– Retail, gastronomy and event industry were hit hard by the lock-down and continued restrictions on contact in the wake of the corona virus
– At the same time, contactless payment experiences an unprecedented push
– Mobile services are on the advance and with them mobile payment via terminal or app
– Consolidation of the international payment business under CCV GmbH
We ask Christine Bauer, Vice President International Sales of the payment service provider CCV, which has been firmly established in Germany for 25 years and internationally for 60 years.
Mrs Bauer, CCV has been on the market for a very long time, both in Germany and internationally – how do you assess this crisis in the context of other storms that have already been weathered?
I myself have been with CCV for over 20 years and cannot remember anything comparable. We were all caught more or less cold and torn from our comfort zone. Commerce is our heart, our DNA. We were very moved by the closures, some of which are still going on in the catering and event sector and whose consequences are so far-reaching. Through our direct contact to the retailers, we have been able to experience many of the individual fates and hardships very closely.
What would you currently advise traders, especially those who are still struggling with restrictions?
Without wanting to arrive with platitudes: Clearly persevere and, if possible, open up new business opportunities with new ideas. For example, we offer our direct customers of our commercial network operation a changeover service from stationary to mobile terminals, which has been very well received. There is also strong demand for our CCV Shop, i.e. the rapid creation of an online shop to offer goods to customers online. On the event side it is of course difficult to find alternatives.
What about the self-service industry, what developments do you see here?
Even though some projects in this area are currently being started or continued with a delay, we see even stronger growth in the future. The vending machine works without personnel, regardless of the industry, and is therefore a self-sufficient sales area. This is a great advantage, also in terms of readiness for another wave of Corona or other uncontrollable influences. Cashless payment, to return to the CCV component, is also more important than ever.
How do you think the payment landscape will change after the crisis? What remains, what goes?
The question of “after that” is a concern for all sectors. For us as a payment provider, a positive aspect is the continuing demand for contactless payment, which has meanwhile been proven by studies. This is also a continuing trend because we as a society will and must continue to pay more attention to hygiene. Providers who have switched to online sales will continue to do so in the future, so that we as consumers will in turn have more shopping options and choices. The topic of delivery services in the food sector is also currently experiencing a boom, which – provided that this proves to be convenient and useful in “normal” everyday life – will certainly also be maintained. To this extent, payment via app or mobile terminal will increase. We are working on a concept that upgrades your own smartphone or tablet to a payment terminal – this will prove to be very useful in this area.
How is CCV itself dealing with the crisis?
We have switched our production to two-shift operation and, together with our suppliers, have drawn up emergency plans to enable us to react quickly. Via newsletter we try to inform our customers about our special services and also provide them with tips, e.g. on disinfecting the terminals. Furthermore, almost all colleagues are still in the home office.
You recently announced the change of name to CCV GmbH – the international payment division of CCV Group. What is the aim of the new company?
For many large projects, international availability is becoming increasingly important. By merging the “Self-Service” business unit with the former CCV Deutschland under the umbrella of CCV GmbH, we can not only offer internationally applicable solutions and support, but also take account of the “omni-channel” issue. As CCV GmbH, we can cover all aspects of point-of-sale, from online to offline, from served to unattended, including individual developments, for major customers.
Let’s make payment happen!