Jeremy Nicholds, CEO of Judopay the leading mobile payments platform, explores how the new normal can be a better normal, with mobile payments.
Touch Free Mobile Payments
Now that lockdowns are a thing of the past and high street retail is growing again, we can look back over the changes that the pandemic has brought about with an eye to what they mean for the future.
Whilst contactless payments are up significantly, the other “touch free” payment options provided by mobile technology have also seen widespread adoption.
Mobile payments were already growing before the pandemic but have seen a step change in use which will continue to grow until ultimately our devices become the ‘primary wallet’ that we use for every transaction. But mCommerce can be about more than just payments, they can allow deeper engagement between companies and their customers and greater security at a time when cybersecurity threats are more common than ever.
Most customers only use their mobile for payments because of its convenience, but there are more reasons to use it as a primary wallet, and if fintech companies and retailers push the technology further then they can expect even greater adoption. One of my favourite applications currently is the Itsu app, from Pepper HQ, which means that I can order from Itsu’s menu and make payment ahead of walking down the road to my local store in Shoreditch where my order is already bagged up and waiting for me. My average time in store is probably just 15 seconds, always with a pleasant exchange, and each transaction gives me Itsu rewards.
QR Codes and App Clips
For years QR codes were a niche, almost failed technology. Since their creation in 1994, they saw limited adoption outside of industrial and logistical applications. During the pandemic this trend reversed dramatically as restaurants started mandating ordering via digital menus accessed via QR codes. Just as 2020 and 2021 were many people’s first introduction to mobile payments, they were also the first time many people used QR codes, and just like mobile payments they are a genie that is not going to go back in the bottle. The combination of ordering through QR codes and paying via mobile will create efficiencies in several sectors. Apple’s App Clips, which use Apple Pay for payments, came into being during the pandemic and evolve the QR code concept further by allowing lite versions of a company’s app to be downloaded to a customer’s phone, to conclude a transaction, giving them much greater speed and functionality than they would have through web-based interfaces.
Improved analytics ‘Data is the new oil’ has become a cliché, but it is no less true. One of the many advantages to mobile payment systems is that they provide more data and allow for much greater analysis. You can see where, when and how each customer made their purchase, giving greater insight which in turn allows companies to optimise their operations to increase sales.
The Better Normal
Although some elements of life under lockdown will likely abate after the much vaunted ‘freedom day’, mobile payments are one of the key payment methods that will continue to grow, as we head towards mobile payments, not card payments becoming the norm.