David Nunn from Braintree offers some guidance on how businesses can improve the payments experience for customers everywhere
In order to prepare for future developments in the payments space, businesses today must have a strategy that adapts to customer preferences and in particular, enhances the mobile experience. Getting mobile right from the outset is key to building customer loyalty. To get this right, however, firms need to invest in this space and understand that the checkout experience, in-store or digital, is a priority.
Function Over Form
In the last year mobile wallets have catapulted into our daily lives. Mobile now accounts for 29 percent of all online transactions globally, laying the ground for mass conversion to online shopping.
App stores are filled with beautifully designed apps which promise simplicity and convenience across all corners of our lives. However, when it comes to mobile transactions, aesthetics are merely the surface level – it’s functionality that is the crucial element of the user experience. A difficult and clunky experience can determine whether a customer stays on the site and progresses all the way through to checkout, or leaves and never returns.
Apps and websites that haven’t been optimised with customers in mind are detrimental to the company’s brand. While it is often an afterthought, functionality should be prioritised from the start to promote “sticky” customer journeys. An engaging user experience promoting loyalty ensures that your customers click right through to checkout, and keep coming back time and time again.
In order to deliver this function, many firms are looking to implement “invisible payments”. Invisible payments allow the payment functionality to become so integrated into a retailer’s branding and design that the checkout experience happens seamlessly, without a glitch. This seamlessness encourages customers to come back to a website they recognise as reliable and easy to use.
In addition, as mobile grows, businesses are having to plan for ever-changing user expectations. To help, Braintree’s Drop-in user interface (UI) offers a ready-made payment UI for a quick and easy way to start accepting payments, simply by dropping in a few lines of code. This means that the look and feel of the website can be kept in the hands of the business, all the while keeping the payment simple, and the customer’s details secure.
Braintree’s work with hungryhouse is testament to the importance of consistent branding and merchant control. Previously, hungryhouse’s app payment flow sent the user to a webview that looked and felt very different from the rest of their app experience. The company needed a software development kit (SDK) that allowed them to optimise their user experience on mobile devices, and support 3D-Secure. Braintree was the only payments company that offered mobile and web SDKs, and 3D-Secure, and the PayPal and Apple Pay payment methods were an added benefit included in the same Braintree integration.
Future proof payments
This ‘mobile first’ approach means that no matter the device, the payment experience will always be smooth, and importantly, will consistently look and feel like the rest of the service.
It’s equally important that these integrations happen easily. Uber switched to Braintree’s SDK in 2011 for its international and U.S. based payments. After a laborious process to extract its users’ data from their current provider, Uber was able to quickly and easily integrate the technology into its existing service with no visible effects on the customer end.
Invisible payments are the way forward to future proof your payment strategy. The payment landscape will inevitably evolve, so it’s important for merchants to provide customers with a consistent, trustworthy and easy experience. By doing this, businesses can ensure customer loyalty, reinforced by consistent branding is embedded throughout the entire payment experience.
David Nunn is head of Braintree, Europe.
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