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Finance

ENHANCING THE BUYING EXPERIENCE AT MOBEY FORUM ROTTERDAM

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ENHANCING THE BUYING EXPERIENCE AT MOBEY FORUM ROTTERDAM

Written by André Stoorvogel, Director, Product Marketing, Rambus Payments 

Last week we hosted Mobey Forum’s largest ever member meeting at our Rotterdam office. We were thrilled to welcome organizations and experts from around the world for three days of invaluable networking and industry insights.

We’ve taken a moment to reflect on some of the key topics, and explore how they might impact the payments and retail industries in 2017.

From payments to buying experiences

As the core theme of the Rotterdam meeting, this transition is something the speakers were passionate about. So while mobile payments were still a hot topic, the conversation had moved on from the enabling technology to the consumer interface. For many speakers, including myself and our CEO Ron Black, getting closer to the consumer by providing a better user experience will only become more important as unified payments (combining gift cards, points, coupons and credit into a single transaction) become fully integrated into consumers’ day-to-day lives.

Attendees also heard up-to-the-minute examples of organizations enabling a move towards a holistic buying experience, including PayKey’s secured payment keyboard that facilitates payments directly from a bank account on social media channels, and Paytogether’s payment gateway that enables consumers to make group bookings in a single transaction. Convenience, simplicity and value; everything needed to drive adoption.

AI, blockchain and HCE hit their stride

Artificial intelligence (AI) has also been a popular topic of discussion in recent years, and we are starting to see use cases in fintech. In Rotterdam we had the opportunity to discuss the potential value of AI in banking, and it is going to be exciting to see how this emerging technology can add value to banks and consumers. In a rapidly evolving ecosystem like payments, it’s always difficult to make predictions, but we are confident that AI will continue to develop its presence in the industry.

Interesting discussion also centered on the application of technologies that improve connectivity, security, user experience and engagement within mobile payments. Blockchain, the most talked-about tech in 2016, continues to show incredible promise – Consult Hyperion in particular were enthusiastic about how it could be used outside of B2B transactions, where much of its coverage has focused. Bluetooth, a technology that at one point nearly faded into the past, was also discussed at length, having risen to prominence once more with the growth in wearables and IoT devices. Beyond this, discourse around augmented reality also showed that all of these technologies are being combined to bring us closer to a seamless, frictionless and invisible buying experience.

Working together to add value to payments

This is arguably the most exciting period in the history of payments and many of the companies leading the way are doing so collectively. For example, we heard about Mastercard and Samsung’s collaboration to develop Groceries, the first shopping app integrated into a refrigerator, which learns from shopping habits to make personalized suggestions. On top of this, Masterpass technology is also being leveraged in the automotive industry, with General Motors and IBM working together to develop the first cognitive mobility platform for connected cars.

Another mobile payment technology that was discussed at length during the meetings was host card emulation (HCE). While no longer a new technology, realizing its full potential centers on certification, as FIME and Riscure explained. Certifiable standards in mobile payments technologies allow not just for interoperability and multi-device functionality, but also make collaborations between different members of the payments ecosystem possible.

Conclusions

The payments sector continues to explore new ways to improve the customer journey. We are proud to be a part of the evolution towards a buying experience that truly adds value for consumers, banks and retailers. After participating in last week’s meetings, there is no doubt in my mind that much of the innovation and collaboration happening already across the industry (and much we are yet to see) is born in gatherings like Mobey Forum Rotterdam.

Finance

How the financial sector can keep newly acquired customers returning time and time again

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How the financial sector can keep newly acquired customers returning time and time again 1

By Dicken Doe from Foolproof, a Zensar company

Covid-19 has changed the financial lives of millions; what worked for people and their bank six months ago might not work today. For some people savings have depleted and pensions withdrawn early. While mortgage holidays have increased the time required to pay back loans and emergency funds in the advent of job losses.

When combined with the fact that Covid-19 has rapidly sped up online migration, providers need to deeply question the design of their financial experiences. According to a recent survey from Lightico: “63% of US citizens said they were more inclined to try a new digital app for banking than they were before the pandemic. Also, 82% said they were concerned about paying a visit to their local banks.”

