Business Banking

Keeping Up with How Customers Want to Pay

Creating a positive and frictionless client experience is critical to success in today’s digital marketplace. And perhaps no element of this experience is more important to get right than the transaction itself.

Consider the following findings by digital payments specialist, PPRO:*

  • 42% of consumers in the U.S. discontinue a purchase if they can’t use their preferred payment
  • More than half of U.S. respondents agree they will not go through with a purchase if the checkout process is too complicated
  • 43% of U.S. consumers avoid shopping through merchants that require repeat entry of payment credentials

Whether a purchase is made online or in a store, offering the payment options that customers want can be an impactful differentiator and driver of business growth.

It is important, then, for businesses to keep pace with and accommodate consumer preferences when it comes to payments. But keeping up with the rapidly evolving payment landscape is no mean feat.

Change is happening quickly. Today, for example, in-store, post-Covid customers have expanded their use of contactless cards that can be held up to readers safely, without having to touch anything. A subsequent trend that is gaining wider acceptance is the use of mobile device payments and digital wallets. People can simply pay with their phones without the inconvenience of carrying their actual wallets or searching for their credit cards. And not too far down the road are so called “invisible” transactions. Beacons and computer vision technology track what shoppers remove from store shelves, apply the costs to shoppers’ virtual, cloud-based wallets automatically, and leave shoppers free to walk out without having to check out.

For retailers striving to meet consumer demand when it comes to payments, it’s helpful to keep in mind a few general guidelines:

  • Convenience is king. Give the greatest consideration to advances in systems that increase comfort and speed in the checkout process.
  • Keep security top of mind. Shoppers need reassurance that whatever system you offer, their data and information will be safe.
  • Match the payment system to the purchase type and embrace payment systems that can be used across channels, both online and in store.

Finally, be ready to implement the most efficient payment options ahead of your competitors to help ensure that early adopters among your customers are getting the experience they want.

Study after study has shown that convenience, simplicity, and flexibility matter to customers when it comes to payment options, and that payment preferences and practices are evolving rapidly. We at Washington Trust are here to help your business plan meet the demands of your customers when it comes to “checking out.”

* Retailers risk losing 42% of US customers if they don’t offer preferred payment methods, PPRO News, April 24, 2020.

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