With more and more talk about enhancing the customer experience, it’s inevitable that customer payment options will be on the agenda for discussion. And with a recent MasterCard report revealing that consumers are indeed pushing for new ways to pay, smart businesses need to be listening.
With mobile devices playing a key part in customer shopping journeys and the wider customer experience, it’s no great leap to see them as an ideal tool for facilitating payment. In fact, mobile payment technologies are already making life easier for many consumers, and the uptake is set to rise.
Apple’s ‘Apple Pay’ technology, for example, allows iPhone6 and Apple Watch owners to pay by touching their device to contactless pads; it’s been welcomed with open arms. Well, it has by consumers and by a long list of banks, but retailers appear to be less keen to get on-board. Research, though, suggests that such new payment technologies are here to stay, however reticent some retailers might be.
In a world first, MasterCard analysed 1.6 million online conversations about shopping and retail, over a 12-month period (2014 - 2015). The global social listening study then identified key trends, which offer unprecedented insight for retailers around the world.
Key findings indicated that consumer expectations are changing, indicating a desire for new and richer experiences, which will enable consumers around the world to shop at the ‘speed of life’. Amongst the findings was the fact that customers saw new digital payment methods as convenient and relevant in allowing this to happen.
Carlos Menendez, Executive Director for International Markets at MasterCard says: “The wave of social engagement we see every time new payment innovations are rolled out truly reflects the demand and desire for new and more convenient ways to pay. It also shows that payments have really moved into the heart of the shopping experience – causing frustration when not accepted and engagement when fast, easy and personal.”
Perhaps it’s phrases like: “every time new payment innovations are rolled out”, that cause retailer ambivalence. The concern might be that, with technologies advancing so quickly these days, committing to one could leave you out-of-date again in a matter of months.
Whatever, the cause for concern, it seems that retailers will need to join the discussion around payment options if they are to keep pace with consumer expectations and deliver the experience customers are increasingly looking for.
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