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Make the Switch to Contactless Payments

Mobile payment technology has become increasingly important to small businesses as they struggle to serve customers during the Covid-19 crisis. Is this a temporary solution to allow for physical distancing and contactless payment or a long term trend that’s here to stay?

An August 2018 Game Changers report by Ipsos explored what factors are needed to move the needle on mobile payments. Ipsos is bullish that 2020 is the big year for increased adoption. So, what gets in the way of making digital payments ubiquitous and a “force of habit”? 

The report identified four critical components for success in driving consumer adoption of mobile payments applications:

1. Habituation: As we have seen with Starbucks and other quick service providers, people need to tie mobile wallet use to something habitual. For some, buying coffee and a muffin each day is enough to drive repeat behaviors. For others, grocery and food markets or a favourite restaurant may be likely venues when it comes to creating frequent behavior and common practice.

2. Ubiquity: People need to see mobile wallets in common use since “seeing is believing.” Promotional materials are helpful but witnessing quick and easy mobile transactions while waiting for coffee, unloading their grocery cart, or paying a restaurant bill will effectively do more than any promotional campaign. With mobile usage more widespread today than ever before, the opportunity to witness these transactions is that much greater now than even five years ago.

3. Incentives: In loyalty marketing, incentives and rewards are needed to drive behaviour. Over the last 20 years, we’ve seen a preponderance of loyalty and rewards programs tied to hospitality and credit cards. You must give consumers the reasons they need to load a mobile payments app and then use it repeatedly in a retail environment.   (In addition to payments, incentives and rewards, Perk Hero offers users fun gaming elements such as quests, as well as engaging experiences like choosing a hero character and leveling up to keep users coming back.) 

4. Retailer Support & Training: The biggest barrier to adoption may still be at the checkout. Getting retailers on board with mobile payments, which ranges from hardware and POS integrations to staff training, remains a challenge. There are also perceived on-site issues such as signage around acceptance. For success, people must not have any reservations about pulling out their phones to pay. Perk Hero offers a turnkey solution to get a business up and running quickly and easily. For merchants’ users, signing up is quick and easy and is often accompanied with an attractive reward that encourages repeat usage.

The report also revealed insights that reinforce our approach today with Perk Hero, which we believe to be “best in class” in the mobile payments and customer loyalty space. 

The payment process needs to be frictionless, so that repeat behaviour is seamless and consumers see the repetition for it to become common practice. More than just payments, the app must help customers to “speed through the line” with pre-order capabilities and built-in features that remember customers’ favourite items.

Finally, a dynamic payment and loyalty platform can track users and offer rewards that can be easily redeemed. Customers receive in-store offers, promotions and rewards all in one place. Simply put, customers save time and money and are rewarded for their loyalty.  

What’s next?

The mobile payments market is at an important stage for widespread adoption by consumers. What will follow will be more convenience for consumers and more business utility for merchants.  Simply speaking, consumers and merchants will not adopt mobile payment systems just for the sake of it; it has to be mutually beneficial for both.

Ipsos predicts the broad adoption of mobile payments at point of sale as inevitable, albeit gradual, change in payment behaviors. 2020 may be the game changing year where higher frequency of usage—levels around 5 times a week for mobile wallet enabled phones—occurs.

Make this your year to become a mobile magnet for your customers.  Learn more about what Perk Hero can do for your business.