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Payment Banking Transaction Accounting E-Payment ConceptOne of the more surprising developments we’ve seen in the new millennium is the growing importance of the phone in people’s everyday lives. Computers on a desk where frequently seen as high tech devices that only technical “nerdy” experts found useful. Computers in your hand that can take photos, videos, and keep you informed of the latest posts from friends on Facebook however, are considered indispensable, and it’s the people that DON’T have or use one that are now considered odd and out of place.

Because of this, it should be no surprise that the smartphone has also begun its inevitable rise to prominence in personal finances. We’re not yet at the stage where the phone is replacing the old physical wallet with its cash, credit or debit cards. But the technology for phones to do so IS there. It’s just not in widespread use yet.

Recent figures on “mobile wallets” are still not huge, but they show growth. 18% of phone users don’t know what a mobile wallet is, while 15% each either don’t know anyone that uses the feature, or are aware of the feature but don’t see the point of using it themselves. However, the idea of a phone you can carry in your hand seemed similarly baffling at one point.

But the one thing that is clear from the research that is being done is that people, being social creatures, place an enormous emphasis on social media. The question then becomes, are you and your payment system prepared to exploit this?

The Impulse Buy

15% of smartphone users have indicated that social media plays a large role in influencing their purchasing decisions and even being their destination when it comes to making purchases. This means that when friends or people that a phone user follows on social media makes positive/influential reference to something that can be purchased online, and the ability to purchase that item exists within the social media itself, people will take advantage of this.

This means that cutting edge payment processing and people on the bleeding edge of marketing and payment techniques are already taking advantage of the human reflex to “follow the herd.” They just make it faster, easier and even more difficult to resist the urge, by giving people the ability to make the purchase right on the spot, as they read it in their social media feed.

For businesses that serve the retail sector, it’s critical to demolish as many barriers to purchasing as possible. This is especially true with social media, where one quick reference to a book, article of clothing, or service can instantly capture a person’s interest. If you make it possible for people to open up a purchasing window to your product or service from within social media, you are taking advantage of that shopping instinct to want to get in on something the friends and influential people have already staked a claim to.

Online purchases continue to grow at a phenomenal rate every year. Are you taking advantage of every online avenue you have? Is your payment processing able to accommodate social media?

Posted in online payment processing on Aug 02, 2016