The Less "Visible" the Payment, the More Value It Provides

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The Less "Visible" the Payment, the More Value It Provides

As consumers use digital channels more, merchants are under pressure to not only make payments seamless, but to tie transactions to broader customer-facing and internal functions. Find out how invisible payments can help.

JAMES RAY, MANAGING DIRECTOR, MERCHANT SERVICES
February 9, 2017

Imagine your customers fully focusing on your brand experience. Nothing stands in their way, and certainly not the payment experience.

Consumer expectations for commerce, including payments, are changing. Paradoxically the less obtrusive payments become, the more value they contribute.

That’s the premise behind invisible payments. The idea is to deemphasize the transactional piece of commerce and enhance the quality of the overall experience. Payments embed so well that they fade into the background. As commerce becomes increasingly anytime, anywhere and effectively “on demand," the premise of invisible payments becomes preeminent.

Payment providers have traditionally been transaction processors. They must become strategic partners in putting payments to work to help merchants satisfy customers, increase sales, and build brand loyalty.

The concept of invisible payments aligns with the growing consumer desire for instant gratification, particularly within the “on demand” generation (inclusive of the millennials). Merchants are working to shorten the path to purchase for their consumers. The trend towards purchase immediacy has become the norm for services including Amazon Prime Now, which provides two-hour delivery, and UberEATS for meal service.

Today a consumer may see something in a store or ad, price compare on a mobile device, and wait for a sale before buying. Consumers are increasingly able to seamlessly complete a transaction with minimal delay, and their expectations for immediacy will heighten their awareness of friction in the process. And this evolution will accelerate as merchants:

All of these trends help to shorten the purchasing cycle. As brands better understand their consumers, and deliver timely and relevant offers with purchase options seamlessly available. The new expectation will become an ability to deliver on demand commerce.

Payments can support the path to purchase immediacy with a new level of seamlessness and simplicity. How are merchants approaching payments to enable this?

Consumers want to shop via their preferred channel. On demand commerce requires merchant accessibility beyond the store front. Given consumer behavior around mobile, an online presence via browser and in-app is increasingly important for many merchants. Brand consistency and recognizing customers across channels are essential.

Payments are integral to a successful omnichannel strategy. They must embed within each channel and make transacting simple and frictionless. This includes the ability to accept a consumer’s preferred payment method.

According to Deloitte, one reason that people are checking their phones so often is the increased use of mobile for financial transactions. It’s important to start thinking about payment acceptance via mobile wallet. As commerce moves towards instantaneity the ultimate scenario of invisible payment removes any action on the consumer’s part. Some merchants are accepting automatic payment via mobile wallet without even one click.

The number of consumer payment channels and methods continues to grow. From wearables like smart watches and smart rings to social network Pin It/Pay It buttons, merchants should consider carefully how to increase their range of payment acceptance points.

This article was originally published by PaymentsSource.

 

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