Bitcoin. ApplePay. PSD2…There are so many buzzwords about the future of payments, but the real revolution is the emergence of a set of fundamentals which I believe are the key to surviving in a redefined world of digital commerce. I call them my 5 ‘Cs’.

1. Consumer

It’s been acceptable for digital merchants to take off-the-shelf solutions for payments. Consumers were expected to find a way through – or not. I believe user experience is critical to success and that’s why payment solutions need to be flexible to align perfectly with a company’s brand experience.

2. Choice

More and more, customers want payment options to cater for what’s convenient for them at that time. Successful online businesses will give customers the ability to pay in the way that suits them best – whether that’s mobile, card and even cash via a local convenience store.

3. Conversion

Consumers are choosy, and will increasingly abandon shopping baskets if the experience isn’t quick and easy. Maximising conversion is critical to success. Whether it’s the design, the range of payment options or even the data requested, the payment process needs to encourage the consumer to convert.

4. Compliance

Protecting consumer credentials and identity should be as important to you as it is to regulators. A single data breach can undermine the reputation of an online business, there’s no room for error. It can be costly and complex, but ignoring compliance isn’t an option, which is why if you can’t do it you need to find a payment service who can.

5. Control

Whether looking to minimise fraud, maximise acceptance or keep costs down, the best businesses will optimise every transaction. The companies who do this the best are those using a data-led, rules-based approach to analysing transactions then applying different processing options to educate the outcome. “One size fits all” processing just won’t cut it.

I believe these are the fundamentals for online and mobile businesses to focus on in a rapidly changing environment, and can make all the difference between success and failure in the future. It might be a ‘C’, but there’s no room for complacency.