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Mobile payments: Improving the customer experience

Seamless payments are coming, and companies that create “customer first” approaches will be positioned for success in the cashless economy.

Overview

One day, in the not-too-distant future, a cashless economy will be the norm. Already, technical and business advances - not to mention the widespread adoption of the smartphone - has seeded the emergence of a range of mobile payment technologies.

As more companies offer more mobile payment options, how will they set themselves apart from the competition? Accenture’s view of this emerging landscape shows that regardless of the technologies they employ, companies must deliver seamless, compelling and secure payment experiences to deliver against consumer expectations.

Explore today’s mobile payment landscape—from the technologies making it possible to the companies paving the way for the future of transactions. Discover how design-led thinking is driving exciting innovation in mobile payment technologies for a glimpse into a future that is not too distant for all of us.

Today’s connected consumers are changing the landscape for businesses and organizations. Learn how the right mobility services and strategy can help you stay ahead of the competition.

 

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The Connected Consumer

Background

The introduction of electronic money, swipe payment systems and online transactions has meant that payment has become faster, more secure and more flexible over the last 50 years.

More recently, the ubiquity of smartphones has taken us into a new phase of instantaneous and customized mobile payments that free consumers from many steps of the payment process. 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 behaviors, and much more.

New payment options that marry technology with personal identifiers such as faces, fingerprints or physical gestures reflect recognition among savvy merchants that a highly compelling, intuitive consumer experience is key for the next wave of mobile payments.

 

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Trends

Smartphone, smart money

Every day, billions of consumers around the world pay for something, either in person or electronically. Aggregated over time, paying is an activity that occupies a huge amount of time and attention.

But the days of paying for things could soon become completely seamless, or even disappear altogether. With electronic money, swipe payment systems and online transactions, paying has become faster, more secure, and more flexible.

Payments could soon 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 becoming 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 it will 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

Service providers are giving consumers a compelling experience - and more reasons to adopt mobile payments 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 quickly adopting mobile payment systems to democratize retail, providing 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.

Customer service organizations are more available now to enhance and personalize the shopping experience instead of processing payments.

Outlook

While the mobile payment industry is still in its infancy—things are about to change. The marketplace is likely to see both technology and business mature with continuous innovation and consumer adoption. Mobile payments are likely to be a very big battleground.

Even so, three factors will influence the success of mobile payments:

  • Common road map. The extent to which financial service companies and technology providers collaborate to define a common road map.

  • Consumer demands. Mobile payment technologies must adapt to consumers’ demands for simplicity, timely service and security.

  • Availability. Opportunities for individuals and micro-retailers to sell to consumers when the opportunity arises with little or no restrictions must exist.

Brands or services with established reach and trust-based customer relationship will be the most likely to succeed. However, newer entrants with technologies that align with consumer expectations have the potential to disrupt markets in the future cashless economy.

More Mobility

Discover Accenture Mobility, and learn how businesses and organizations worldwide are embracing the connected consumer and mobile payments.

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