Excellence in digital experience is fast becoming a nonnegotiable expectation that customers have of a brand. The thing about expectations is that once they rise, they become par for the course. Payments apps are no exception! We recently analyzed eight apps from Indian payments providers. We found that with the next-to-zero cost of switching in India, the war to win, serve, and retain customers depends on these payments providers’ ability to:
- Reduce friction and make payments convenient. For customers, payments apps exist for one reason only: to make payments quickly and conveniently. Customers demand great buying experiences, and while the payment is just the final step, it can make or break the experience. Payments are now the anchor point of commercial experiences and offer an opportunity to create incremental value. Payment apps must provide a customer-first experience and combine rigorous authentication, reduced friction, and easy access to relevant rewards. PhonePe outperforms its peers on this front.
- Simplify digital interactions. Offering a great product but making it difficult to buy or providing attractive discounts but making them hard to use will leave your customers frustrated and unhappy. Product managers designing a payments app must focus on delivering a great user experience through interactions that are easy to make, effective, and emotionally rewarding. Paytm’s app places commonly used tasks up front, uses good design so that customers know which elements are interactive, uses clear language for payments so customers don’t get confused, and provides useful error messages.
- Use personalization and gamification to drive loyalty and engagement. A popular customer acquisition and retention strategy is to offer customers multiple rewards and deals. It’s not enough to simply have a broad ecosystem of merchant offers — payments apps must drive engagement and differentiation through personalization of the offers, streamlining of offer presentation, and gamification where possible. Best practice comes from Google Pay, which provides a virtual scratch card to drive rewards and customer loyalty.
- Give unobstructed access to help and support. In a self-service world, customers inevitably have questions as they move through tasks or make mistakes. To offer guidance and support, phone numbers, chat, and email details should be prominently displayed on every relevant page in the app. PhonePe offers in-context help; Paytm has a feature to launch a query if the customer takes a screenshot.
Indian payments providers operate in a highly competitive market and are constantly striving to push the boundaries of excellence. Our research uncovered some interesting best practices in this space. Find the full Wave™ evaluation here: “The Forrester Payments Wave™: Indian Mobile Apps, Q4 2019.”
Here is a video with some more details:
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