Before COVID-19, consumers were largely hesitant to use smartphones and digital wallets for transactions. Mintel Reports found that nearly 40% of consumers agreed that they “prefer to use a smartphone to pay for things whenever possible.” But now, consumer behavior has shifted to embrace the more convenient and safer payment method.
According to a recent Mastercard survey, just over half of Americans are now using some form of contactless payment, which includes tap-to-go credit cards and mobile wallets like Apple Pay. Additionally, American Express found an uptick in curbside pickup/app usage and no signature at POS amidst social-distancing regulations, shifting consumers to an entirely digital shopping experience.
Digital payments are no longer an added feature, but a necessity. Banks and credit card issuers must realign their messaging and rewards, as well as update imagery to maximize relevancy while consumers shift to digital payments.
Here are three smart strategies for encouraging digital payments – along with creative examples in the marketplace.
1. Educate users on the many benefits of contactless payments.
Banks and credit card issuers have the responsibility to educate their user base on the many benefits of contactless and digital payments. These include convenience, safety, and security, especially during a time when physical touch and interactions are limited.
Understanding that there are users not familiar with the process, PNC used video tutorials to show its Facebook audience how easy it is to connect their cards to Apple Pay.
Commerce Bank pushed for contactless payments as the safer way to pay with messaging that emphasized secure no-touch transactions for consumers’ peace of mind:
2. Provide exclusive rewards or incentives to encourage the habit of digital payments.
With stay-at-home orders in place, consumers are now online shopping more than ever. Both issuers and customers can benefit from exclusive offers or deals from utilizing digital wallets or contactless payments, increasing card spend and also enforcing digital payment behavior.
In this April 2020 email, Chase encouraged the recipient to “Dine out while staying in with Chase Slate® and DoorDash,” offering a three-month complimentary subscription to DashPass:
KeyBank encouraged customers to put their card on file in order to redeem bonuses, take control of payments, and save time at their favorite online retailers:
3. Illustrate the digital payment process.
While younger audiences may already be familiar with contactless payments and digital wallets, there are still those who are having to learn a new behavior. It is important to provide visual representations of specific steps and processes to provide a clear guide for new users. This can range from including the contactless symbol throughout campaigns, embedded videos, or even providing a step-by-step guide on digital card enrollment.
Ride-hailing app Uber used visual icons to educate users on how to add digital payments to their accounts:
When touting the contactless feature, most major credit card issuers featured the universal contactless symbol while also speaking to its speed and convenience, like in this email from Discover: