It was only a few short years ago that cell phones were only used to make calls and send text messages. Now they are used for everything from paying bills to getting directions to even reading reviews about a new restaurant. For merchants, smart cell phones represent the newest way for customers to make purchases. With smartphone innovation increasing at a faster rate almost on a daily basis, where does this take us in terms of mobile payments?
At a very basic level, mobile payments represent an ecommerce solution. In addition, they have mostly been expressed through an NFC reader or a tap-and-go system. Mobile payments of the future are more likely to represent simple and safe transactions through some form of digital wallets which will allow merchants to not simply process payments but deliver additional value and reward customer loyalty.
In addition, best practices are starting to be formed for merchants to follow in order to increase the likelihood of customers using their smartphones to make purchases. Some of these are:
- Guest checkout
- Streamlined forms
- Payment progress indicators
These best practices decrease the chances of customer abandonment due to clunky or non-user friendly checkout and payment methods.
Even though we may think of our favorite smartphone today when it comes to mobile payments, these phones may not keep their current form factor. With innovative startups and established tech companies racing to increase innovation, the day may come very soon in which these devices are replaced with wearable technology. This may become reality much sooner then we think which will change the mobile payment experience for both merchants and customers.