because that will soon be regulated by a digitized menu in which everyone will pay for their order.