What Consumers Want from Mobile Payments: A Primer for Merchants


According to a survey on mobile behaviors included in a recent white paper published by 451 Research and Discover Global Network, 76 percent of consumers have completed a purchase using a mobile website.

Add to that 53 percent of consumers using a mobile “pay” button or one-click checkout service like Apple Pay or Android Pay, it’s clear that consumers aren’t shying away from mobile commerce. But what do consumers truly want from their mobile payment experience? And how do you, as a merchant, ensure that you’re harnessing mobile’s potential to please both customers and your bottom line?

Let’s have a look at consumer purchasing trends and how you can use that information to build a loyal base of mobile-happy customers for your business.

Think Beyond Payment

According to the Smart Card Alliance, near-field communication (or contactless) payment methods are 63 percent faster than cash and 53 percent faster than using a traditional credit card. That’s fast. Which translates to convenience.

For Judy Chen, Director of Product Marketing at Urban Airship – a company committed to helping customers increase both mobile engagement and loyalty – those are powerful numbers. “We’re entering a new era of mobile where customers expect convenience and speed,” offers Chen. “They want merchants to make interacting with them as easy as possible.” And mobile is easy. It’s also nearly second-nature. Just pay with a fingerprint, right?

But if merchants just look at the convenience and ease of mobile payments and stop there, they will be missing out on other consumer wants that drive loyalty and repeat business.

Consumers want perks. “The success of mobile payments not only depends on being able to pay for things, but also on the non-payment capabilities like coupons and loyalty programs,” says Chen. “Consumers want to be able to access rewards and other content. Loyalty cards and coupons are the items consumers want most in their mobile wallets.”

According to Urban Airship’s recently published State of Mobile Wallet Marketing Report, 54 percent of consumers surveyed are interested in or are already using mobile payments and mobile wallet technology. However, nearly one-third more consumers would use mobile payments if loyalty discounts and offers were automatically applied during the process.

Thus, if you’re going full speed ahead to incorporate mobile payments without looking at how you can use those payments to add even more benefit for your customers, you’re missing out. A comprehensive mobile payment strategy is key.

Cast a Wide Eye

One of the biggest mistakes that merchants make in adopting a mobile payment strategy is taking too narrow a view. Mobile payments extend far beyond just the ability to pay and leveraging technology to make mobile payments possible.

Acceptance is a key concern. Why empower your business with mobile payments if your payment provider isn’t up to the task?

“It’s important for retailers to make sure they’re offering as many payment options as possible during the checkout process,” said Keith Wilson, Global Head of Digital and Integrated Payments at Discover Global Network. “Ensuring that the transactional experience is seamless and that customers are able to use the method they want, when they want helps drive loyalty when an in-person experience is not taking place.”

Security is also key. While many customers may have the impression that mobile payments aren’t secure, security and privacy are actually the foundations of leading platforms like Android Pay, Apple Pay and Samsung Pay. Consumers crave security, especially considering consumer fraud incidents rose 18 percent in 2016.

“Credit and debit card numbers are not stored on the mobile device or on Apple servers. Rather, a unique number is assigned, encrypted and securely stored on the device, and every transaction is authorized with a one-time unique security code,” says Chen. “The fear of credit card security is pervasive, and it’s up to merchants to let customers know that mobile payments are not only secure, but coupled with biometrics (fingerprint to get into the phone) are actually more secure than swiping a credit card.”

Finally, Set a Comprehensive Strategy

Here’s a strategic checklist to review your mobile credit card processing strategy to ensure that you’re evolving not just with the payment world, but alongside how your customers want to use mobile payments:

  1. Create a plan. “Think about the long-term roadmap of how you’ll develop your mobile payments program, and don’t bite off too much in the beginning,” Chen advises. You don’t want customer satisfaction to suffer on account of your desire to grow too far, too fast.
  2. Acceptance. Make sure you’re set up to accept mobile payments however your customers choose to pay – POS or through a mobile website or app.
  3. Go truly mobile. Update your website so it offers a mobile version with functions your customers need. Ensure that your mobile site is integrated with mobile payment platforms. Consider adding a mobile app where you can design around convenience and your customer’s most pressing needs while mobile. Add an extra layer of experience by integrating with a loyalty program.
  4. Explore loyalty programs. “Take advantage of the ability to dynamically update to new mobile wallet coupons or reflect newly earned loyalty points on mobile. Send out reminders to encourage store visits. Offer customers triple loyalty points for the week of their birthday. “It’s a huge opportunity for merchants and consumers to tap into now,” says Chen. Customers want more from mobile than just payments. They want an experience that lasts, repeats and rewards them.
  5. Educate. Simply making the technological commitment to mobile payments isn’t enough. Let your customers know you’re ready for how they want to pay through in-store and on-website signage, and email marketing campaigns. Also, use your employees to inform consumers that you’re offering new, convenient ways to pay. The more your customers know, the further your investment in mobile may go.

To begin accepting Discover Global Network cards within any payments channel or to learn more about the services TransNational Payments provides, simply contact us.

Original Source: Discover Global Network; The article and information provided herein for informational purposes only based on independent research and are not intended as a substitute for professional advice.

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