A study conducted by the Federal Reserve in December 2014 revealed that while the number of people who use mobile payment is on the rise, the frequency and consistency with which they use the technology remains fairly low.
Despite that mobile payments empower customers to pay using a debit or credit card anywhere, whether consumers are willing to try this form of payment requires some education and hand holding on the part of the business owners who use the technology.
Here are a few ways to make customers more comfortable with mobile payments:
Show, don’t tell.
One of the key selling points mobile payments offer are point of sale conveniences. Not only can businesses that use mobile payments accept debit and credit card payments at physical storefronts and off-site locations, the mobile nature of the technology all but eliminates a physical checkout line. There is plenty of scientific evidence that consumers strongly dislike waiting (even when the time involved is based more on perception than reality). Leverage the benefits by showing them exactly how mobile payments can solve for this problem: Meet customers in your store when they’re ready to purchase, armed with your mobile device to accept the mobile payment. Experiencing the convenience the technology offers first hand may resonate far more than words.
Develop an educational elevator pitch.
Customers may not understand much about how payment processing works — at a fixed terminal or via mobile payment — but they do know what they hear in the news. Credit card breaches and data hacks have impacted major corporations, and organizations — along with the customers who provided information to those groups. Educate your consumers on the basics of credit card data processing, and how mobile payments fit into that equation in a way that is relatable, and easy to understand.
For example, though the customer may not care about technical terms like “tokenization” and “PCI compliance” you can explain the concepts in a way that’s relatable. Explain that your business does not “see” their card data when you process mobile payments, and that their financial information doesn’t “live” on your device after the transaction. Explain that because you’ve selected a mobile payment processor that “scrambles” card data during processing, even successful hackers can’t make sense of the information. Assure them that the text message or email they receive with their payment receipt doesn’t contain any sensitive card data either.
When you proactively educate customers in terms they can understand, they’re more likely to give mobile payments a chance.
Establish a professional payment experience.
Instilling customer trust in your business is critical to their willingness to try the new items and services you offer, and the mobile payment technology you introduce. Just as studies indicate that recognizable credit card logos in your storefront window and displaying “trust seals” that demonstrate the security protocols on your e-commerce website (like the “Norton Secured” powered by VeriSign seal) can increase sales, and instill a sense of customer confidence, your professional approach can reassure them about mobile payments.
Be confident in the mobile payment process from start to finish, including the ease with which you initiate the transaction, troubleshoot issues that may arise, and ask the customer to approve payment, sign and leave a tip. Educate anyone on your team who accepts mobile payments on the technology as well, so that customer questions are professionally, and accurately, addressed.
If you use a personal mobile device for your business’s mobile payment transactions, keep its appearance professional. The customer is more likely to feel confident using mobile payments when your mobile device is a current model that is clean, devoid of personal adornments and personal images, and in good working order.
Despite high levels of smartphone ownership, mobile payments remain an unfamiliar technology to many customers. Be patient with those who aren’t on board with mobile payments, and take the time to educate and ease concerns, through words, processes and actions. In time, your efforts could lead to a lasting change in how you’re able to utilize mobile payments as part of your business.
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