The way we live has changed. We are increasingly mobile and interconnected—not only to each other—but to the brands we interact with. So, it makes sense that the way we make payments has also changed. Emerging payment platforms support consumers when they need it, through integration with channels with which they already interact. Options like SMS, video chat, web & social chat, automated calls, and text-to-link ease friction in the customer journey and reduce corresponding merchant costs.
Mobile payments are leading the pack of payment preferences and are set to surpass $1 trillion worldwide in 2019. And, millennials are not the only ones to go mobile; nearly 70% of 45-54-year-olds, 51% of 55-64-year-olds, and 39% of the 65+ crowd currently make mobile payments. Why? Mobile payments are convenient. The customer journey becomes even more streamlined with proximity-based mobile payment platforms. Think Starbucks. The Starbucks mobile app allows customers to order, earn rewards, and pay in one convenient platform. In 2018, Starbucks Pay had 23.4 million users in the US alone. Similar platforms have seen the same degree of consumer uptake. Apple Pay follows close behind Starbucks with 22 million users, and Google Pay and Samsung Pay each have around 10 million users respectively.
Traditional online payment platforms have seen four times the growth of traditional point-of-sale payments in recent years, and merchants are reaping the benefits of this change in buying behavior. 73% of consumers have made an online purchase within the past 12 months, and—as a result—71% of merchants say their annual sales have grown through online & mobile channels. With sales growth at risk, the question brands need to ask is not if they should offer online payment options, but how fast they can deploy them.
So, what do you need to consider before deploying online payments? Security is paramount. If consumers do not feel safe, they will jump ship—37% of consumers have reported abandoning online purchases due to fraud fears. However, merchants who have taken initiative to ease these fears and enhance security features report a corresponding boost in online sales. There are several legislations that organizations must comply with before deployment. PCI compliance is the data-security standard, and applies to any organization that accepts, transmits or stores cardholder data. Though GDPR legislation applies directly to marketing data, it should still be considered, since payment data and marketing data can be interconnected. As communication and payment platforms become more integrated, the ability to capture and comply when a consumer opts-out is still required.
Before determining a deployment timeline, review your customer journey and decide what channels and use-cases would work best for your customers. You don’t need to be everywhere at once or introduce new channels to your customers—that will only cause confusion. Consider the platforms your customers already use and meet them there.