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Value-Added Services Will Drive Mobile Payments and Bring Benefits for Customers and Retailers

By Jörn Leogrande

When it comes to mobile payments, what do consumers really want? Features like receipt tracking and price comparison top the list

“Value-added services” is the phrase on everyone’s lips in the mobile payments industry right now – and for good reason. Many experts believe that useful features, such as receipt tracking, couponing & loyalty and services in the area of personal finance, will persuade more people to use mobile payments.

This presents retailers with an enormous opportunity. After all, consumers who use mobile payments can provide valuable information about their location and purchase history. And what is even more important: merchants establish a real-time communication channel to their customers.

Three out of mobile payment users would like to use features

Even though almost half of North Americans are aware of mobile payment technology, especially younger shoppers hope that retailers would be more receptive to mobile pay options; 64% of respondents below the age of 40 felt retailers should install more devices to allow these kinds of payments. That shows a study by Wakefield Research for Verifone. And according to a survey by Accenture, 42 percent of US internet users had made a mobile payment in-store but cash and credit cards are still the norm for many consumers today.

That’s where value-added services and rewards come in. One in three non-users would be more likely to adopt mobile payments if they could use their phones as proof of insurance or ID, had the ability to track receipts or access other financial management tools, the Accenture survey said. And three out of five current mobile payments users would also like to use such features.

Value-added services make life easier for customers

Already, some U.S. payment providers have added useful and creative tools to their mobile offerings. One large provider allows users to switch a payment to a different card or account, or split the bill between several cards, even after the purchase has been made.

Another payment provider helps users keep track of past and pending online orders and sends status updates for upcoming deliveries. Anyone who shops online frequently can see the usefulness of this organizational tool.

Value-added services like these simply make life easier for customers. And they also offer real advantages over other preferred forms of payment, such as cash and credit cards.

60 percent of consumers would like to receive instant coupons

Rewards also motivate customers to use more mobile payments, according to the Accenture survey. Receiving instant coupons after making a mobile payment, for example, would persuade 60 percent of consumers to use mobile payments more often. And one in five non-users said that rewards, such as special coupons, points, or priority customer service, might encourage them to make payments with their phones.

One national chain has seen that possibility play out in its own mobile payment app. This brand allows people to collect loyalty points whenever they make an in-store purchase with their smartphone. Customers can redeem their points in future purchases.

Millions of customers are now using the app, and this is instilling familiarity and trust in mobile payments in general. Plus, the brand gets valuable information about product popularity, purchasing patterns, and customer behavior.

Now, retailer gain enormously from mobile payment

The Accenture survey states it plainly: “To increase adoption and promote loyalty from both users and non-users, mobile payment apps should incorporate both reward schemes and […] value-added tools.”

This is good news for retailers, who stand to gain enormously from mobile payments. Now it’s time for companies and payment providers to develop more creative and relevant value-added services and rewards for consumers.

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