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Confidence in Mobile and Contactless Payments

Whilst I have personally enjoyed the growth of acceptance of NFC based contactless payments for my payment cards and my Samsung S4, I can't but help notice the people around me in either their payment behaviours - or in them observing mine.

Paying with a tap of a phone still gets a look of bewilderment.  That wouldn't be such a worry if it were just from fellow shoppers, but it's actually still from a lot of staff members behind the counter.  Education and experience may solve this.  But for many it's still new-fangled and very gimmicky (and in many ways I'd entirely agree).

And god forbid there be an issue of any kind with a mobile payment because the panic sets in and alternative payment methods demanded immediately (never a second go!).

Confidence is a huge issue in payments.

One of the best recent examples I can think of was a recent family vacation to Disneyland Paris with payment cards.  For those of you that have been, you may be aware that they are pretty good with card acceptance. They accept MasterCard/ Maestro, Visa/ Carte Bleu, American Express and EuroCard. But Disneyland Paris have an exclusive partnership with MasterCard.

I casually observed countless transactions where the customer changed their payment cards at the counter, or awkwardly fumbled in their purse or wallets at the point of payment.  Of course this was not scientific, or anything other than anecdotal, but was all caused by a little visual prompt:  "MasterCard/ Maestro Always Welcomed at Disneyland" (see picture below).

This was just a poignant reminder to me.  That customers will avoid the embarrassment of a transaction being declined.  I didn't see one person even brave the question of "do you accept ___?".  It's human nature to be compliant.

Consumers need confidence that their payment will just work.  This is crucial to mobile payments.  That’s what cash did.  That’s what cards have done (unless the seed of doubt is shown).  And poor acceptance, or poor experience really damage consumers trust and confidence.  Payment failure is a huge consumer taboo, and therefore a huge source of anxiety.

Many of the new entrants are actively trying to eliminate the "awkwardness" of a payment transaction completely; citing the example of how in luxury stores the POS is out back, out of sight and not part of the payment experience.

So acceptance, and confidence in acceptance is a big part in trust (security and control aside).  It’s not just about getting a consumer to try, it’s about creating a flawless and confidence building experience with every transaction.

Always Welcome at Disneyland Paris

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19 Mar 2009


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This post is from a series of posts in the group:

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