How mobile payment tech is transforming the way we buy

Digital and mobile technology has transformed not only how products are discovered by consumers, but how they are paid for.
Digital and mobile technology has transformed not only how products are discovered by consumers, but how they are paid for.PHOTO: ISTOCKPHOTO

The journey to purchase is changing right before our eyes.

Digital and mobile technology has transformed not only how products are discovered by consumers, but how they are paid for.

And it is the latter that is generating the most attention these days.

Businesses everywhere are working hard to deliver an online shopping experience that is seamless and satisfying, while grappling with their customers' evolving demands.

Braintree, part of the PayPal network, is finding that expectations of both businesses and customers are high.

Accenture recently released a report on Asia's progressive approach to commerce, which makes clear that today's consumers want a shopping experience that's cross-channel, connected, and consistent.

The region is a primary destination for what Accenture has referred to as a "new marketplace dynamic". Consumers are moving away from individual brands and towards solutions that ease the purchasing process.

This includes everything from automated digital research assistants, which the company says consumers will come to expect from merchants by 2025, to digital and mobile payment solutions that offer the instant gratification consumers seek.

Convenience and speed are major advantages of mobile commerce.

Paying by way of a site that is optimised for mobile makes for a swift transaction, and allowing shoppers to get what they need and get on with their day - all without compromising on security - is leading to a shift in consumer mentality.

According to a recent survey on the mobile payment trend, more than 80 per cent of Singaporean consumers now recognise the benefits of mobile payment. And today's consumers are well on their way to becoming reliant on mobile payment technology.

Because consumers are increasingly using their phones to shop rather than the desktop, those businesses that provide them with an optimised mobile payment experience can leverage key moments in the purchasing cycle to turn more browsers into buyers.

Companies that adopt this kind of technology stand to win out, particularly if they can equip themselves faster than their competitors.

Opportunities to do so abound. Braintree continues to enable companies to accept payments from almost anywhere, and interest in mobile payments is driving the expansion of offerings like its mobile software development kit (SDK).

Merchants in Singapore can use the SDK to give their customers ample choices for how to pay - whether with PayPal, Android Pay, Apple Pay, credit cards, or debit cards.

Mobile payments can also help merchants capitalise on the cross-border shopping opportunity.

Last year, Forrester reported that remote payments made through mobile devices are on a "growth trajectory", as more consumers rely on their smartphones to make cross-border buys.

How can companies prepare themselves for current demand and future growth? By forging relationships with regional partners that can help them adapt to external markets and scale their payment solutions.

The challenge in the months to come will be for global merchants to identify their customers' preferred methods of payment, locally as well as in the other regions they service, and then to ensure they can provide it.

In order to effectively meet consumers' needs, businesses must both understand those needs and unite with a partner who can facilitate them.

That all starts with embracing the new consumer shopping mindset - in Singapore, and beyond.