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Growing Global Payments Industry Encourages Bold New Approaches to Transactions

NetworkNewsWire Editorial Coverage: In the increasingly complex payments industry, companies have to provide new products and services to prove their relevance. Net Element, Inc. (NASDAQ: NETE) (NETE Profile) is providing novel payment solutions to the events industry while also expanding its existing services into Russia, carving a space in previously underserved niches. Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN) uses its superior bargaining position to pass along the benefits of its corporate power to smaller businesses in the form of discounts on card transactions for those using its payment system. While Apple, Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) continues to its mark through technological innovation, testing out a payment system that allows customers to order and pay for products on the way to pick them up, Alibaba Group (NASDAQ: BABA) has made payment an integral part of a broader digitization strategy. Another industry player, Evo Payments, Inc. (NASDAQ: EVOP), offers payment processing with easy cross-border transactions to businesses around the world.

Payment Becomes More Varied

The global payments industry is thriving. As economies grow and consumer culture spreads around the globe, more and more financial transactions are carried out every day. Established businesses are looking for better ways to process those transactions, while new companies are looking for ways to easily process payments and improve both their systems and the customer experience.

The ways payments are made are also becoming progressively varied. Cash, once the standard resource, is increasingly rare as credit and debit cards, mobile payment systems and other forms of electronic transfer take its place. Blockchain and cryptocurrencies offer alternative payment systems that, though not yet mainstream, are starting to reach out of the internet and onto the high street.

In this context, payment companies need to innovate to stay relevant.

An Integrated Payment System

Global technology company Net Element, Inc. (NASDAQ: NETE) is among those offering new ways to manage payments. A specialist in mobile payments and value-added transactional services, the company operates through a number of subsidiaries to provide payment solutions to a range of industries.

One of those subsidiaries is Unified Payments, rated as the fastest growing company in America by Inc. 500 magazine in 2012. Its award-winning payment solutions provide customized options for small and mid-sized businesses. Using payment-specific devices, computers and mobile payment systems, it gives clients a wide range of options to receive payments.

Unified Payments recently launched an intelligent payment solution designed for the events industry. This enhances existing payment services to provide a better platform for merchants. Its integration of point-of-sale systems, self-order kiosks, chargeback protection and multi-channel payment acceptance creates a complete and smoothly connected payment system. Innovative programs such as “Fast Pass Funding” same-day service and “Zero Pay,” a cash payment discount program that lets merchants keep 100 percent of sales revenues from the events, provide added bonuses for those using the Unified Payments system.

With the events industry worth over $330 billion in 2016, and continuing to grow year after year, this is a huge opportunity for a payments provider like Net Element. Events companies will need payment solutions to deal quickly and efficiently with all kinds of payments, and that means finding effective modern solutions such as those offered by Unified Payments.

Blockchain-powered Payment

Net Element has also embraced one of the most powerful new tools for payment processing – blockchain.

Blockchain is a form of database that has become increasingly popular for payment systems. Originally developed a decade ago as the foundation of bitcoin, it’s a decentralized ledger system. When something is changed on a blockchain system, previously completed ledger records are affected, and past entries cannot be altered or removed without the awareness and permission of others working on the blockchain. It makes for more secure payments and record keeping, significantly reducing the chances of error or fraud.

Net Element’s recently released payments platform, Netevia, is built on this technology. Part of a set of recently announced blockchain solutions, it will provide a system in which merchants and customers are connected via the technology. Netevia itself simplifies payments across multiple sales channels through a single point of integration, tying together multiple payment systems. Various channels, including point-of-sale, e-commerce and mobile devices can all be brought together through Netevia.

Netevia isn’t just a single payment solution. It’s a system that integrates with multiple payment platforms to make everyday commercial interactions. Customers can customize it to suit their needs while benefiting from Netevia’s security and fraud prevention resources.