To be successful, both existing and new experiences must be assessed by using data and human insight to iteratively design and test solutions.

The swift response of many financial institutions to the crisis has created a number of changes to services and customer support functions. Things which have taken months of negotiation in the past have been made possible in days. However, speed does not always equal quality. Key considerations that need to be accounted for – to keep existing and newly acquired customers returning – remain. This can broadly be described under the auspice of consistent experiences that meet emerging customer needs.

Top tips to keep newly acquired financial services customers returning

Getting ahead starts with the ‘why’ customers are performing an action and ‘what’ they need. With this in mind, here are my top five tips for the financial sector on how to keep new customers coming back again and again.

Understand new and emerging needs:

People have been forced online in all-new circumstances. To respond appropriately, providers need to look at quantitative data and have a regular qualitative dialogue with new and existing online customers. This will help them spot emerging needs and behaviours which form themes and patterns in online browsing. To enable this, financial service providers must move from being reactive to proactive. This will help them to keep pace with the changes people themselves are experiencing in their own lives.

Financial businesses should look to segment, analyse and speak to customers who have started managing their finances with them since the beginning of the year and interrogate their behaviours. This will provide invaluable insight into what people are looking for and why.

Banks have an advantage here – when compared to other sectors – because saving, lending and current account journeys tend to start in apps or sites. By connecting site browsing with new customer account data, we can see individual demands expressed in the use of content, and the sorts of journeys customers are undertaking. Are these people struggling to complete a particular task i.e. setting up a direct debit? Is there something they’re entirely overlooking e.g. ISAs or loans?

Dicken Doe

Dicken Doe

At both the individual level and at an aggregate level, we can see emerging needs and trends. For example, the mortgage market has tightened up. Prior to Covid-19 there were 700+ 10% deposit home loans available, now there are less than 70. As a result, a decline in interest and a lack of ability for younger people to buy homes could signal a move towards people putting savings into ISAs. Likewise, too many customers are shifting to expensive and unsustainable debt, meaning providers need to imagine better ways to help combat this. This means designing value-adding solutions which helps maintain trust with the customer as well as encouraging them to come back.

Optimise journey flows:

The amount of tooling now available to understand journeys, identify breaks and ultimately address these issues is huge. There is no excuse not to be working hard on this, too many companies see a journey as set and overlook moments where design can be used to enhance processes. For example, why does opening online banking take five clicks and not one, and why is it so hard to find information about my pension?

Financial service providers of today cannot rely on a paradigmatic shift to new journeys with mounting financial pressures – their current ones need to evolve. If they aren’t continuously enhancing what they have today, it’s easier than ever for people to go elsewhere. Especially when 36% of people in the UK now feel more comfortable managing money online and 23% trust online money management more.

However, enhancements to services must be based on both customer needs gathered from qualitative insight and quantitative data from analytics and tracking tools to expose key problems. What you find out might mean redesigning specific moments in a journey, but it could also be done by improving signposting and information architecture, remarketing better, or tweaking content i.e. improving the findability of information connected to mortgage holidays.

Reasons to return: 

Understanding people’s needs and targeting them drives better outcomes for all. Now is not the time for generic market offers because people’s immediate financial needs are significantly limited by Covid-19. The key to encouraging people to return is having a range of solutions that meet the specific needs of today. The credit card you had planned might not be what people need right now, but a compelling savings product could be. User research and insight will help you form validated hypotheses about offerings to test, and it’s precisely the kind of thing quantitative data alone will struggle to tell you.

Financial service providers also have the power to engage or reengage customers. They have ecosystems that join up channels to improve the likelihood of someone coming back. For example, if a customer opened an ISA in the past but stopped making deposits, perhaps it’s because they’re unaware of the annual limit on that sort of tax-free investment. If buy-to-let rates were reduced, perhaps they can afford that loan application abandoned last month. Financial providers need to harness the power of design to remind customers of the benefits available today.

As always, knowledge about customers and their needs has to be exposed, and new solutions devised to offer people ways back into your funnel. To do this you need a mix of research and data science to expose the problems for designers to work on.

