Payment request platform Prommt became an approved supplier to the Company of Master Jewellers in late 2022 and attended its first Trade Event in March 2023. Here, Adam Ball, managing director UK at Prommt, explains how its platform empowers retailers to efficiently request and collect payments through card and bank transfer.
1. Can you give a brief background to Prommt and what you offer as a business?
Founded in 2017, Prommt is a payments request platform that is revolutionising remote payments for enterprises and their clients. We enable retailers to reduce costs and protect margins by converting remote payments such as phone payments into an easy, secure and more convenient way to pay via card or instant account-to-account bank transfer (Pay By Bank) that leverages Open Banking capabilities.
Covid-19 triggered an upswing in luxury retailers and jewellers adopting Prommt. Overnight, we saw new clients such as Selfridges, Lunns Jewellers and Bulgari adopt branded payment requests to help them sell while their doors were closed. Prommt became widely used as part of web chat purchases and consultations over the phone. A Rolex, for example, can only be sold as part of a personal consultation and can’t be sold as an online shopping cart purchase. Prommt enables retailers to offer online personal consultations and follow up with 3D secure, merchant-branded payment requests sent through SMS, email or chat. We help luxury retailers to drive profitability by significantly reducing card fraud and chargebacks, minimising payment administration, and delivering a remote buying experience that reflects their brand identity. Usage has continued to grow post-Covid as merchants recognise the value in the cost savings and enhanced customer payment experience associated with Prommt.
2. What are the benefits for an independent retail jewellery business to have a service such as Prommt?
Many luxury retailers’ staff use phone consultations and web chats for more personal shopping assistance to guide customers through their buying journey or to take a deposit. Similar to e-commerce transactions, these purchases demand a frictionless and flexible payment experience – one that doesn’t hinder the joy of shopping while protecting the customer and merchant from fraud.
Prommt converts risky telephone and other remote payments into a simple, secure, merchant-branded payment process, empowering retailers to reduce fraud, costly chargebacks and payments administration, increase data security, achieve compliance with PCI and GDPR/ UK DPA, and enhance customers’ remote shopping experience. With Pay By Bank, luxury retailers can significantly reduce costs with the elimination of card processing fees, decrease payment settlement times and further safeguard their high-value transactions against fraud by eliminating chargebacks altogether.
3. How does Prommt help eliminate card fraud and chargebacks?
Prommt’s Open Banking solution, Pay By Bank, reduces revenue leakage due to card fraud and chargebacks and delivers significant savings on payment operations costs. Open Banking payments use advanced encryption and real-time authentication methods to protect sensitive data, such as bank account details and personal information, from cyber-attacks.
Customers are redirected to their bank’s app for biometric authentication after confirming a purchase. There is no built-in chargeback mechanism – customers cannot dispute Open Banking payments, as it the Open Banking payment provider that executes the bank transfer on the customer’s request. Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) eliminates the risk of chargebacks, and as sensitive, personal data isn’t passed between you, your customers or your staff, the risk of compromised customer information is eliminated.
According to a report by Juniper Research (2023), the adoption of Open Banking APIs could reduce fraud by up to 61% by 2024. Open Banking is backed by the EU Payment Services Directive and is designed to ensure safety and security. Payments made through Prommt’s Pay By Bank are conducted using PSD2/Open Banking protocols, and protected by industry-standard banking security.
4. How does Prommt save money and time for retailers?
Traditional payment methods, such as credit and debit cards, often come with high transaction fees which can eat into a business’s profit margins. Pay By Bank reduces the cost of transactions by eliminating intermediaries such as card networks, and by streamlining the payment process by providing a direct link between the customer’s bank account and the merchant’s account. It eliminates the need for lengthy settlement periods and offers greater protection from card fraud and chargebacks, particularly relevant for higher value transactions.
Built for teams, Prommt excels at team management, access control and compartmentalisation. Key staff are alerted as soon as a payment is made, and comprehensive reporting is available to enable reconciliation of payments and accurate reporting. Prommt allows retailers to minimise payment administration and reduce manual intervention that ties up staff time chasing payments, by incorporating a system where face-to-face or phone consultations are followed by 3D secure, personalised payment requests, automatic receipts and notifications sent via SMS, email or chat.
