Four ways to improve the mobile payment experience

William Dawsey
October 1, 2019

In a world where cash is rapidly disappearing, electronic payments are now king. Within that realm, the crown prince is mobile payments. Many companies offer mobile wallets, and these are for both people who use near-field communication functionality with their smartphones in stores and those who shop online. Necessarily, both of these technologies must provide exceptional security to keep prying eyes away. Digital encryption makes these kinds of transactions safer even than cash.

The total amount of capital that changes hands electronically every year is staggering. In the United States, online payments contribute more than $5 trillion to the global economy. That amount is more than 25 per cent of the country’s entire GDP of $20.89 trillion. Online payments and mobile payment technology are increasing greatly each year. Because of the nearly indescribable demand, the process of contactless payments needs improvement. Here are four suggestions:

1. Design matters

Mobile apps must be both intuitive and stable. They have to work when you use them. New apps are cropping up all the time, but not all of them are up-to-snuff. One such app, developed recently, has too many features that do too little, and the peer-to-peer experience suffers because of the relative slowness of the processes. The redundant confirmations required by the software has turned people off to the point that the entire total of 785,000 users normally completes only 15,000 transactions per day using that app.

Instead, designers should pay attention to the “small stuff.” For example, setting the app to show only numbers when only numbers are required in an entry field saves both time and confusion. Users don’t like to be confused, and seeing, “this field only requires numbers,” displayed when typing a letter is quite irritating. The app should move the cursor to the next field automatically when the user is done inputting something.

A well-designed app will show the security features on the “submit” page. Not having those leads to a lack of trust from the user even though the security features are there. Similarly, don’t hide the call-to-action button behind another screen, popup, or design feature. The user shouldn’t have to swipe to find the button to make the payment.

These are but a few of the little things designers can do to make their apps better all around.

2. Offer Loyalty Programs

Everyone likes to get a good deal. Loyalty programs are one of the ways that companies attract customers. Flexible programs that generate points from lots of different activities or purchases in a variety of ways are the most popular. The newest thing in loyalty programs is to be able to collect points just based on online payments or through mobile apps. Though mobile app payments are as secure as traditional methods, often more secure, there is a general feeling among many consumers of, “How is this better? I like things the way they are.”

As with anything regarding money transactions, what customers want most is value. Customers will pay slightly more for a certain product if the shopping experience, customer service, and quality of items are better than they are with another item. In some cases, loyal customers might pay far more for an item that ticks all those boxes. Generous, well-crafted loyalty programs are just another screwdriver in the toolbox of creating value. That’s how they’re better.

The value of a loyalty program doesn’t just have to be massive collections of points, miles, or what have you. Instead, it could be a priority place in the phone queue when you call in: no hold time. You could check out of a restaurant and leave your server a tip right from your phone at the table without the hassle of waiting for a credit card payment on a busy night. Good app designers will think up ways to make the customer happy, which will make them money in the long run, rather than thinking up ways just to make money.

3. Email Receipts

People like receipts, but almost no one likes having multiple hundreds of pieces of paper littering their file cabinets until tax season. With some people who enjoy shopping, the number of receipts could climb into the thousands. Email receipts are an easy way to circumvent this blizzard of paper. Many paper receipts are printed in ink that fades over time, too, so over the course of a year, they might lose their information. That means that you will have kept something for no reason.

An emailed receipt takes up no physical space. Even if the receipt isn’t just text, the amount of memory space it takes up on a phone or hard drive is negligible. It’s, therefore, possible to keep all receipts in the palm of your hand. Because of advances in labeling technology, you can easily categorize them by month, retailer, amount, or any of a dozen other categories with just a few swipes and other gestures.

Of course, users usually have to ask for receipts to be mailed, but if they do, not only will they get a record of their transactions that is much more manageable than paper, but you will also get another channel for advertising. Each receipt could have a retention offer, sweet deal, or loyalty program bonus included. As with the loyalty programs themselves, keeping customers happy is a great way to build long-term relationships with them.

4. Simplify the process

When it comes to contactless payments, simple is best. Roommates can split rent and utility bills. Friends who go out for dinner can cover their own portions of the check and each contributes to the overall tip. It’s also simple to have all of your payment methods on your phone, such as debit and credit cards, PayPal, and bank transfer. They’re all encrypted, so if your phone is lost, not only will someone else have to crack your “connect-the-dots” password, that person will also have to break the encryption. That’s a whole lot safer than carrying a boatload of cash that someone can just pick up and use.

In closing

Chetu has nearly two full decades’ experience in creating software solutions for its customers. For nearly two decades, Chetu has focused on custom mobile-payment software. Give us a chance to deliver to you the world-class results for which we’re famous.

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