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Future of Payments: From Friction to Seamlessness

21 Feb 2018

Seamless Strategy Map Futurist Anders Sorman-Nilsson Omnichannel

Right now, business to consumer (B2C) brands are setting the standards of a seamless customer experience that we’re all starting to expect for the future. At the same time, a massive consumerisation of business to business (B2B) buyers is occurring, with many of the successes from the B2C world being adopted by B2B brands. So, what are seeing in the future of payments - that fundamental moment where money leaves one entitity for another - and how can these trends be adopted across all business types?

Mobile payments options in a cashless society

In the video below, I talk about the innovative payment option adopted by Situation Stockholm vendors in Sweden. Similar to The Big Issue in the UK or Australia, Situation Stockholm is a magazine that helps homeless people, as microentrepreneurs, get out of poverty. In an increasingly cashless society, however, sales had dwindled. So, vendors teamed up with iZettle, a mobile point-of-sale provider in Sweden and, through biometric authentication and near-field communication (NFC) technology, people were enabled to start transacting via credit card - and sales sky rocketed.

Let me put this another way: when they designed away the friction between people’s positive intent to support the worthwhile cause of the micro-vendors and the execution (the payment), this enabled vendors to amplify the positive intent - and as you see in the below video from my futurist keynote for TechData in Vancouver - sales followed immediately.

For more of my thoughts on this seamless payment option, check out the following video.


Trend: Micropayments hit Australia's Beaches

In Australia, lifesavers are as iconic as the boxing kangaroo or the Sydney Opera House. But with 311 clubs providing patrols across Australia, each costing an average of $86,000, Surf Life Saving services rely on community support – support that seemed to be dropping with each fundraising drive. Shaking the collection tin wasn’t getting much of a response from people who no longer carried spare change.


So, over the Australian summer of 2017/18 Surf Life Saving introduced new, seamless donation options, including once-off donations via PayPal and ApplePay and a text-to-donate payment method where donors can text a keyword to donate $5. Fundraisers were also issued with tap-and-go payment technology across 11 beaches over the Australia Day (26 January) weekend. Donors could choose a custom amount or set options from $5 to $100 – with the sand still between their toes, right by the waves.

Surf Life Saving Australia aren't the first to trial tap-and-go facilities, with the Salvation Army also trialling this earlier in 2017. At the famous Bondi beach, however, Surf Life Saving Australia took their options even further, offering an interactive game display with built-in tap-and-go donation facilities. Powered by JCDecaux, the touchscreen encouraged people to ‘Be a Lifesaver’ and tap swimmers as they lit up to save them – and then tap their card to donate $1.99.

Not only did the game display enhance the customer journey through offering some fun, but it also made the payment option seamless, maximising people’s good intentions in the moment they were highest.

Removing friction

You need to make it easier for your customers to move through to payment stage – whether you operate in the B2C or the B2B space. Every point of friction along the road to payment is another point where your customer can bail out.

Futurist Anders Sorman-Nilsson Seamless Strategy Map

Ask yourself:

  1. What barriers or points of friction are in place in your business that make it difficult for people to do business with you?
  2. What can you do to better understand the friction points that might frustrate your customers?
  3. How can you turn friction points into creative brand points that bring joy and truly help your customers?
  4. What happens between the decision and purchase phase in your business? Do your customers have to jump through too many hoops? What can you do during and after this phase to reinforce customer loyalty and advocacy, and brand engagement?

To find out more ways to remove friction from your business, pick up a copy of my latest book by clicking below.

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