As a big fan of Starbucks, I’ve been using their mobile app for a while. After a few uses, I quickly realized that it is essentially a mobile payment app—combined with a loyalty program, debit note and store locator. In addition, they offer free songs for me to download every week and an additional way for me to keep track of my favorite drink.
Jamie Henry, the senior director of payment systems at Wal-Mart said in a panel: “Retailers should determine how new mobile payment systems will work within the structure of their business, rather than fret over the specifics of the technology.” I think he is making a good point. For retailers, there is a lot to consider after choosing the correct technology.
Integrate Rewards Program
According to a survey by Compete, nearly 30% of mobile shoppers download loyalty-based applications on their smartphone. If your business has a strong, popular loyalty program, the integration of the two would be a great place to start. It will also save time and money in the long run by having both the loyalty card and debit card combined into a single tap. Additionally, it will encourage more people to join the loyalty program.
Track Financial Records
I’ve used mobile payment apps from several brands, and one thing I appreciate the most is the immediate reflection on my financial records. Based on a survey by Accenture, 60% of consumers said they would pay by phone if it could track receipts and 56% of them say they would if it could manage their personal finances. Be sure to include this key function on your app before releasing.
Focus on UX
When I consider downloading a new app, the first thing I do is to read the comments and reviews from other users. With some of the more common complaints about mobile payment apps being that they crash all the time and the customer’s personal information doesn’t save properly, it would be a good idea to make sure that all problems are ironed out before launch. Out of all the reasons not to use the app, you certainly don’t want to lose a customer because of a fixable technology issue. And finally, taking into consideration the highest valued benefit, make sure the app is easy as sweeping a credit card.
Considering the fact that security is carving out a niche market in itself, placing a high emphasis on the security of your app is absolutely essential. Consumers have always been slow to adopt an unknown product that directly interacts with their money. I still remember the time when my mom wouldn’t let me shop online because she thought it wasn’t safe. Technically, mobile payments are just as safe as credit card. The key is to make sure your customers your customers realize that and feel that way as well.
What is something that you have found is essential in mobile payment applications? Let us know by leaving a comment below!
He is the summer Marketing Intern at Compete. She is currently a rising senior of Mount Holyoke College, double majoring in Psychology and Statistics. She is passionate about digital marketing and data analysis. Connect with her on Google+ or LinkedIn.