The needs of consumers change over time, including their preferences in payment methods. Businesses must constantly adapt to these changes, both for their direct to consumer and business-to-business (B2B) transactions.
Meeting consumer demand
Traditional payment methods such as cash are declining in popularity among all age groups. emerchantpay’s Global Payments Outlook revealed Europeans are showing a growing interest in other payment methods. Several European countries are making promising strides towards digital payment adoption. With consumers having the choice to use cards, digital wallets, open banking products, direct debits, and Buy Now Pay Later, the variety of payment methods has sped up digitalisation.
Buy now pay later (BNPL) has been gaining traction in Europe and is widely known across the UK, where 17 million consumers used BNPL when shopping online in 2022. Millennials (54 per cent) are the age group that favours BNPL the most in the UK, along with Gen Z (50 per cent), Gen X (37 per cent), and Baby Boomers (23 per cent).
Depending on the price point of the product the consumer is purchasing, their preference may also change. For example, a packet of chewing gum at a train station may be convenient to purchase by card, but when furnishing an apartment, a consumer might want to spread out payments over several instalments and opt for a BNPL product.
To meet customer demands, we must look at how we can offer a seamless payment experience that offers a variety of payment methods.
B2B v consumer trends – could bank transfers bring the two worlds together?
In the UK, 52 per cent of all B2B payments are still done via bank transfer. This method provides an alternative to card payments or cash payments and can be done through a business’s banking app on existing technology.
Added to this, according to the same source, consumers are using their banking apps to send or receive money from their family and friends. As such, businesses should consider offering an open banking product for retail payments, when targeting businesses and consumers.
Local payment methods are key to increase conversions
Oxford Economics research showed that more than half (56 per cent) of consumers said that if they could not use their preferred payment method, it would permanently put them off shopping on a website. Nowadays, there are so many payment methods available, that it is easy to lose track.
Consumers in each region have their own unique preferences. Picking the right payment method for each country is crucial. For example, to stand a chance of being successful in Brazil, a merchant has to offer Pix as a payment method. Therefore, merchants who offer a payment method that is known and trusted by their target audience are more likely to see improved conversions.
Consider the environment in which payments will be made
Businesses need to consider customer preferences, how and where payments will be made and how to best address any potential barriers to transacting.
The number of organisations using SoftPOS solutions is set to increase globally by 34.5 million by 2027. This is due to SoftPOS solutions being flexible and cost effective. SoftPOS allows businesses in various sectors to accept payments using mobile devices, eliminating the need for additional hardware.
This can be explained because SoftPOS solutions are flexible, cost-effective for merchants, and ideal for various sectors. SoftPOS allows businesses to accept card payments using mobile devices, eliminating additional hardware and improving customer experiences by offering a simple solution to accept payments.
When considering how best to create ‘perfect’ payment experiences, businesses must have a clear understanding of the needs of their customers. Context will play a part, so being able to offer the right method for that purchase is critical in shaping a knockout payment experience. When convenience reigns supreme, an understanding of customer needs, combined with payment options that meet them, can help a merchant to stand out from competitors.