Written by: Jayesh Nema, Director of Product Management at Blackhawk Network India
The world of mobile payments is experiencing a profound transformation over the last few decades, attributed to several factors including security, ease of use and building customer loyalty, etc. Accelerated by customer needs and external factors such as the pandemic, businesses are seeking ways to innovate across every facet of the customer journey, including payments, which has stayed relatively unchanged for many years. Notably, the pandemic had played an active role in replacing outdated payment methods that are unable to offer comparative options in the customer experience journey. The deeper mobile payments adoption among modern-day online consumers has catapulted the demand for innovative payments options and mobile technology is expected to play a crucial role in enabling the process.
Let’s take a closer look at a few factors that explain how mobile technology plays an important role vis-à-vis payment’s innovation:
- The unstoppable mobile and internet penetration: Affordable mobile devices and cheap data plans have onboarded a significant share of India’s population to the digital world. The number of active internet users in India is expected to touch 900 million by 2025. As much as the upsurge in digital consumers, the growth in mobile technology–with plans to roll out 5G in 2022–will influence consumer behaviour at large vis-à-vis choice and expectations. Hence, the rapid advancement in mobile technology and the digital consumer landscape presents a two-way growth opportunity for payments providers to innovate newer ways to pay and transact in the future.
- Government’s push for digital drive: Empowering people to pay and transact on digital platforms is the backbone of the ‘Digital India’ initiative launched by Indian government, a progressive enabler towards achieving a digital-first economy. With the digital population in rural India expected to be greater than urban areas by 2025, the government is continuing to invest in fintech bodies and start-ups to drive innovation and promote new areas of mobile technology while inducing digital payments adoption and awareness among the customers beyond the urban realms.
- Scanning the way into the future: While the rising mobile and internet penetration powered the digital consumer landscape, 2020 led to an exponential rise in digital payments and online service adoption, with greater numbers of consumers than ever before engaging with e-commerce and the digital landscape. Rapid demand for contactless technology led QR codes to take over the payment world, becoming the new consumer favourite. The popularity of scanning codes and advancement in mobile technology is opening avenues for merchants to explore different ways to delight the customers. It will be interesting to see how payments and mobile technology together disrupt different industries and the way they function.
Creating a mobile and inclusive omnichannel experience is quickly becoming a necessity as businesses transform to meet the changing digital norms. A mobile-first approach is a clear way forward in achieving this. Owing to mobile payments’ significant growth, businesses are investing heavily in mobile payments technology. The Indian government is equally encouraging fintech players to build an infrastructure that is accessible in tier-2 and tier-3 cities in India. Enabling the mobile payments ecosystem will create greater opportunities for providers to leverage cutting-edge technologies to define payment’s future roadmap.
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Is mobile technology charting the course for payments’ innovation journey?