As a result of major crises, people all over the world are living more restricted lifestyles. Consumers are looking to online resources for their essential and non-essential shopping, banking services, and health services. In turn, service providers are looking for up-to-date solutions to meet the change in consumer needs.
In our ever-changing world, the greatest impact of economic & communication crises, like COVID-19, has become the need to have access to the same institutions and services with limited to no physical contact. This includes restaurants, banks, and health services.
What all these services have in common, besides having to find better and more relevant ways of providing their services or products online, is adopting improved digital payment services for their consumers.
Times like this require companies to reassess your customers’ pains and needs, adjust your services accordingly, and then implement new technologies to ensure you are up-to-date and maintaining a high standard of security.
Going cashless and No-touch solutions
The world is moving towards being completely cashless, there is no doubt about that. Major health crises, as well as governments and regulatory bodies, have only encouraged this further. It’s well documented that physical cash is extremely dirty and can carry pathogens, so it’s easy to imagine why consumers feel driven to move totally cashless.
Around 38% of consumers consider contactless payment options necessary as a payment feature, compared to 30% last year. With social distancing measures and less access to bank branches, healthcare facilities, and other businesses, digital payment solutions are becoming far more convenient for the average consumer.
Smartware, such as watches and bands, are becoming more popular for onsite payments, compared to cards or phones. This is because they allow for less contact - there is no need to remove your gloves to touch your phone and no fumbling in your pockets to find your wallet. This demonstrates that more consumers are embracing digital wallets and contactless payments. The less physical interaction, the more comfortable consumers feel with making the purchase. We’ve covered this topic before if you want to dive in deeper.
We are seeing many industries updating their payment services for wearables. This is to ensure they aren’t excluding their customers using Smartware for payments. These are adjustments that all industries will need to make at some point.
Growth of E-commerce due to COVID-19 pandemic
Although within the first 3 months of 2020 we’ve been seeing a significant drop in travel and big-ticket items, other online sales have skyrocketed since the start of lifestyle restrictions, as a result of COVID-19. People who are either stuck at home or are cautious of the physical interaction required to shop in brick-and-mortar shops have moved their essential and non-essential shopping online. Some applications, like on-demand grocery delivery apps, recently found a volume increase in online transactions even by 218%
Even as shops and restaurants start to open up in many countries, some of the new habits adopted during the COVID-19 crisis will not recover. Digital payment options and contactless payment will continue to be preferred payment methods.
Survive by making alterations and staying flexible
It’s all about being flexible and understanding that there have been major changes in consumer behavior. With fewer people having the ability to visit shops or institutions in person, your online solutions need to take into consideration the new pains that your consumers have. We’ve outlined some of the more common challenges with online payment systems:
1. Improving your services
There is a much greater need for customers to be able to carry out tasks with your online platforms on their own. Naturally, this means your company needs to provide more services on your phone & web apps, ensuring that you’re employing exceptional UX, no matter what device you’re using.
Carrying out user-interviews is a great way to find out what services your users feel that you are lacking. You can also hold online polls in pop-ups on your platforms and constantly collect feedback from AppStore or Google Play reviews. It can also help to determine which services you have that need improving.
2. Enhancing your customer support
You should also think about the remote customer support that you provide and how you can enhance these services. This could include solutions such as implementing online chat, chat bots, or offering better information outlines for your users.
With a greater number of users, you will inevitably notice greater problems with your online service. Improving how you provide customer support can greatly impact a user’s decision to continue using your service and recommend it to their peers or friends, or to start looking elsewhere.
3. Handling declined transactions
With the increasing popularity of online and contactless payments, we’re naturally seeing a surge in declined transactions. It’s quite common for unusual transactions to be declined, and the crisis could easily impact changes in consumer purchases. Declined transactions can have a serious impact on your company’s revenue due to user frustration.
One recommendation is to ensure your anti-fraud solutions are up-to-date and that you are flexible. Not so flexible that you put your payment systems in danger, but making sure that you’re taking the current rapidly changing payment climate into account. This might mean altering some of the rules on your fraud detection software to prevent genuine transactions from being declined. This should increase conversions on many fronts.
4. Reducing security risks
Obviously, with more online traffic and more non-tech savvy users starting to use online banking or online payment options, there is an increased potential for fraud and hacking of personal data.
One of the major risks is card fraud. Some sources suggest that financial institutions should prepare to adjust their fraud controls to reflect the changes in their consumer behavior. This means coming up with more secure ways to handle transactions. This could include implementing biometrics or multi-factor authentications, which could make a world of difference. These could be carried out in more than just SMS and email options, but also on users’ wearables.
Sink or swim - Do your payment systems reflect the current climate?
Crises such as COVID-19 have changed the way people are spending their money, and it’s up to companies with products like yours to make sure you are keeping your software up-to-date. It’s not just about updates, it’s also about revisiting your customers’ needs, as they have inevitably changed in some way as a result of the lifestyle changes caused by the health crisis.
People are preferring cashless methods for payments, and we’re seeing an increase in e-commerce purchases, but these come at some price. You need to ensure that your digital products and online services are still relevant and that you’re implementing the right tools to offer your users the customer support they need. You also need to make sure you have a development team that can keep up with the needs of your users to reduce declined transactions, and security risks.
- 38% of consumers consider contactless payment options necessary
- User-interviews is an effective way to find out your consumers’ needs and pains
- Improve your customer support by implementing tools like bots and improving support sections of your website
- Improve your security by implementing biometrics or multi-factor authentications
Let us know how we can help to update your contactless or online payment solutions to your software product portfolio. We’ll make sure your payment solutions are up-to-date with current consumer behaviors.