How Sports Direct is adopting the contactless payments trend

As we move towards Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO), social distancing will be the main focus and one trend that will be most prevalent is the contactless payment in the retail industry. We have observed the proliferation of e-wallets before COVID-19 outbreak, and this only adds on to the choices for consumers to choose from in making contactless payments.


In this new normal, the situation might be different for retailers. With rising options for contactless payments, this means multiple ways of receiving payments for retailers and they require a need to learn and adapt. At the front end, a cashier may be required to learn various ways to collecting payments, whereas at the back-end, the reconciliation of payments could be a messy process. Clearly, there needs to be a better way for retailers to simplify the entire payments and collections journey.

Enter Sports Direct

Sports Direct is UK’s largest sporting goods retailer by revenue and currently operates over 30 retail stores in Malaysia with 70 of the leading global sports brands offered.


With its key priority to elevate customer experience throughout their shopping journey, Sports Direct is relentless in their commitment of providing a compelling retail experience. This brings them to HSBC Omni Channel, a one-stop platform with a single interface for multiple payment types and easy reconciliation. Powered by cutting-edge technology, HSBC Omni Channel was implemented in Sports Direct as part of its efforts in reinventing the retail experience.


“The solution that HSBC offers to Sports Direct is a comprehensive one, which enables our business to adopt a single point of interface for payment acceptance covering both traditional and digital payments (cards, e-wallets) through a single platform, reducing the number of touch points in this ecosystem,” shared Paul Gibbons, Managing Director of Sports Direct MST Sdn Bhd.

Here’s how HSBC Omni Channel helped Sports Direct.

(Left to right – Paul Gibbons, Managing Director, Sports Direct Malaysia, Mathew Charlesworth, IT Manager, Sports Direct Malaysia, Vishal Karanwal, Country Head of International Subsidiary Banking, HSBC Malaysia)

1) One terminal for all payments

A common sight in most businesses, a cluttered counter top with multiple e-wallets QR code displayed and multiple payment acceptance terminals by the cashier. Sounds familiar? With HSBC Omni Channel, a wide variety of payments from e-wallets such as Touch N Go, Boost, Grab and Alipay as well as via conventional methods such as credit and debit cards can be accepted via just a single smart terminal. This not only makes it easy for Sports Direct’s customers but also reduces the complexity of handling different payment methods and processes for their in-store cashier. At the same time, HSBC Omni Channel works as a single payment acceptance which is fully integrated with Sports Direct’s Point-of-Sale (POS) system. This reduces the need for Sports Direct to train employees on maintaining different payment terminals and helps minimise human error (for example, keying in a wrong transaction).

2) Never lose track of payments

With the different types of payment channels, retailers often face difficulties in reconciling their reports. With HSBC Omni Channel, Sports Direct receives a daily report that captures transactions from all payment channels. This simplifies the reconciliation process for Sports Direct and enables them to keep track of any of the payments made in their stores. It doesn’t stop there! Sports Direct is also able to receive payments made by customers from all channels within the next business day. That means transactions made today will be banked into your business account the next working day. This certainly helps Sports Direct to manage their cash flow better.

3) Keeping up with e-wallets

With over 45 approved e-wallet providers in Malaysia, it will take a considerable amount of time and resources for Sports Direct to evaluate and implement each e-wallet. Imagine going through the hassle of negotiating and technical enablement with an e-wallet provider, let alone 45 of them! HSBC Omni Channel helped ease the journey of getting started with e-wallets for Sports Direct by consolidating all major e-wallet providers within their platform. In addition, Sports Direct did not have to individually enable each e-wallet as all are made available by HSBC in its Omni Channel platform. Keeping up with e-wallets is definitely easier for Sports Direct.

“As a market leader in digital banking, we are committed to innovate and always prioritise end user experience when it comes to designing solutions for them. Omni Channel is one of HSBC’s many new digital innovations to have been launched for our Malaysian customers this year.” said Shayan Hazir, Country Head of Global Liquidity and Cash Management, HSBC Malaysia.


With this innovative solution, it certainly helped Sports Direct in its digital shift to an easier, safer, contactless payment, and to deliver an unrivalled customer experience.

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