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Brands already realize how critical the payment piece is to the marketing puzzle. In fact, many consider payments as the “5th P” of the modern marketing mix.

How payment has become key to the customer experience

Digital growth is making payments faster, cheaper and more convenient. The buyer’s journey, from promotion to payment, has been compressed to an instant.

And, in that last half of an instant, a customer can be won or lost — just from a good or bad payment experience.

Payment solutions have become more ubiquitous, more pervasive, more accepted, more integrated, more expected and more trusted by consumers.

Because of this, brands are gearing up to embed frictionless payments in an IoT world — From making a gas purchase from the dashboard of your car, to buying groceries from your refrigerator door, to ordering coffee through your contact lenses.

How brands can win trust in an age of IoT

The real challenge going into 2018 and beyond is not just increasing touchpoints and improving the payment experience, but rather educating consumers about how and why to engage.

Understand consumer concerns

Consumers still cite security as one of the most important factors when considering engaging in online transactions.

According to the 2017 Consumer Trust and Mobile Payments Growth study, only 2 percent of those surveyed feel speed is more important than security when making digital purchases. In addition, two-thirds of online shoppers are “concerned” about online banking and shopping security.

The cross-currents surrounding simplicity, security and safety continue to influence consumer perceptions. In order to create an environment that co-mingles convenience and confidence, brand marketers and CMOs must be able to effectively speak to their audience about their wide range of concerns and design a user experience that serves dual purposes — security and excitement.

Explain things simply

Brands must be prepared to speak to the simplicity of their payment experience across all of their channels and segments of consumers. The behind-the-scenes payments processes are complex, but users don't necessarily want or need to know that.

Upfront brand discovery and strategy work, including comprehensive audits, help to develop simplified narratives that are understandable and relatable to consumers without sacrificing the perfect level of detail they’re looking for.

It’s critical for brand marketers to strike that delicate balance.

Proactively address concerns

Brands must be prepared to speak to concerns surrounding security, especially within an environment of hacking, breaches and theft. Consumers want to feel secure at every payment touchpoint, but they don’t want that security to be abrasive and get in the way of their overall experience.

To satisfy both needs, brand marketers should consider developing user flows that build messaging cues into the experience that reinforce secure transactions without adding visual clutter to the overall design.

In a world of one-click purchases, calling out security features explicitly at the start is key to establishing trust.

Give answers where they’re asked

At 50,000feet, our methodology is rooted in service design, meaning we help clients be responsive and consistent in their approach to the customer experience.

As social platforms increasingly become the channel of choice for customer inquiry and resolution, we have further developed our activation practice to accommodate this need.

Final thoughts

Frictionless payment experiences that are seamlessly integrated into a rapidly advancing IoT environment will continue to be a priority and opportunity. No industry will go untouched by these innovations.

The winners and losers of the digital payment revolution will be determined by their ability to build an environment of trust.

The brands that effectively address consumers’ wants and concerns, and then deliver on that promise of trust, will lead the way.