In the past, the importance of payments as a vital customer touchpoint was often ignored. However, with the rise of sophisticated payment solutions, your customers have become tech-savvy. They expect brands to provide them with multi-channel, real-time support and give them the opportunity to make purchases irrespective of their device and location.
Therefore, we can freely say that the efficiency of payments is a key piece of the customer-brand interaction. It directly impacts customer experiences and determines whether they will buy from you and return in the future.
However, when optimizing your payments system, you need to keep in mind that the trends are constantly changing. And, to provide seamless experiences and outcompete your industry rivals, you need to stay on top of them.
2018 has seen the rise of numerous payments trends, such as real-time payments, the blockchain, e-wallets, voice recognition payments, and AI.
Which payment trends will help you boost your sales in 2019? Let’s see!
Putting Focus on User Experiences
With the rise of the World Wide Web, staying competitive is now more difficult than ever. The number of your competitors using the same marketing tactics and targeting the same audiences keeps growing in the digital landscape. And, your customers are aware of that. If they’re not satisfied with the buyer experience you provide, they will leave you for your competitors.
We’re living in the customer-centric era. Every aspect of our business, especially payments, needs to be tailored to their needs and preferences. Today, payments are a strategic move that engages your customers and increases their likelihood of converting.
This is exactly why providing customers with multiple payment methods will stay paramount in 2019. According to a comprehensive study, over 1/3 of US-based online retailers emphasized that offering multiple payment options to their users was their priority. In 2019, greater stress will be put on local payment options that will cater to your international customers and minimize cart abandonment.
This will lead to the further development of cloud-based payment platforms that enable faster interaction between a company and a customer. For example, direct debit solutions give your customers the opportunity to use different payment methods, complete transactions via multiple devices, and track their payments in real-time. Automated communications and real-time problem solving will increase user experience and get them to pay you faster.
When it was rolled out in 2014, Apple Pay proved that it is possible to use a smartphone instead of a credit card or cash during transactions. Of course, mobile wallets took time to grow. It was challenging to inspire customers who were perfectly satisfied with their credit cards to try out new payment methods. However, now that they’ve built trust with users, mobile payments keep growing. According to some recent stats, by 2020, they will reach $503 billion. Mobile wallets bring numerous benefits to your small business, such as a faster checkout, integrated loyalty programs, and even more effective collection of customer data to improve services.
The Automation of Payments
In today’s era of sophisticated AI technologies, not automating your payments means missing out on an amazing opportunity to get paid faster and increase your sales. One of the major benefits of automated payment tools lies in greater accuracy and efficiency. You will be able to monitor cash flow in real-time, get notified of failed transactions, and make faster, data-oriented decisions.
Your customers will also experience a more frictionless buyer journey. For example, with an automated failed payment handling process, when a transaction fails, a system will automatically inform you and your customers of the failure and provide multiple options to resolve the failed payment faster.
For years, business payment processing services were handled via issuing or acquiring banks. However, the rise of the API (application programming interface) technologies has redefined this old-school distribution model and paved the way to open banking. Namely, the Competition and Markets Authority launched new regulations, allowing banks, fintech companies, and third-party service providers to use bank users’ data.
Now, here is what this means. Banks have an impressive client base and budgets, but they cannot align their outdated interfaces with the needs of their tech-savvy users. On the other hand, there are numerous FinTech companies providing sleek, customer-oriented platforms, but don’t have enough money to put them in front of the right users. This is where the collaboration between banks and FinTech companies was born. The abovementioned API technologies give third-party providers the access to bank clients’ databases, letting a user manage their multiple accounts through a third-party service.
According to the UK’s Open Banking Implementation Entity, open banking comes with numerous benefits for customers, such as increased data transparency, direct payments, and safer purchases.
A recent report claims that peer-to-peer payments have become a key social standard. For years now, consumers have been using their mobile devices to pay or split bills with their friends. According to a recent study, P2P adoption will continue to grow in 2019 and reach $336 billion by 2021. Stats say 75% of Millennials have used mobile P2P payments. Even though it was first resonated with Millennials, P2P payments have also been adopted by 69% of Gen X customers and 51% of Baby Boomers.
One of the major reasons why P2P apps are so popular is their convenience. These apps give customers the opportunity to act faster in social situations that require instant payments, like splitting the purchase or sharing a check.
Over to You
The banking and payments sphere will keep evolving in 2019. With it, your customers’ demands will grow and you need to address them effectively. By tracking and implementing their preferred payment methods, you will increase their satisfaction with your brand and inspire them to come back to you in the future.