Net Element Chief Technology Officer Andrey Krotov explains: “Netevia was designed by developers with developers in mind. We put together all the building blocks needed for developers and merchants to integrate payments into their everyday commerce. The Netevia platform delivers a blueprint and easy to use tools for global commerce and monetization, saving developers and merchants time and money with one provider and one integration across all sales channels.”

Net Element earlier this week announced (http://nnw.fm/SKbg1) an extension of the Netevia platform to include a smart solution for enabling secure vendor payments (https://netevia.com/payable-solutions/) . With a lineup of advantages, including a mobile app and transaction security, Netevia streamlines B2B payments – a market estimated at $7.7 trillion a year, according to Statista.

Reaching into Russia

As well as providing new payment solutions to existing markets, Net Element is spreading its resources to new parts of the world.

PayOnline, another Net Element subsidiary, recently announced a partnership with Bank Sputnik in the Russian Federation. As a result of this deal, PayOnline will be offering a comprehensive multi-channel payment facilitator solution to small and medium-sized business owners in the Federation. The tools offered by this solution are not currently available from any other transaction processing company in the region, providing Russian merchants with options that they did not previously have. In return, PayOnline gains access to a market largely untapped by its western competitors. The Russian digital payments sector was worth $27.9 billion in 2016 and is expected to reach $39.5 billion in 2018. This makes the partnership an extremely lucrative opportunity for Net Element.

Like Net Element’s other products and subsidiaries, PayOnline provides merchants with access to a range of solutions to improve their payment processing. This includes a credit card auto account updater, multi-currency pricing, secured payments through tokenization of card data, advanced fraud detection tools, and smart transaction routing.

Access to the PayOnline system in Russia will be made easier by an API-driven platform. Each merchant can be enrolled into the program, approved, boarded and ready to start taking payments within only a few minutes.

“This innovative, turnkey solution offers frictionless onboarding for merchants with integrated, value-added services,” said Andrey Krotov, CTO of Net Element. “With customizable payment flows, full-stack API and value-added solutions, PayOnline exceeds the unique needs of software platforms and merchants looking to enable payments in a multi-channel environment.”

The Bigger Payment Processing Picture

As global commerce continues to grow, payment processing is becoming an increasingly valuable sector, with a number of companies vying to become dominant players.

Online retail giant Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN) is currently pushing to get more retailers using its payment system, in a bid to undermine competitors such as PayPal, according to Bloomberg News. In a strategy that’s familiar to long-term Amazon watchers, the company has put expansion ahead of immediate profits. Its huge financial clout lets it negotiate reduced fees on credit and debit card transactions because the finance industry wants Amazon’s money. Now the company is offering to pass that discount on to small businesses using Amazon Pay, giving them good reason to use its system.

Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) is expanding the appeal of its Apple Pay system by offering novel benefits to individual customers. The company has developed an advance order system that users can access to place an order and make a payment on the way to a vendor, allowing them to pick their purchase up with less hassle and delays. The system is being tested with drinks orders at the BottleRock music festival in Napa Valley. If it works there, it could provide a significant boost to Apple and the mobile payments industry.

The Chinese Alibaba Group (NASDAQ: BABA) is making advancements in payment as part of its New Retail strategy. The company aims to digitize the entire retail operation through a range of digital solutions that includes mobile payments. As electronic payment systems take over, it will be easier for the company to fully integrate its retail operations and to make itself one of the leaders in the digital payment field.

Evo Payments (NASDAQ: EVOP) provides payment processing for international businesses. Its integrated global solutions simplify payments across borders, a valuable asset for vendors working in the global economy. Its recently announced partnership with MONETA Money Bank extends its reach in the Czech Republic, as it seeks to provide services around the globe.

New payment systems are bringing benefits for businesses and customers, and as the global payments industry continues to evolve, Net Element has demonstrated its ability to identify and address key market needs.

By offering innovative approaches to this seemingly mundane transaction, innovative companies have the potential to take advantage of increased consumer spending.

For more information on Net Element, please visit Net Element, Inc. (NASDAQ: NETE).

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