Convenience is normally center stage when new technology is released, with users eagerly looking for faster and easier ways to automate tasks they do often. Now more than ever, businesses and the public are usually willing to quickly adopt new tech that boasts time-saving bonuses.
However, even though digital “tap and go” payment methods like Apple Pay have been around for a few years, digital transactions still lag behind cash and debit/credit card usage. With the relative ease and growing number of digital payment methods, it would have seemed likely that the tech would catch on quickly, yet that hasn’t been the case—at least, not yet.
So, how can digital payment methods be made more effective, and therefore more attractive to consumers? Below, 11 members of Forbes Technology Council share their ideas.
1. Make Sure Readers Are Conveniently Located And Working
It’s frustrating to try to use a digital payment method only to have the reader in an awkward position or not functioning at all. Companies should be given a way to scan the phone or a sticker that they can place in a convenient location for customers to hold their phone up to. In the U.K., they have a uniform machine with larger pads to read the phone on. - Arnie Gordon, Arlyn Scales
2. Give Users An Incentive
How do I decide which credit card to use for a purchase? I think about what the respective card issuer is giving me for using their card. Apple and its similar competitors in the space can afford to offer an incentive for people to use their payment system. I’d venture a bet that at least experimentation with the platform will go up and there will be a healthy amount of adoption. - Tim Maliyil, AlertBoot
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3. Partner With Retailers To Offer It In More Places
It’s important that digital payment providers work with retailers—both online and offline—on ways to make the payment option more available and clearly labeled so consumers start to see it as another common way to pay. - Jon Bradshaw, Calendar
4. Explain The Security Advantages
Platforms like Apple Pay and Google Pay offer incredible advantages from a security standpoint. They employ the same tokenization technology as EMV chip cards, plus they employ two-factor authentication for purchases: The user must unlock the device, then provide biometric authentication for a purchase. If all steps are deployed properly, this is the most secure payment option on the market. - Monica Eaton-Cardone, Chargebacks911
5. Create Open Standard Compatibility
Apple Pay requires an Apple hardware device, and while we have many mentions of Samsung Pay coming to support all Android and Apple iOS devices, it has not happened yet. With the lock-in issues and market fragmentation, adoption will continue to languish. If digital payment providers want to be attractive to consumers they should work on an open standard for compatibility. - Bret Piatt, Jungle Disk
6. Integrate With Conversational AI
Position payment options directly within a conversational interface. This is where consumers prefer to engage with brands, so building this utility directly into a self-service digital engagement saves time for the user. Delivering these options with conversational AI automation creates a no-brainer return on investment and revenue opportunity for brands. - Evan Kohn, Pypestream
7. Improve The Customer Journey
What value does Apple Pay bring to the consumer other than a coolness effect that rapidly wears off? It’s neither time-saving (don’t tell me three seconds matter!), nor cheaper, nor radically more convenient. The adoption rate will only change when other improvements that leverage Apple Pay in a way that’s more substantial and impactful on the consumer journey—like self checkout—are implemented. - Bruno Guicardi, CI&T
8. Incentivize Staff To Promote The Service
The reason consumers don’t use contactless payments is due to confusion about how to set it up and how to use it—unsurprising considering the variety of modern credit card terminals/PIN pads and unreliable signage. Instead of leaving it up to customers, have your cashiers actively promote the service. Incentivize them to explain contactless payments and offer to show customers how to use it. - Jason Gill, The HOTH
9. Promote Them With Loyalty Plans
Digital payment methods are already effective, but if vendors want to increase use of their services, they need to promote them more. I specifically like the approach where a mobile wallet application is combined with loyalty programs. The Starbucks app uses incentives, like bonuses and free drinks, to drive use of the app for payments. Starbucks is getting billions of dollars of prepaid money. - Artem Petrov, Reinvently
10. Enable Convenient Payment At Restaurants
It’s very common to want to split the bill conveniently at a restaurant, and even with Venmo, there’s still notable effort required. With the help of an app that includes a QR code with the bill, it’s possible to make group paying at restaurants even more convenient by having instant fare splitting and autopaying by whatever means you have on file. Think Uber-style fare splitting for restaurants. - David Isaac Murray, Doctor.com
11. Create ‘Digital Payment Only’ Lanes
I travel a lot and I hate lines. I have every possible membership and loyalty program under the sun to mitigate standing around. If you want people to really embrace digital payment methods, let them leverage it as a way to avoid lines. I’d love to see “digital payment only” lanes at retailers, restaurants, movie theaters and so on. - Brian Contos, Verodin Inc.