As a mobile mind shift occurs, organizations are increasing app engagement by embracing mobile payments. What are you waiting for?
Blog five of a series.
You probably do this without even thinking about it: Pay for a Starbucks latte with your phone or call for a ride using Uber or Lyft apps. That’s because these actions are now a way of life.
But this new way of life wouldn’t be possible without mobile payments.
Companies in retail and transportation industries are an obvious fit for this technology because of their direct interaction with customers, but that’s not limiting others.
In an effort to conquer mobile app fatigue and increase user engagement, many companies in a variety of industries are embracing mobile payment-enabled technology to reach their consumers in new and creative ways. Could you employ the same ideas in your organization?
Here, we identify four use cases that benefit from mobile payment technologies and offer some key takeaways to consider:
Use Case #1: Offer More Than the Competition
No matter what industry you are in, check out what the competition is doing. How can you offer something more and make the lives of your customers easier and more convenient?
Mobile payments could be the answer. Let’s take insurance carriers as an example.
While their apps have come a long way, they have yet to revolutionize the industry. Currently, many offer straightforward services such as submitting claims and viewing policies through a “tiny web” formatted version of the company website.
Yet, some insurance brands are climbing ahead of the pack by using exclusive, mobile-first features. A great example of this is USAA’s app, which provides voice-based virtual assistance, in-app scheduling, and location-based offers.
USAA has also adopted Apple Wallet, allowing customers to store their insurance card directly in the mobile wallet on their iPhone.
As we pointed out in our previous blog on mobile payment technologies, digital wallets are an expansion on mobile payments and a replacement for existing wallets. By using the Apple Wallet, USAA can maintain a presence on a user’s device even if the customer neglects to use the mobile app.
Takeaway: Get ahead of your competitors with mobile payments.
Use Case #2: Solve Industry Challenges
Think from the customer’s perspective: What’s their biggest pain point in interacting with you? And how is their level of pain affecting your business? How can you overcome these hurdles?
Mobile payments are already helping some companies solve known industry problems.
Consider healthcare providers, which struggle to optimize their revenue cycle – even though it’s critical to get it right to accurately capture, manage, and collect revenue from patients. Some estimates claim that up to 30% of lost revenue is due to improper billing procedures.
In a CIO Magazine article, CTO and co-founder of Instamed Chris Sieb reported that “approximately 20 percent of consumers have unpaid healthcare bills as a result of confusion in the payment process.”
Solving the revenue cycle problem begs for an innovative solution. That’s where Instamed has stepped up to the challenge. Instamed hosts a healthcare payment network that brings together providers, consumers and payers in one convenient location.
A big part of Instamed’s solution for patient engagement is embracing mobile payment solutions such as Apple Pay and Android Pay, which simplify the payment process, offer convenience and keep confidential user information more secure than cash, plastic credit cards, and paper-based checks. A study by IBM identified healthcare as the most frequent victim of cyber-attacks – making secure payment methods like Apple Pay and Android Pay a smart decision.
The Instamed platform has grown rapidly since the company was founded in 2004, no doubt in part because of the company’s concentration on simplifying the payment process in a secure way.
Takeaway: Overcome common industry problems with mobile payments.
Use Case #3: Streamline Your Services
Rather than reinventing the wheel, look for simple out-of-the-box solutions to help streamline your services. What’s on the market already that you might be able to take advantage of?
Mobile payments are already helping streamline services for companies across industries.
Field services work has greatly benefited from the new technology.
Sending invoices and payments back and forth through the mail after the completion of a job or service is an outdated process. Rather, a number of companies are now accepting payments at the point-of-sale. It’s simpler for field service technicians and customer-friendly, too.
One company offering creative mobile point-of-sale system solutions is eMobilePOS.
eMobilePOS turns any smartphone or tablet into a mobile point-of-sale (POS) device that can be used to generate orders, issue invoices and securely process payments using specialized hardware.
Takeaway: Take advantage of mobile payments to improve company processes.
Use Case #4: Support Your Local Community
Go beyond your customers and look inside your organization. Is there a way to positively impact the lives of your employees? Or help your employees positively impact the lives of others?
Corporate social responsibility programs can thrive thanks to mobile payments. The technology offers for-profit organizations the opportunity to increase employee contributions to the community.
Not only will driving up charitable contributions have a lasting impact on your employees and the community, but it will also build up goodwill in the eyes of consumers.
A 2015 study by Cone Communications and Ebiquity Global CSR noted that 91% of consumers expect businesses to address environmental and social issues – not just focus on turning a profit. Luckily, these kinds of programs are easy to implement with the advent of mobile payments.
We recently ventured into this space by enabling charitable donations in our Centric Connect mobile app for employees. Our goal was simple: To make it easier for employees to donate to causes they support.
Our charitable giving feature allows users to to donate to a list of participating charitable organizations. Using the mobile payments feature on their phone, an employee selects the amount they’d like to donate, and pays through the app. Then, the money is immediately deposited into the charitable organization’s bank account using a third-party payment processor.
These types of fast, secure, mobile-friendly payment options encourage employees to take a more active role in our company’s social responsibility program.
We’re not the only company to see the advantages. PayPal, Amazon and Humble Bundle, all incorporate micro-donations and charitable giving as a fundraising service for millions of charities.
With the explosion of mobile payment technologies, the option to donate to valuable causes has never been easier.
Takeaway: Use mobile payments to get involved and garner goodwill with customers.
Conquering App Fatigue with Mobile Payments
If customers don’t get value out of the tools and offerings you provide, they may leave and go to a competitor who will. Staying relevant has never been more important.
To compete in today’s digital world, you need to adapt your business strategies and tactics to keep customers engaged. That includes updating your mobile apps.
In earlier articles, we outlined clear signs to identify when your app is outdated and needs to be refreshed, as well as ways to improve mobile app engagement. We also described the benefits of mobile payments: Customers gain added convenience and security, while companies enjoy higher customer engagement and new monetization opportunities.
For those same reasons, progressive organizations of all sizes are embracing mobile payments. They see the new technology as a key enabler of their digital strategy.
Failure to update your company’s app to provide relevant experiences and value-added services will surely result in lower engagement.
As a mobile mind shift occurs, don’t get left behind.
We want to hear your thoughts: How would your organization benefit from mobile payments? What are you waiting for? Send us your ideas and comments below.
Want to know more? Watch our Mobile Payments Webinar.
About the Author
Michael McKinney is a Mobile Developer for Centric. He has worked as a software developer specializing in mobile applications design and development for Apple iPhone and Google Android platforms. Michael also features hands-on expertise in open source architectures. In his free time, Michael enjoys camping, hiking and all things outdoors.