September 03, 2019 | JEFF BENDER
Friction and how to remove it is a major topic of discussion in the payments industry. How can physical-digital integration cut down wait time? How can a certain app design increase engagement? If we define friction as any obstacle that makes payment frustrating and time-consuming, then removing friction is the key to enhancing customer experiences so each transaction is more intuitive, personal and straightforward. A frictionless experience is more connected to consumers’ in-the-moment needs.
Enter the Apple Card, born from Apple’s partnership with Mastercard and Goldman Sachs in response to the increase in digital payments and user adoption. Apple Card is designed to be the ultimate consumer payments card—a centralized hub to intelligently manage and track spending, and gain insight into payment scenarios.
Apple Card isn’t all that different from what other major players are doing with their banking apps in terms of visualizing transactions, showing balances and payments, and serving up other financial insights. But what’s different is Apple Card’s focus on making mobile payment seemingly effortless because of its one-stop-shop platform.
This frictionless, consumer-centric solution should stir financial institutions (FIs) to rethink their own digital strategies. Financial institutions must focus on innovation that adds value to consumers and addresses their payment pains. What can we learn from the Apple Card’s entrance to the payments market? Here are three lessons.
Solve Consumers’ Problems
What’s stopping consumers from completing a payment on your platform? What’s holding them up in line or online? Can you offer click-and-collect capabilities and connectivity between physical and digital environments? Begin by analyzing how consumers behave on your platform today, and then identify what technological dead ends are creating friction.
Think Beyond the Transaction
While payments are very much about facilitating transactions, consumers want to do so in a meaningful, relevant way. They want to a platform that speaks to them and “gets” them. Engagement and personalization are key.
Align and Integrate
Banks are increasingly rethinking their technology processes as they evolve on a journey toward digital transformation. By establishing partnerships with technology providers, non-traditional players and even competitors, FIs might introduce open platforms for payment integration and money movement. Providing consumers with a dashboard tool addresses consumer pain points, adds value and positions the FI as a helpful part of the process.
The Bottom Line
Consumers want a frictionless payment experience that’s straightforward, convenient and connected to their needs. Banks that evolve their digital-physical platforms and provide seamless solutions that integrate payments and shed light on users’ financial behaviors will improve customer engagement and drive loyalty. Apple Card is blazing a trail, and wise FIs will consider how their organizations can innovate to deliver the same type of experience.
The good news is, banks are not alone in their journey to connect digital and physical environments. We can provide end-to-end services designed to help FIs enhance customer experiences. Let’s start a conversation.