The Tale of a Merchant: Keys to convenience and loyalty



In this month’s Payment Collective we got hold of Eric William Pitts, who is heading up the new Payments Department at Sixt SE. He shares his opinions and experiences on the importance of mobile payments and which developments you should pay more attention to.


PCM: What are the most important questions that come to mind when selecting a payment partner/vendor?

Eric: Do the offered products serve our purpose and needs to their full extent? Is the offered solution scalable in various ways, such as:

  • Range of functions and features, pricing options and payment method acceptance for CP and CNP environments
  • Regulatory requirements such as e.g. EMV-Levels, PCI-PA/PTS, PSD2 etc.
  • Sustainability regarding the changing landscape of payments when it comes to e.g. Omnichannel-commerce and -payment
  • And 3rd pty services, provisioning services – instantly – via the utilization of APIs, thus enabling us to deliver instant interaction and robust solutions our customers have come to expect.


PCM: How do you ensure, as a merchant, customers get the best payment experience possible

Eric: Here at Sixt, we are constantly striving to improve our business processes and align them with the relating payment processes and features in order to offer what is required by our various markets and benefits our target groups.


PCM: In your opinion, how important is mobile now compared to the past three years?

Eric: This really depends on what “mobile” (e.g. commerce, payment etc.) stands for and which business you are in. Take Sixt for example, where we are continuously serving an increasing amount of customers via our mobile apps for car-rental and –sharing services. The use of state-of-the-art technology goes along with this without saying. Apps started out mainly with their sales pitch based on mobile payment. However, mobile is nowadays more an integral part of the customer journey for many consumers in regards to convenience and loyalty. Mobile Payment is certainly becoming more and more common (in differing development stages) through the expansion on the acceptance side, yet still differ in the various regions/markets and technology (e.g. NFC, QR, BLE). It seems that - for now - NFC is in the lead.


PCM: What role do mobile wallets play nowadays in the customer payment experience?

Eric: This depends heavily on which payment method the mobile wallet offers and if the necessary infrastructure is available on the broader merchant side. Mobile Wallets today – I believe – are many times still too proprietary (merchant-specific) and limited in features.


PCM: What do you look for in a Mobile Wallet partner?

Eric: Sixt has a clear focus on forward-thinking, innovation and sustainability, therefore integration options (i.e.“API-store”) and scalability are very relevant to us in order to accomplish an environment offering optimal results and groundbreaking products.


PCM: For all merchants out there, can you please give us a piece of advice as to how you can stay ahead of the game in merchant payments?

Eric: There are a few essential things that merchants should always be looking at.

  • Set up a dedicated in-house Payments Department today.
  • Don’t believe the hype! Balance pros and cons when talking to payment providers.
  • Train your staff continuously on payment acceptance! This will ease the adaption of new payment methods on the customer side.

Coming from extensive experience in our business segment and using our multi-facetted in-house know-how, we at Sixt believe that the above mentioned will greatly improve our customer’s “payment experience” and can help lower our payment cost.


About Eric William Pitts

Executive Manager, Payments at Sixt SE

Eric currently heads the newly established Payments Department at Sixt and is primarily responsible for their global payment infrastructure and processes; including point-of-sale-, online- and alternative payment-platforms. Experienced within the digital payment sphere, Eric has a strong history of working internationally with payment networks and professionals. Maintaining a knowledge base and having the latest information available on digital payment solutions is integral to the success and operational efficiency; something. Eric has devoted his career to since his transition into the payments field in 2009.


About Sixt SE

Sixt SE is a leading international provider of high-quality mobility services for business and corporate customers as well as private travelers. With representations in over 100 countries worldwide Sixt is continually expanding its presence. The Company’s strengths lie in the high proportion of premium cars in the vehicle fleet, its employees’ consistent service orientation and a good price-performance ratio.