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Accenture Interactive – Point of View Series
Mobile Payments Who is winning the race to a better user experience?
A cashless economy is the future vision of the mobile payments industry. With the rapid growth of smartphone ownership the world over, this vision is fast becoming a reality. But it is the consumer experience when paying for goods and services using their smartphone that will really tip the scales. Make it seamless, compelling and secure, and users will vote with their fingertips.
The last five years have seen the emergence of a range of mobile payment technologies either as test beds or operational systems. But which companies are setting the pace in the mobile payment sector? Which of the technologies currently in use are most likely to influence the way we make transactions in the future? And how is design-led thinking influencing the creation of innovative mobile payment technologies?
Mobile Payments Who is winning the race to a better user experience?
Smartphone, smart money Every day, billions of consumers around the world pay for something—travel, food, entertainment, clothing, healthcare, insurance and more—either in person or electronically. Aggregated over time, paying is an activity that occupies a huge amount of time and attention.
The age where the ritual of paying for things could become completely seamless, or even disappear altogether is fast approaching, thanks to numerous technical and business advances. With the introduction of electronic money, swipe payment systems and online transactions, paying has become faster, more secure, and more flexible over the last 50 years. Now payments could be handled completely in the background—saving time for billions of customers, and making retailers smarter, as their knowledge about customer preferences and behavior grows hand in hand with that of the smart payment infrastructure.
“Paying” like never before Emerging mobile payment technology is taking us into a new phase where payments by mobile devices become infinitely more diverse, personalized and attuned to individual lifestyles. Soon, instantaneous and customized mobile payment systems will not only free consumers from the ritual of buying things, but also create entirely new ways to buy and sell products and services. Mobile payments are also creating the freedom to circulate or allocate money to friends, different accounts or financial products.
Consumers and businesses are beginning to experiment with technologies that provide a variety of payment options—faces, fingerprints, physical gestures and through social media, for example. At the heart of this incredibly creative period of change is a growing recognition among financial services providers that they must deliver a highly compelling user experience—one that is intuitive, effective and puts the consumer in the driver’s seat.
Transforming the consumer journey To give consumers a compelling experience, service providers are putting in place a number of mechanisms such as speeding up the payment process by removing queues, enhanced security, allowing consumers to have a better understanding of their own spending patterns and behavior, and much more.
Merchants are in the process of adopting mobile payment systems to democratize retail, which will give flexible payment options to small and large businesses. They are also analyzing consumer data to gain insights that can drive efficiency and profits. This is important for reducing cost by having lighter and smaller payment infrastructure. Furthermore, it enhances customer services by freeing resources from the mundane action of payment and offering a more personalized shopping experience.
A number of companies and technologies are breaking new ground in mobile payments, with the potential to transform our daily lives. They are paving the way for an efficient and enjoyable shopping experience, providing merchants and consumers with better ways to charge and to pay.
Though it is still early days, the age of seamless payments is coming. Companies taking a “consumer first” approach to their user design and mobile payment strategy today will be well positioned in this cashless economy. What are some of these companies doing differently to grow their mobile payment business? And how are they changing the way they serve their customers?
Trends setting the pace
Simpler, faster online shopping
It may not be a household name but Klarna, a Swedish-based company operating in north European markets, has radically streamlined the process of paying for online purchases. It has also launched a mobile version of the payment system, Klarna Mobile, to facilitate instant payments for on-demand services or goods that consumers require immediately. By creating a database of retailers and business users, Klarna acts as a conduit for payments to them and aggregates monthly payments into a single invoice for service users. This removes the need for online retailers to secure credit card details.1
Now anyone can be a credit card merchant anywhere
In recent years, Square, iZettle and SumUp have emerged as popular mobile payment brands in different regions. Square, based in San Francisco, launched Square Wallet to enable buyers using iPhones or Android- based phones to pay merchants with their credit cards.2 Sweden-based iZettle3 and UK-based SumUp4 provide a similar service in several European markets. The simplicity of their mobile and cashless systems is helping to democratize retail business by creating opportunities for small, part-time artisans or traders to operate wherever they find the opportunity to sell.
Financial assistant in your pocket
Garanti is Turkey’s second-largest bank. It is pioneering an approach to mobile banking that allows smartphone users to customize and manage their finances.5 iGaranti ‘atomizes’ banking services, offering a single point of access to 23 different apps covering a diverse range of services such as mobile wallet, savings and loans. It also provides live account updates and real-time location-based offers related both
to financial and retail services. Its payment system is integrated with social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare. iGaranti also brings the experience to life by translating personal financial data into highly visual dashboards so users see their spending pattern in a way that only they understand.
Polish bank BRE Bank (now mBank S.A.) launched a pure-play Internet banking service in 2000 called mBank, and it became the third-largest retail bank in Poland. Now the bank is rebranded completely as mBank, and has undergone a comprehensive, mass- scale, “Bank 3.0” revolution of its direct channels by introducing re-designed Internet and mobile banking services, fully leveraging modern technologies with a strategy firmly rooted in customer experience.
Like iGaranti, mBank offers a number of innovative features not typically associated with online banking, such as social media integration, responsive design for mobile devices, real-time customer service, gamification and video content. This approach to consumer banking is radically different from traditional banking and truly customer focussed.
Creating an instant payment universe
Apple has already pioneered a seamless payment system in its own stores through EasyPay. This system enables customers to pay at Apple Stores by opening up the EasyPay app and simply scanning and buying any item with their phone. The good news is that many retailers can offer a similar seamless payment or coupon transmission service to customers who have the iBeacon app on their iPhone. iBeacon is a new location-based transmission technology that Apple has just launched.6 It could revolutionize mobile payments for
5 Elliott Holley, “Turkish Garanti Bank Launches ‘Facebook’ Mobile Banking App,” August 30, 2013, accessed October 25, 2013. See also http://www. fjordnet.com/workdetail/igaranti/.
Companies are offering innovative features not typically associated with online banking, such as social media integration, responsive design for mobile devices, real-time customer service, gamification and video content. This approach to consumer banking is radically different from traditional banking and truly customer focussed.
6 Devindra Hardawar, ”Apple launches iBeacon shopper location tracking across its U.S. stores today,” December 6, 2013, accessed January 24, 2014.
http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57567384-93/how-oreos-brilliant-blackout-tweet-won-the-super-bowl/%20 https://klarna.com/?lang=en https://squareup.com/wallet https://www.izettle.com/ https://sumup.co.uk/ http://www.bankingtech.com/161742/turkish-garanti-bank-launches-facebook-mobile-banking-app/ http://www.bankingtech.com/161742/turkish-garanti-bank-launches-facebook-mobile-banking-app/ http://www.bankingtech.com/161742/turkish-garanti-bank-launches-facebook-mobile-banking-app/ http://www.fjordnet.com/workdetail/igaranti/ http://www.fjordnet.com/workdetail/igaranti/ http://venturebeat.com/2013/12/06/apple-launches-ibeacon-shopper-location-tracking-across-its-u-s-stores-today http://venturebeat.com/2013/12/06/apple-launches-ibeacon-shopper-location-tracking-across-its-u-s-stores-today http://venturebeat.com/2013/12/06/apple-launche