Payments are a mobile endeavor

by Tom Jackson, Director of MyUsage Payments

Utilities need to catch up on digital transformation

According to J.D. Power, as recently as 2018, utilities were considered one of the lowest-performing industry groups for digital transformation, although some organizations are doing better than others.

What else do customers expect when it comes to paying their bills using their mobile phones?

1. Convenience

We’re spending more and more time on our smartphones, with the average person tapping, clicking, and swiping over 2,600 times a day!

2. Speed

Customers want to be able to pay and go by grabbing their phone and making a payment in seconds. Any delays or inaccuracies in the payment process will lead to frustration, negative feedback, and slower bill payment.

3. Security

Customers need to know that their payment will be safe and secure and that the money they pay, as well as their credit card details, will not be intercepted by scammers.

What mobile payment options are available?

There are a couple of standard ways you can offer mobile phone payments to your customers.

1. A mobile responsive online website

This is the easiest payment system to implement if you already give users the option to pay on your website. Ensuring your site is mobile-friendly will encourage smartphone users to make payments on it.

2. Mobile app

Mobile apps are increasing in popularity, with nearly 90% of mobile internet time now spent on apps.

How to make it easy for your customers to pay by mobile phone

So you’ve decided that you want to introduce mobile payment for your utility customers. What can you do to encourage customers to take advantage of this option? When implementing any new solution, it’s important to keep customer preferences and ease-of-use at the forefront.

1. Focus on your mobile UX

People access payment systems on their mobile phones differently than they do on a desktop. For example, did you know that three out of four people access their phone screen using just their thumb? You need to create a mobile payment system that customers can use quickly and efficiently. A lot goes into this, including ensuring your app is compatible with both Apple and Android devices, following accessibility rules and guidelines for people with disabilities, and providing a good user experience. Building a good app is no easy feat — It can quickly become expensive and incredibly time-consuming.

2. Cater to customer preferences

Consider the apps you use most. They are probably fast, responsive, and intuitive. Customers will quickly become frustrated with a slow or confusing application. Start by assessing your current payment options — Are they quick? Intuitive? Your mobile payment app needs to function just as well as any other mainstream application.

3. Personalize the experience

Even personalization can have a significant impact. Only 18% of mobile apps offer a personalized experience, so engaging with your customers on a more personal level can increase your engagement rates.

In summary

Mobile payments are faster and more convenient for both you and your customers. Beyond that, the option to pay via mobile is becoming an expectation. However, just any app won’t do. Customers will quickly become frustrated with a slow or confusing mobile app experience. Working with an established mobile app payments provider, like Exceleron, is faster and more cost-effective.

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Exceleron Software

Exceleron Software

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North America’s leading utility prepay and payment service company.