I read the recent research on why online shoppers abandon their shopping carts at checkout (payment). While a shopper's economic circumstances play a substantial part, the research supports the view I have that more sales will be completed if the buying/paying
process is much simpler, faster and the process does not risk the customer's identity or financial security. Instantaneous payment processes would result in more sales at no additional cost. Improved processes would lead to lower fraud losses for merchants
and lower prices for happier customers.
Every step in the process diminishes the likelihood of a completed sale and ultimately represents additional costs to the merchant. There are also more failure points and opportunities for fraud .
Payment processes are too complex online and in store.
While the 'lab' view of a transaction is seemingly fairly simple, in the real world there is often a lot more to the process, adding costs for merchants. The behind the scenes processes for the merchant are also more complicated than payment brands would have
To that end I've been focusing on consumer friendly transaction processes requiring the least effort and providing the most security.
Mobile solutions show the most promise, although many of those are complicated by additional requirements, such as data/web access and the associated fees, and network coverage. Mobile transactions must have the immediate potential to work everywhere, not
just somewhere on some phones. Mobile does represent something closer to ubiquity with many billions of the devices in use.
Cards and readers could disappear from the landscape in the blink of an eye with a mobile challenge with the potential points of sale forever outnumbering old fashioned terminals by millions to one.
It would likely cost less for the merchants wouldn't it?
I also note on the online purchasing /payment front that Google has been testing the ability to lay consumer FICO scores on top of its Google Content Network to identify people with good credit. The strategy will enable the search engine to help advertisers
target a specific type of consumer (creditworthy, cashed up) through display and text ads, according to Masha Korsunsky, Google's senior industry marketing manager, financial services.
What better incentive to improve your credit score? A better quality ad in your internet experience?
Next will come IQ's linked to your browser so they can feed you a line if you're not quite the full cup of tea, and perhaps banks could offer a different rate depending whether you're likely to be dumb enough to pay.
P.S. I'd planned to write a whole blog about it entitled
'Speaking of IQ - I'm no Google Basher They're Just Kids'
and the bulk of it will have to wait but it is probably important to point out that Google are making it easy to select your ID theft victims, simply put up an adsense site and see who gets served the 'a la carte' ads and discount the 'budget' types as being
less worthy as potential victims of fraud and identity theft.
Who let those kids into the lolly factory?