For many consumers, smartphones aren’t only a way to catch up on emails or news: They are also a way to discover and shop for products and services. The technology also paves the way for payments with credit cards, debit cards, PayPal and mobile wallets.
Shoppers also like the experience of paying with their phones: More than eight in 10 – or 81.1 percent – of respondents who paid electronically via smartphones were either “extremely” or “somewhat” satisfied with their payments, according to the PYMNTS Remote Payments Study. The study also noted that “ultimately, consumers’ preference for paying with smartphones comes down to their need for both speed and convenience.”
From grocers such as Kroger to mobile dining apps like 2ndKitchen, companies are enabling consumers to pay with their phones for products and services. These are just some of the ways that merchants and service providers are bringing smartphone payment experiences to shoppers:
Approximately six in 10 – 60.5 percent – of customers were extremely satisfied paying with a smartphone. And retailers are rolling out new ways for consumers to make payments with their mobile phones. Kroger, for instance, is introducing a mobile payment option dubbed Kroger Pay, available for iOS and Android. Shoppers can make payments at the terminal by using a custom code, a quick response (QR) code or biometrics. The app also allows customers to use personalized offers and coupons. Kroger Group VP of Operations Mary Ellen Adcock said, according to reports, “Kroger Pay is one of the few mobile wallets that pairs loyalty and payment.” She added that “the application of this exciting technology is another step in our front-end experience transformation.”
About the same share – or 57.9 percent – of customers were extremely satisfied paying with an employee or kiosk. 2ndKitchen, for instance, offers ordering technology and customized menus that let diners order from kiosks (or their phones) at bars, breweries or other businesses that might not have a kitchen. After making their selections at a kiosk, diners can swipe their credit card (EMV/chip or contactless). Restaurants then enlist kitchens to deliver the order under the service’s standard model. The service provides the restaurant with the customer’s table number to facilitate the delivery. The company also offers an application programming interface (API) that integrates with local couriers.
More than half – or 52.3 percent – of customers were extremely satisfied paying with a mobile device (not a smartphone). And financial firms, along with device makers, are making these payments possible. In January, Discover and Garmin International announced that card members can use a contactless payment solution called Garmin Pay. The offering is available on the vívoactive 3 series smartwatch from Garmin, as well as Forerunner GPS running watches. Discover Vice President of e-Business Shaida Lynch said in a press release, “Consumers are constantly on the go, and our goal is to make it as simple and seamless as possible for our cardmembers to pay with their Discover card, including on IoT and wearable devices.”
And about half – or 55.6 percent – of customers were extremely satisfied with other payment methods. Western Union, for instance, launched a payment option to enable Amazon shoppers to make payments through the currencies of their own countries. The offering works along with the Amazon PayCode cross-border payment option. Customers are sent a code as well as information on how to make a payment at a Western Union location. Amazon Director of Payment Acceptance and Experience Ben Volk said in an announcement, “Amazon PayCode leverages the reach of Western Union to make cross-border online shopping a reliable and convenient experience for customers who do not have access to international credit cards, or prefer to pay in cash.”
Just over 47 percent – or 47.2 percent – of customers were extremely satisfied by paying with a voice assistant device. Dunkin’, in one example, announced support for ordering through Amazon Alexa in August. Consumers can place an order through an Alexa-enabled device and ditch the line to pick up their orders. All the ordering and payments happen within the company’s mobile platform. Dunkin’ U.S. Vice President of Digital and Loyalty Marketing Stephanie Meltzer-Paul said, according to an August announcement, “Our integration with Amazon Alexa is our latest innovation to better serve members of our DD Perks program, which remains one of the fastest-growing loyalty programs in the quick service restaurant industry, with nearly eight million members.”
From Dunkin’ to Kroger, merchants and service providers are enabling mobile payments for their customers. But turning on smartphone payments isn’t enough to provide the service customers need: Merchants also must learn how to streamline the processes to make the checkout experience faster and more convenient.