Customer Journeys in 2018: Mobile payments will ...

Customer Journeys in 2018: Mobile payments will explode this year

It’s that time of year again: having to think twice before you fill in a date. The start of 2018 is a perfect moment to set resolutions, both in your personal life and in business. For the best plan of attack, make sure to consider the latest digital developments. In this series, our creative strategist Daantje van Gent will guide you through 2018’s customer journey trends. First up: mobile payments. 2018 is gearing up to become the breakthrough year of mobile payments in retail. Last year, 320,000 people in the Netherlands used their Android phone for wireless transactions. Using a digital wallet from their bank, all Android users (version 4.4 and higher) with an NFC chip in their device can pay with their smartphone. iOS devices are lagging behind because Apple is not yet supporting mobile payments in the Netherlands.

So, why will in-store mobile payments explode in 2018? For a couple of reasons.

Contactless payments are getting more popular

In the past year, the number of contactless pin transactions in the Netherlands doubled, with a whopping 1.6 billion transactions in November. The popularity of contactless payments make wireless payments by smartphone a logical next step.

On top of that, confidence in the security of smartphone payments has increased from 26 to 39 percent over the last year. Real-time processing of mobile payments at the end of 2018 will further improve consumers’ trust.

The expected arrival of Apple Pay in the Netherlands is another reason why in-store mobile payments will take off this year. Speculations have been going on for almost two years, but several blogs report that ING will be the first Dutch bank to support Apple Pay. Once both Android and iOS users are able to pay with their phone, the amount of mobile transaction in stores could very well exceed our expectations.

The most mobile bank

ING, which claims to be the most mobile bank in the Netherlands, has been hard at work to move payment processes into their mobile app. Online payment requests can be approved through the app with a pin or a fingerprint.

With aFrogleap, I get to experience mobile banking projects at Moneyou. Last year, the company launched a beta version of the Moneyou Go app. Together with test users, they’re trying to build ‘the best banking app in the Netherlands’. The app turns banking into a full mobile experience: you no longer have to visit an bank office to open an account, and your identity is confirmed through an ID scan.

Last year, we also saw startups like Bunq and OK entering the Dutch market, just as N26 had done before. Like ING, Bunq is reportedly in negotiations with Apple to support Apple Pay. OK (started by the founders of iDeal) is preparing a phased launch in 2018, with more than 100 retailers, brands, and ticket shops.

Both startups are third parties that offer a smart digital wallet you can connect to any bank account. This way, you’re no longer dependent on your bank and its traditional way of handling transactions.

Dutch marketeers should ask themselves how to handle the growing presence of mobile-savvy consumers. People enter stores with their phones in their pockets, bags, or hands, just waiting to be used. This creates opportunities for location-based push notifications, closing the gap between online and offline retail.

The mobile channel is turning into the center of the retail customer journey. Mobile can facilitate in-store pricing comparisons, reading reviews, and looking up detailed product information, but push notifications can also be used to create more relevant experiences for consumers.

Of course, that’s no excuse to start spamming customers with every singe special offer you might have. The route to sending in-app push-messages is, after all, an easy option. Relevance remains key. Good examples are reminders for vouchers that are close to expiring, or a pricing reduction on a recently viewed product or category.

It’s clear that the mobile shopping experience will undergo major changes in 2018. More so than ever before, it’ll be crucial to know your customers and get your mobile data together.

Curious about other digital trends in 2018? Our next article in this series will address changes in consumers' awareness of data privacy. Are you ready to 'forget' your customers?