5. How does using Prommt benefit a consumer?
Prommt empowers customers to feel in control of their experience with the option to Pay By Card or Bank and through multiple currencies. Payer benefits include:
- Fully branded experience – a seamless payment journey that reflects the merchant’s brand identity.
- Payment flexibility – pay through SMS, email, WhatsApp, web chat and more. Pay by card or through Open Banking.
- Trusted – https checkout page integrated to the merchant’s website. The ability to carry one’s brand throughout the payment journey builds trust.
- Express checkout – safely store card information with retailers you regularly transact with for a seamless shopping experience.
- Forward to payer – forward payment request to a third party who may be responsible for completing payment.
- Security – the customer is brought to a pre-populated payment flow, enabling them to pay from the comfort of their mobile device and the familiarity of their online banking app for authentication.
6. How would Prommt integrate with existing merchant payment services?
Many of our clients use Prommt as a standalone platform. Prommt has also been integrated with many ERP systems. We would advise retailers to get in touch to discuss their particular setup and how we can align with their needs.
7. Which/how many retail jewellers are you currently working with?
We are currently working with the following retail jewellers:
- David M Robinson Group
- Lunns Jewellers
- Banks Lyon
- Wempe UK
- Johnsons Jewellers
- Brown Thomas
- Jamieson & Carry
8. You became an approved supplier to the Company of Master Jewellers in October 2022. What benefits did you see of becoming a member?
The Company of Master Jewellers has helped us expand our reach and promote our brand within a target market that is very important for Prommt. We were delighted to attend the Company of Master Jewellers’ Spring Trade Event in March this year, where we met with a number of members and signed a new client as a result.
9. What plans does Prommt have for 2023?
The team at Prommt is continuing to expand its Open Banking payments footprint. Following a soft launch within a targeted customer base in July 2022, a wide range of clients have now adopted Pay By Bank as an optional and in some cases, the default payment method. It is a game-changer for many of our clients when requesting and instantly collecting high-value payments with zero card processing fees. A mix of verticals are embracing Pay By Bank, including retail, automotive, hospitality, and builders merchants, who, combined, are now processing millions through Open Banking. Luxury retail is also seeing significant uptake, high-end jewellery, watches, in particular those for which a standard web checkout is disallowed by brands such as Rolex.
With market conditions driving change and consumers and merchants willing to embrace change, Prommt is perfectly positioned to disrupt the remote payments market. In 2023, Prommt is set to grow its existing US customer base and push further into luxury retail, hospitality, sports services, and building material suppliers across North America and Canada. Expansion of the team is also on the cards with a recruitment drive in sales, marketing and product development, building on 2022’s growth.
10. Tell us something about Prommt that retailers might not be aware of.
Clients from a wide range of sectors have adopted Prommt’s Pay By Bank as a main payment method since its launch mid-2022, and it has helped process close to £30m in the UK and Ireland, and is growing at approximately 20% per month. We are seeing strong engagement within a mix of verticals including automotive, builders merchants, luxury retail and hospitality. Some of our key findings based on client adoption include:
- The average transaction value (ATV) for a Pay By Bank transaction (£2,390) is almost four times higher than the ATV for a card transaction (£675).
- The highest value transaction through Pay By Bank so far has been a car purchase for £54,000, and within luxury retail was £34,000, both driving huge savings for the merchants through reduced transaction costs and faster payments settlement.
- Pay By Bank is replacing cumbersome, manual bank transfers and some larger card transactions. The elimination of card processing fees for high-value transactions reduces payment operations costs and offsets the threat of any further increases in card fees.
- Cost reduction and fraud prevention are key drivers for the accelerating adoption of Pay By Bank.
- Prommt has a set of orchestration controls that enable merchants to set value thresholds for transactions and present a combination of card and/or bank checkouts, depending on the value of the transaction. Merchants have been able to seamlessly nudge customers toward Pay By Bank for larger transactions without any impact on conversion.
Overall, Pay By Bank is enabling merchants to protect margins, which is particularly relevant in the face of a challenging economic climate. In addition, it offers an easier, more streamlined process of accepting bank payments in comparison to manual bank transfers, resulting in further reduction of operational overhead.