Ease of use: 

Across the financial services sector, digital design maturity is improving, but many processes are still unnecessarily cumbersome. Companies that have introduced rushed processes to support customers at a distance are likely to have solved an immediate problem, but to the detriment of the overall experience. Here, design thinking and service design can guide organisations toward optimising journeys to promote ease of use and coherent customer experiences.

Even months after the start of the pandemic, many organisations are struggling to maintain their inbound call centres and chat functions. On the whole, Help & Support pages offer just as poor an experience. These functions are often incomplete and overlooked, but are now the crux of banking experiences everywhere.

Banks must home in on these moments and provide other experiences in keeping with the standards set by the likes of First Direct’s award-winning telephone banking service. Within seconds, you’re through to an operator trained to handle loan applications, mortgage queries and more. The trick is to follow the right formula. You’ll want to avoid customers having to retain lots of information at once, navigating complex menu systems and always provide the option to speak with an operator. Services which adhere to this closely often outperform their digital counterparts – helping to relieve the strain placed on your overall experience.

Done well, conversational AI can make a big difference to customer experience and the likelihood of conversion too. Santander’s banking line harnesses this technology, and with a few vocal cues, you’re managing cash verbally. To succeed though, you must set up analytics, perform research and regularly optimise services to relieve friction and meet your customers’ ever-changing needs.

Summing up

Providers are increasingly talking about optimisation but finding immediate opportunities to squeeze funnels and processes for more value cannot come at the expense of great customer experience. Now is the time for immediate changes but you need to make sure those changes are sustainable and consistent with everything else you have that supports your online ecosystem.

In essence, delivering efficiencies can’t overcome delivering a poorer customer experience long-term. Where this is true there is a customer-centred design job to be done in the better understanding of customers and behaviours, and therefore research and design more focussed on those needs.

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Finance

Increased contactless spending could be linked to higher fraud and payment disputes, warns global risk expert

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Increased contactless spending could be linked to higher fraud and payment disputes, warns global risk expert 2

The rapid adoption of contactless payments during COVID-19 may be contributing to multiple strands of fraud

Monica Eaton-Cardone, COO and Co-Founder of merchant dispute specialist, Chargebacks911, and its revolutionary new financial institution brand, Fi911, warns of the chargeback and fraud risks associated with the increase in contactless payments following the COVID-19 outbreak.

In a bid to reduce human interaction, the use of cash, and the touching of contact points such as PIN pads and cash machines, the UK’s contactless spending limit increased from £30 to £45 in April this year.

Customers across the globe have also got onboard with the payment method following contagion concerns about using cash and cards. As a result, Mastercard reported a 40% increase in contactless payment activity in Q1 of 2020.

This dramatic increase in contactless payments may be contributing to the sharp rise in chargebacks that have been recorded since the pandemic began. According to Cardone, industries are now experiencing 10 times the amount of payment disputes that were taking place prior to COVID-19.

Monica explained: “Contactless payments present a number of fraud threats. For one, if a valid cardholder’s information is stolen, it can be added to a mobile device and used to make unauthorised purchases – leaving merchants covering customers’ losses. In addition to this third-party fraud, contactless payments present a greater opportunity for genuine customers to commit first-party (friendly) fraud and lie about whether or not a transaction was actually made by them.

“These scenarios pose even more of a threat while the retail landscape is going through this turbulent period and genuine claims are on the rise, so merchants are in less of a position to dispute false claims.”

Although merchants are the ones left refunding customers and losing valuable goods due to chargebacks and friendly fraud, the issue doesn’t start and end with them. Behind a payment dispute is an intricate network of merchants, acquirers, issuers, and card schemes that deal with disputes and adopt their associated costs.

And, when merchants lose money to disputes, the cost will inevitably end up back with customers, since merchants raise prices to cope with these losses. This is likely to become a necessity in our current period of economic uncertainty.

For this reason, Monica warns everyone involved in the payment process to remain vigilant when it comes to chargebacks that stem from contactless payments.

Monica continued: “If merchants want to reap the benefits of contactless payments, they need to be aware of the threats involved and have strategies in place to respond effectively.

