As a generation heavily influenced by technology, our buying habits and expectations are majorly formed around the immediacy that smartphones, internet, and modern conveniences result in.
Payment processing has changed for good after taking several major leaps forward over the past two decades. As the internet has opened up new possibilities for processing payments, businesses are also changing their course of actions and welcoming the changes.
Businesses and consumers alike are interested in faster, safer, and more convenient payment methods, as cash is becoming obsolete and credit cards are being phased out. Mobile and social payment options could be the future of millennial-driven purchasing, creating the sort of instant gratification that millennial expect.
Here are a few trending digital payment methods that Millennial are preferring over the traditional bank transfers and cash payments:
1. Mobile payments and Apps
Mobile payments are becoming more common due to technology reaching more hands. The development and usage of mobile POS options will increase exponentially as the demand and usage of mobile devices grow. Some facts associated with mobile usage:
- Nearly 90 percent of millennial today own and are in close contact with their smartphones throughout the day.
- Consumers are currently making over $4 billion worth of purchases from their mobile phones. Researchers predict that the numbers will reach $34 billion in just a few years.
- In a recent study, 56 percent of consumers said they would use their mobile devices as a payment method if it was an easy option.
If you want your business to be on the leading edge, you should be thinking about how to upgrade your capacity for mobile payments—if you haven’t already.
2. Digital currencies
Even though just 8% of consumers are currently invested in cryptocurrency, the world is witnessing the fast-paced development of Bitcoin and other digital currencies. Being one of the first businesses to accept cryptocurrency as payment could make you seem like a thought leader in your industry, and could win over a crowd of crypto enthusiasts to your brand. Expect to see more brands accepting Bitcoin and altcoins in the near future, and try not to get left behind.
3. In-depth customer rewards
More than 60% of Generation X and millennial consumers say that loyalty programs are important to them. More stores are offering customer rewards and loyalty programs as a result, which adds even more competitive pressure on you to meet or exceed those standards. Offering your own store credit card, or some type of card that can be used alongside payment to support coupons, promotions, and deals in the future is one of the best investments you can make for customer retention.
4. POS user experience
If you have a brick-and-mortar store, you also need to think about the point-of-sale (POS) experience for your average customer. Do you have an intuitive device to help guide your customers through the payment process? Is it fast, easy, and straightforward to check out? If not, your customers will be comparing your business to similar businesses with more streamlined POS user experiences.
5. Fraud (and fraud prevention)
Payment technology is growing more sophisticated, but so is the technology available to cybercriminals and other propagators of fraud. There are many types of payment fraud your business is vulnerable to, including the theft of your customers’ payment information. These types of attacks can rob your business of money directly, hurt your customers, and, if your business is found to be vulnerable, harm your brand’s reputation as well. Accordingly, you’ll need to stay tuned to the latest schemes and weaknesses exploited by cybercriminals and invest in more secure payment resources as necessary to keep your business protected.
How “Being flexible” is going to help you?
There are a few different reasons why it’s so important to keep up with the latest trends:
- Convenience to customers. Customers want the most convenient payment experience, which means being able to pay with the currency they prefer as quickly and efficiently as possible. Offering this advantage can boost your customer retention and loyalty significantly.
- Competitive differentiation. Adopting new trends relatively early also helps set you apart from your competitors, one of the most important factors for success in a crowded market. Conversely, if you fall too far behind, your competitors will look superior to you, and you may lose even your most loyal customers.
- Brand building and growth. Depending on the appearance and reputation of the new payment trend, adopting it could make your brand look like a thought leader or a trendsetter. Cryptocurrency, for example, is a popular, exciting topic, and showing off that your business accepts it could make you seem more advanced or more stylish.
Ultimately, you don’t have to have the latest and greatest payment standards or be ahead of the curve, to accomplish these goals. Instead, you can keep your business relevant and keep your customers happy just by being flexible—accepting as many payments as possible, upgrading what you can, and remaining open to new possibilities.
Changes in the world of payments have been propelled forward by the millennial generation. In 2019, we will see the continued rise of various alternative payment methods, such as those above, while the use of cash and credit cards, among this generation, in particular, will continue to decrease. Are you ready to accommodate these changes?
Think critically about which new upgrades will be most beneficial to your business and stay agile as payment tech grows even more sophisticated.