15 Trends for Payment Processing in 2013: Part 3

what trends are you seeing?

What trends are you seeing?

2012 was an eventful year for the payment industry, as technology and finance converged to create an ever-changing landscape that affects the way consumers buy, businesses sell, and providers cater to their numerous clientele. Marketers, business people, financial officers, and technology personnel are not the only ones who will be affected, but it’s worth paying attention to these upcoming trends now to see how you can tailor your business execution towards the inevitable. This white paper illustrates the primary trends in business and technology that will impact payment processing in 2013, and how you can equip your company to deal with it.

Read previous parts: Part 1 and Part 2

5. Shifted Focus to Customer Service

The rise of online technologies its integration with business and commerce has seen companies rush to expand their offerings, looking for ways to make money from their customers more than ever before. Following the events of 2012, which highlighted a shift to mobile commerce, the focus is now clear: It’s all about user experience and customer requirements. Customers aren’t paying their bills or making payments on their mobile phones because the company is making them do it: They’re doing it because it’s easier for them. In 2013, it will be vital for companies to realize this and continue to create an experience that is beneficial to the user, from offering streamlined processes to providing customer support for tricky areas. After all, in the end, customer satisfaction will only lead to one thing: Increased sales, and overall business productivity and success. It’s a win-win!

4.     Credit Card Acceptance Becomes Standardized

It’s not uncommon for a business, particularly those outside the United States, to announce that they don’t take specific types of credit cards – for example, American Express, which is known to charge above-average fees to vendors. Other companies prefer to take an incentivized approach, providing perks and benefits to customers using the credit card of their choice, for example, priority seating, online sales or top tier customer service. Following the example of Visa at the Olympics, where the acceptance of one sole credit card left customers angry and unsatisfied, 2013 promises to present universal credit card acceptance as key to any successful business. Providing customers with more ways to pay can only mean one thing: getting paid more quickly and easily.

3.     Mobile Wallets Come Together

2012 has been the year of the mobile wallet – or has it? The partnership between mobile payment startup Square and Starbucks and the proliferation of other players in the market place has dominated the news, but mobile wallet adoption is still lower than expected – five years after the launch of the first smartphone.

The lack of an overarching system to unite wallet systems seems to be the problem here, and it is only by resolving this issue and finding a way for different wallets – from Google to Square to LevelUp – to “talk” to each other, that mobile wallet payments will reach maturity in 2013 or beyond.

2. Mobile Apps Incorporate Mobile Commerce

Customer time spent online is growing – but not the way you think. The rise of the “second screen” sees customers browsing e-commerce sites and their mobile apps using tablets and smartphones when watching television and to compare prices in-store: Leading to the two most prevalent trends for e-commerce from 2012 heading into 2013: “Sit-back shopping” and “showrooming”: Making purchases from the couch; and comparing prices to Amazon in-store. According to Mobile Metrix, customer mobile apps dominate the mobile web, at 85% for Amazon and eBay mobile customers. Incorporating payments functionality for mobile users is integral for mobile app creators. Developing a payment solution for a mobile application, whether it’s for bill payments, e-commerce or account balance checking, is just as vital as adding a mobile payments solution to an existing mobile site. It also presents an opportunity for added value in a mobile application beyond brand awareness and content creation, in accordance with customer behavior, wants and needs.

1. The Mobile Payment Revolution

In 2012, consumer e-commerce on mobile devices grew exponentially, and the figures for 2013 are projected to grow at an even steeper rate. Smartphone users are a growing part of the population, and 65% of those users are performing retail or shopping activities on those devices, with one in five heading to an actual purchase. E-commerce is becoming a necessity and not an option for businesses of all sizes, and owning a mobile website that enables payments to be processed through a billing or shopping cart is becoming a must.

In 2013, businesses without mobile sites will be akin to those without a www some years back. Mobile site optimization is integral for anyone with customers – if they expect them to search, visit their site, pay their bills or interact from their device.