“At the same time, financial institutions should watch for activity that is unusual and out of line with typical consumer behaviour – for instance, a consumer suddenly making a high-value purchase at a store that’s thousands of miles away from home. They should also be on the lookout for repeated use of the chargeback process, which might indicate friendly fraud, as 40% of consumers who commit this fraud successfully will repeat the practice within 60 days.

“I also urge consumers to be aware of their account activity and to keep a close eye out for anything that may indicate that a contactless payment account has been compromised.”

Going forward, Monica is anticipating that contactless payment adoption will continue to grow, especially against the backdrop of COVID-19. To help combat the growing chargeback problem and fraud associated with contactless payments, Chargebacks911 is working closely with merchants – particularly those in the most susceptible industries – and financial institutions to tackle the issue head-on.

If you’re concerned about COVID-19 chargebacks effecting your business, speak to a member of the Chargebacks911 team at: [email protected].

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Pay and Go, why seamless checkout is essential for the customer experience

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Pay and Go, why seamless checkout is essential for the customer experience 3

By Ralf Gladis, CEO, Computop

Shopping for many is therapy…until they reach the queue for the checkout. It’s easier online to pay for goods, but physical retail, with all the sensory benefits it offers the shopper, would be so much easier if payment was quick and easy. In an industry that has proven it can reinvent itself, its time to focus on the point of sale.

Shopping serves less to satisfy our basic requirements than it does to satisfy our love of new things, our desire to spend money, and our curiosity. It’s an experience, and we’re not interested in spending time on anachronistic, time-consuming procedures like queuing at the till. In a digitalised world where everything can be seen and bought in seconds through a smartphone, what we want from shops is a new approach, and the point of sale is not living up to expectation.

The reason for this lies in retailers’ reluctance to invest in IT infrastructure a decade or so ago, when smartphone app developers were experimenting with location-based services. They could have enabled customers to use their mobile phones as indoor navigation systems, guiding them to the goods they were looking for, or to items they were promoting online. But they were wary. What if network access allowed customers to see if they could get a better price for products before they paid? Would they be able to work out the margins that retailers were making? This reluctance was pointless since customers could just as easily leave the store to do a quick online search, and who’s to say whether they would ever return?

Ralf Gladis

Ralf Gladis

In an age in which the range of goods on offer offline and online is identical, the shopping experience becomes a differentiating factor alongside the price – for better or worse. In order to retain regular customers, it is no longer enough for a store to carry a brand and have the right articles of that brand in stock or be able to obtain them quickly. Shopping must stimulate the brain’s reward system from the initial contact with the goods – looking, touching, feeling, grasping – to spending money.

Payment points in stores, particularly department stores are positioned around the edges of the shop floor for historic reasons – they used to be close to the offices and safes where the cash was stored before being taken to the bank – but why make customers walk any distance at all when they could pay exactly where they are already standing? In the Apple Store salespeople move around with their iOS mobile devices and they can provide information and process payment. There’s not even the need to provide a paper receipt because it can be sent by email. Some stores are offering apps that allow their customers to pay on their own smartphones once they’ve scanned the barcode of the item they want to purchase.

The way forward is to think about stores as showrooms. Assistants are there to provide information and seamlessly enable payment, not to stand behind a physical POS. If the customer would rather not lug their shopping bags around with them, the assistant can arrange next day delivery as they are paying. If an item isn’t in stock, it can be ordered at the same time. In fact, some retailers are now specialising in the display of goods, particularly clothing, in just one size and if the consumer likes the look of it, they scan the label with their phone, reserve a changing room and the item is ready for them to try on when they enter.

But when it comes to actually making payment, retailers have all the technology they need at their disposal. Contactless payment by card or mobile phone, for example, takes just seconds, and with biometric authentication now such an integral part of electronic payments, both retailers and customers are infinitely better protected from fraud than they have ever been. Biometrics are also attractive to retailers and consumers because they reduce time spent securing payment, and smartphone-supported payment methods such as Apple Pay which can be combined with self-scanning are increasingly being used by shoppers in a hurry.

If retailers are committed to keeping their physical stores relevant and attractive, they could do much worse than to make paying for goods as frictionless as possible. Make payment part of a great customer experience.

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