Intive: How UX is Helping Sustain the Shift Towards E-Wallet Payments

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One of the constant trends we have seen during the Covid-19
pandemic has been the shift to cashless payments, using cards,
contactless and digital wallets to make purchases instead.

Alexis Zukierman is the business development
manager and intive, a company that helps its
customers transform their businesses by designing and engineering
people-centric digital products. Here he shares his thoughts on how
the user experience (UX) is helping to sustain the shift towards
e-wallets.

Money is not a static concept – how we manage it and pay with
it has changed dramatically over the years. In the Covid-19 crisis
where concerns over physical cash, financial inclusion, and social
distancing are rife, people are turning to e-wallets. However,
providers are having to finesse the user experience (UX) to ensure
long-term adoption across all user segments.

E-wallets
(also known as a ‘digital wallet’)
are a device, software
or service that allows electronic transactions. An e-wallet links
to a person’s bank account, where it can either be directly
integrated with funds (like Google Pay, Samsung
Pay
, and Apple Pay) or loaded with set
amounts of money (like Paypal, Revolut, and
Venmo).

With e-wallets becoming commonplace at check-outs around the
world, here’s how providers are optimising the UX:

Faster, simpler payments

Friction at the checkout stage is a major pain point for people
who shop using their mobile device, and is a leading cause of
mobile cart abandonment. In response, e-wallets streamline and
speed-up checkout processes for users by removing the need to
manually enter details. For example, Venmo allows users to pay with
their phones and only takes a few steps (taps and events) to
complete a payment.

The process of logging on or registering an e-wallet is equally
as smooth. Biometrics grant users access to their wallet in a
matter of seconds based on unique biological characteristics such
as their face, fingerprint or iris. Not only are biometrics secure
– the FBI and Department of Homeland
Security
use the technology – e-wallet users don’t
have to remember multiple passwords for different accounts. For
example, Apple Pay incorporates touch ID on phones to make
purchasing goods as convenient as holding a button.

This ease of finalising transactions with one touch may be
unfamiliar to less tech-literate users, however, it is set to be
the norm among digital payments, not the exception. In the
meantime, e-wallets are also compatible with QR codes – which
have been increasingly popular during the pandemic. Users can scan
a code with their phone camera, which automatically opens the
e-wallet login page and leads to a payment flow with pre-loaded
details. Some e-wallets also display a photo of the storefront to
confirm that users are paying the right vendor. For non-technical
users, the QR codes are an effective way to connect the offline and
online world, and transition into digital payment platforms.

Bridging the gap from physical to digital

Many people believe that payments completed with e-wallets are
safer than those done with cash or credit cards, yet some user
segments have been cautious about e-wallet adoption.

To accommodate the shift, e-wallets’ UX has been designed to
store digital versions of people’s physical debit and credit
cards. By visualising the items that people are already familiar
with, e-wallets are easier to understand and navigate. Some
providers are going a step further and offering membership and
loyalty cards in their e-wallets, so users can store accumulated
points and discounts they earn while shopping. Samsung Pay has even
gamified its UX to give users coupons and savings for actions like
making a set number of transactions or sharing content on social
media.

This type of design makes e-wallets a more literal version of a
traditional wallet that people would carry with them. It also
engages users more by establishing a ‘play-and-reward’
structure that makes the technology less intimidating for different
segments.

On the security side of things, e-wallets’ UX places strong
emphasis on reassuring users that biometric logins and digital
payments are protected. The majority of providers opt to have
concise and informative copy that clearly directs users through
short pathways so that processes are digestible. In particular,
e-wallets’ onboarding has educational messaging that is triggered
by specific events like registering a new payee. Some brands
actually choose to mirror terminology and design from in-person
banks to reinforce that they are just as trustworthy.

That said, there is still progress to be made to persuade users
that e-wallets are robust. The Department of Homeland Security
recently invited designers to submit designs for its e-wallet that
will ‘instil confidence in [users …] that their online
interactions are secure.’ No doubt, the submissions will lead to
further innovations in UX across the spectrum of e-wallets.

Modern user-centric features

Designing with the user in mind is the first rule of UX, and
e-wallets are striking the balance between being formal and
instructive, alongside being accessible and fun.

Venmo’s functionality is mostly intended for generations who
have grown up with social media and are accustomed to posting their
daily activity online. The e-wallet has a private social and public
global feed where users can broadcast their transactions (without
the amount shown), and users are encouraged to add emojis to their
payment messages. Not to mention, users can search for fellow Venmo
contacts by their username, phone number or Facebook account.

By constructing a user experience that echoes that of social
media, e-wallets are tapping into existing user behaviours and
transforming a typically mundane banking experience into a fun,
exciting one.

Perhaps the most appealing e-wallet feature is the ability to
split payment amounts between multiple people and request money.
This service provides real value to all types of users who have had
to undergo the hassle of splitting a bill. Optical Character
Recognition (OCR) technology within e-wallets enables users to scan
receipts and drag items and their total cost to other people’s
accounts where they can make a direct payment. Especially against
the backdrop of Covid-19, where merchants and customers alike are

less willing to handle cash
, this functionality is not only
valuable, it’s necessary.

UX is essentially what shapes trust between users and unfamiliar
technology, so it has to continue evolving as user behaviours and
expectations do. As e-wallets become a standard place for payments,
UX can facilitate positive, meaningful user interactions that see
people return, engage, and promote digital payment platforms in an
organic way.

After all, UX is the defining factor between a good wallet and a
great one.

The post
Intive: How UX is Helping Sustain the Shift Towards E-Wallet
Payments
appeared first on The Fintech Times.

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