Mobile device usage is on the upswing, but that’s not news. And recent data that shows mobile payments are on the rise really shouldn’t be news, either. More and more consumers are opting to tap into their omnipresent devices for mobile payment solutions to make life easier and more convenient
For instance, I pay my mortgage payment using an app, pay my credit card bill using an app, get coffee using my Starbucks app, order Chipotle when I’m having a craving (and pay for it) using an app—and if I could shop at my grocery store and use an app or mobile wallet features to pay my bill, I’d gladly do it. In fact, I can’t wait until I can do it.
Mobile Payment Adoption is Slow
Apparently, I’m in the minority when it comes to adopting mobile payment options. Despite the aforementioned research, other stats show that while the transaction value of mobile payments is on the rise, the payment type is slow to catch on among consumers. Starbucks is currently one of the most popular mobile payment destinations—but beyond that, consumers seem to be confused about their mobile payment options. And, as a result, aren’t using them all that much.
Mobile payment solutions are there. They’re easy, safe, fast and uber convenient. But people are slow to change and adopt new habits when old ones have been around for a long time. Which also isn’t news.
Consumers: They Don’t Know What They Don’t Know
Consider this stat from IDC: only 20 percent of people surveyed have purchased a product from a store via their mobile device. Many businesses and brands are creating mobile payment options as part of their larger mobile marketing strategy, and their biggest challenge, at least the way I see it, is educating consumers about the benefits of opting for mobile purchasing and payment options.
In some ways, mobile payment solutions are a lot like QR codes. And the same thing happened with QR codes. Although businesses and people used them (sometimes well, sometimes poorly—but that’s another blog post), consumers largely didn’t adopt them. That doesn’t mean that QR codes are a bad idea—instead, it means they were poorly executed and their target audience not educated about the benefits. Change is good—but you can’t expect your customer base to blindly adopt a new way of doing things without educating them about why it benefits them. Ever.
People don’t know what they don’t know. And just like plopping a QR code on something doesn’t educate customers about why they might want to scan it and what the benefit might be on the other end of that code, having a mobile payment solution without educating customers about why they might want to use it doesn’t lead to adoption.
Challenge to Marketers: Educating Consumers
There’s no doubt mobile payment solutions can be great and offer a lot of cool things for customers like convenience, targeted deals, easy record-keeping, etc. For me, I usually remember to pay my mortgage payment or my credit card bills at the very last minute, so having an app on my phone to facilitate quick and easy payment wherever I happen to be literally saves my you-know-what on a regular basis.
And that’s the challenge to marketers—you can’t expect customers to naturally gravitate to using mobile payment solutions. Instead, you need to develop campaigns that show them how mobile payment solutions benefit them. Consumers need to see and hear messages that show them mobile payment solutions make life easier, save money, save time, save hassles, lead to benefits—you get my drift.
Change of any kind requires education, so when brands are developing and launching mobile payment options, it makes sense to keep in mind that educating their customers has got to be part of the equation. No matter what tool or technology you’re introducing, convenience and customer service are key—and if you can’t articulate clearly and concisely why a customer should want to jump on the bandwagon—where the added value is for them and why it makes sense—mobile payment adoption rates will likely remain low.
What About You?
Where do you stand with regard to mobile payment solutions? Are you, like me, an early adopter and a fan? Or are you happy with the payment solutions you’re already accustomed to and not ready to make a change? What would it take to get you to adopt mobile payment solutions?
And if you’re a brand or an agency that’s already developed mobile payment options, how’s your adoption rate so far? Does it mimic the stats quoted earlier in the post? We’d love to know.
Image via BGR.com