Payment innovation is just the trunk of larger tree

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Today’s economic environment is the rocket fuel that’s accelerating consumer demand for magic in the way they pay. Consumers want fast, captivating experiences, delivered through innovative and secure solutions.

As we’ve all witnessed firsthand, change happens in an instant. Now, with COVID-19 changing the ways we all live in a manner that would have been unimaginable 12 months ago, it’s more critical than ever to be attentive to the payment solutions that will engage and satisfy your consumers.

To provide those meaningful solutions, your payment strategy should be designed to address four powerful pillars of consumer expectations: digital and mobile services, security and privacy, deeply personalized experiences and integrated capabilities.

The rapid increase in adoption of digital and mobile payments has been well documented. Historically, only the largest banks and credit unions had robust digital and mobile solutions. Now these are table stakes for financial institutions of all sizes.

In terms of functionality, consumers want to use their digital and mobile channels not just for remote deposit capture and to see account transactions, but also for self-service and contextual messaging. For example, they want to be able to initiate a dispute transaction, request a credit card line of credit increase, receive alerts notifying them when a recurring payment is made, and reply back to an automated fraud alert ─ all through their mobile devices.

In terms of continuity, they want to commence set-up of a recurring bill payment on their desktop and be able to pick up right where they left off to complete that set up on their mobile phone.

Consumer expectations in this area are clear. They want greater depth of functionality in these channels, and they want continuity between their digital/online and mobile experiences.

The proliferation of biometric authentication methods, be it touch or Face ID, and the tokenization of mobile payment credentials, have of course made payments more secure. And meanwhile, because these innovations have been front and center in the eyes of consumers, they’re driving an increase in consumer expectations for security and privacy for all the financial products they use.

Consumers have seen endless headlines about major security breaches for card-based payments conducted at physical POS devices at large merchants. But at the same time, they hear that tokenized payments are one of the most secure methods through which to conduct a card transaction.

They’ve also taken note that when their physical card is replaced in the mail, they don’t have to go back into their mobile phone to provision the new one, all of this simply happens automatically and seamlessly in the background.

For financial institutions, these developments are driving consumers to demand ever greater security and privacy standards from every interaction and product they buy from you. What does it mean?

They notice the authentication process you put them through when they call your contact center. They notice the credentials you publish (or not) in postal mail or email. They notice the level of authentication required of them when they conduct high-risk transactions likes wire transfers online. And they notice whether or not you ask for one-time passcodes when they log in from unrecognized devices.

Services with robust security and privacy have moved from being a behind-the-scenes objective of IT departments to being a strategic differentiator you can position as a significant value proposition for consumers.

While consumers expect their financial institution to maintain their privacy, they also want you to personalize your relationship with them in a way that leverages the know-how you obtain from interactions with them in their chosen channels. For example,if a consumer initiated a pending wire transfer online, when they call your contact center, they may anticipate a proactive inquiry asking them if they are calling to inquire about the status of their pending wire transfer. If they submitted a question online, they want the branch representative or call center contact to be aware of this inquiry and ideally, provide a status update. And if they experienced fraudulent activity on a credit card account with your institution, they may want you to proactively prompt them to change their debit card PIN or even their online banking login credentials.

To do all of this well, information needs to flow better and be useable between and amongst all of your consumer contacts, such as mobile, digital, call center, ATMs and branches.

Another key to satisfying your consumers is to deliver an innovative and consistent payments experience across providers, channels and card portfolios. Consumers want to use financial solutions through third parties, and they want their chosen solutions to be integrated seamlessly.

They want reward points to be redeemable in many places, like another merchant wallet, not just a preapproved list of redemption options.

And they want a single app on their mobile device or tablet to conduct their financial journey — for example, to transfer funds from checking to other people, set alerts for spend thresholds and dispute transactions.

Prepare to deliver a payments experience that is reliable, convenient, secure and integrated. Make sure your payment solutions are in sync to help meet rapidly changing consumer expectations. Taking appropriate action now will drive your growth, protect your brand and foster consumer loyalty.

Providing core payment capabilities, like debit and credit or P2P, are a business necessity. But you must also have a host of complementary services and capabilities that surround these services, like digital and mobile solutions, data and analytics platforms, robust fraud and risk mitigation services, to ensure you’re addressing fast-moving market demands and putting your consumers first.

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Payment processing Mobile payments P-to-P payments Merchant Fintech