Digital transformation was a buzzword and a growing trend in 2019. In 2021, it’s necessary for survival. And while we may be tempted to say, “what a difference a year makes,” even 2020 can’t be blamed entirely for the massive shift in consumer behavior that had already taken root.
At this point, the majority of your members currently use their mobile devices to complete financial transactions. The vast majority of younger consumers use mobile payments.
For a long time, this trend was convenience driven. Now, it is expected and an operational imperative. Here’s what that means for credit unions (and what should be on your radar).
A Quick Look at Mobile Payments
96% of all Americans have a cell phone. Going into 2022, most of those are smartphones. So, most Americans can pay using a mobile device.
Payment provider PaymentVision found that 60% of Americans complete transactions over mobile phones. That number rises to 80% for the under 25 crowd. COVID-19 accelerated some trends, but they were already in place:
- Americans will increasingly rely on remote payment methods
- Remote payment methods will become less novel and more routine
- Mobile payment frequency will increase as younger generations enter adulthood
The picture these bullet points paint is clear:
Mobile payments are the future. All other methods will still be important, and omnichannel support will be key, but mobile and online payments will be primary payment methods. Full stop.
Here are three things to consider going forward:
1. UX Is Paramount
User experience, or UX, covers broad territory. It encompasses design, copy, animation, and other creative work. It also maps layout, navigation, and control standards. If it relates to how a user interacts with and responds to a digital interface, it’s UX.
Plus, UX is important. Have you ever been given the controls to a video game you didn’t know how to play? It was probably frustrating. You might have given up on it before it gave you a chance to appreciate the game itself.
Imagine how people feel when they want to open an account or apply for a loan… and must navigate through complicated forms and click multiple confirmation buttons. (Nobody should have to click more than three times!)
You can see why they might just give up.
Or why, if the design looks outdated, users might not trust the site security. People give up when sites or apps are slow and when pages time out. People assume the quality of your site or app reflect the quality of your products and services.
Consumers want convenience, speed, and intuitive design. In 2022, prioritize mobile UX, especially in payments. That is, assuming your website UX is already near perfect…
(If not, you have two priorities!)
2. Design Must Be Responsive
If you’re already familiar with responsive design, you can probably skip this section right now. You already know how important it is to the functionality of your digital channels.
But if you need a little refresher, here’s what responsive design is (and why you need it):
Responsive design is web design strategy that accommodates screens of any size. The design adapts to look good on mobile, tablet, and desktop screen sizes alike. Often, it means entire page layouts look different from one device to another. That’s because the look, button placement, menu location, image sizes, etc. are optimized for different screens.
If you’ve ever looked up a website on your mobile device—and then had to scroll all over the page just to find the button or menu item you’re looking for—then you’ve dealt with non-responsive design. Often, responsive design is necessary for buttons, menus, etc. to work.
So, if your design isn’t responsive, you’re making it harder for people to complete their payments. You can increase payment completion rates with simple design changes!
3. Design Payment Gateways Specifically for Mobile Use
The trends are clear:
Mobile payment volume is growing, and that’s especially true in younger demographics. Payment gateway design can’t just accommodate mobile usage—it must approach payments as a mobile first option.
Even if that’s not the case now, it will be soon. It’s the only device that people take with them everywhere. And, now that the vast majority of Americans have mobile devices, think mobile first. Yes, even for access.
Using an app instead of a website might be an option. Optimizing for mobile is another. Ensuring lightning-fast speed may be a factor as well.
4. Security, Security, Security
The only thing more important to consumers than ease of use is security. And, while a lot of the above mobile-centric UX/design issues hint at security, there’s no substitute for the real thing.
Your gateway must be secure. If you want to go the extra mile, consider instituting additional member ID protections at your credit union.
2022 and beyond will continue to prove just how critical transformation is. Digital channels are no longer secondary—they’re primary channels. They deserve the budget and attention they deserve. Mobile-optimized gateways are paramount to the member experience, period.
PaymentVision compiled a list of 12 must haves for payments in 2021. You can read their full list here.
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