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Mobile Payment Apps: Why Are They So Successful

As a mobile app developer, a lot comes into mind while designing your application. Some of the features and functionalities one incorporates in their app greatly influences how successful one’s app usage and uptake will be. Experience is the best teacher, so it has been said, and so today we are going to take a look at one of the fastest growing niche in the mobile app industry, mobile payment apps and see what tricks one can learn from this sub market to add value to their mobile business idea.

With the rise of digital age, and high end encryption mechanisms, banking, payment and insurance services have not been left behind. Leveraging on technology to ensure easy and fast, safe and secure, personalized and borderless money transfer at the tip of your fingertips. Though a relatively new sub market, it has definitely received positive reactions from the clients. What makes it more interesting as will be seen in the graphs below, mobile payment apps usage is very high across all age groups, and as a mobile app developer, target age group is key factor in determining the success of usage and uptake of your mobile business idea.

In 2016, 40% of the US mobile phone users engaged in mobile payments through different apps. By 2020, it is estimated that 90% will be active users of mobile payment apps, hence continuous growth is what we can expect from this sector. Some of the market leaders in mobile payment apps include:- PayPal, Level up, Apple pay, Google wallet, Venmo, Shell + Jaguar in-car app, PayPal slack bot.

What makes Mobile payment apps so successful?
We are going to take a close look at some of these mobile payment apps and see what features most have in common, and their unique factors that have made them so appealing to clients. Hopefully from the few insights we will get, they will greatly improve your next mobile app development project.

1) The convenience factor
Mobile payment apps all have one thing in common, they bring a certain degree of convenience in the services they offer, money transfer and payments. A very huge part of the population own smartphones hence by using mobile payment apps, the service providers have brought the services closer to the people. Making it more secure for the clients to carry out transactions, instead of the alternative of carrying cash or debit and credit cards which for a long time have had issues with encryption flaws. These payment apps save time as most of the transactions are instant, and reflect on the recipients accounts almost immediately, regardless of how far they. All these at the tip of fingertips of the user. This type of convenience is one of the major factors that has made mobile payment apps so popular.

What convenience do you hope to bring to your prospected clients way of doing things that they currently are not able to access? This should be one of the main questions you ask yourself as a mobile app developer. One is allowed to think outside the box. An example is Shell+ Jaguar in-car payment app, which allows Jaguar automobile users to pay for fuel in filling stations at the tap of a button. The team is also looking into integrating parking fees payment as also part of the package, enhancing convenience to the end user.

Depending on your target market, the answer to this question may be what sets you apart from the rest of your competitors and makes your product and services a darling to the consumers.

2) Seamless User-interface design
It is one thing to have an app with high popularity among the masses, and another thing to have an app with high usage, and if you want both, to be able to attract and have a high retention rate, a seamless user-interface design is mandatory.

If you take a look at the mobile payment apps, their user interface is designed in such a way that it is very attractive, easy to follow through and very simple. Ease of carrying out transactions ensure high usability of app such as PayPal and Google pay. Depending on the target market and intended use of your app, one should try as much as possible to ensure that the user interface is attractive and simple, but even in the simplicity, the purpose/ service offered by the app should not be compromised.

3) Rewarding systems
Building a lasting relationship with your target clients is very key, as this is what will determine how successful your enterprise will be. One of the methods of building customer loyalty to one’s brand is rewarding them with loyalty points every time they transact using your service/product. The more they accumulate the points, the stronger the customers loyalty gets, and higher the chances for the customer to stick around.

One of the most successful stories so far in terms of rewarding loyalty points through mobile payment apps will have to be Starbucks. Starbucks, the Seattle- based coffee giant, through its app, has been able to integrate mobile payment as well as a rewarding system in the same platform. What makes their system unique, is that the user does not enroll, but rather the system automatically signs up the user to the rewarding system once they create an account. Automatic enrollment is very under-utilized, as most apps require the user to prompt the enrollment procedure, while some of the customers may not be really aware of how to go about this, hence both the customer and you, as the service provider loose out.

Therefore, as you look to roll out a new mobile app project, evaluate the viability of having an automated customer loyalty rewarding system and ensure that the clients are fully aware of the advantages that will come with this feature.

4) Cross-platform integration
Most mobile payment apps are also accessible via desktop apps, hence enhancing cross platform integration. PayPal for example has a very appealing and stable desktop app while its mobile app is also very convenient and easy to use. The seamless integration across multiple platforms ensures user friendliness and some sort of variety for the clients and this should be the target of each and every app developer where applicable. Ensure that you offer as much inclusivity as possible, as some users may prefer to use their desktop computers more that the mobile app. Ensure that the services offered across the multiple platforms co-relate and that regardless of which platform is used, the user needs are met.

Also with the dawn of Artificial Intelligence, you can decide and go a step further, and use the power of AI, and build bots integrated into your app to enhance usability and simplicity. An example of a successful mobile payment app that employs a bot in its use is PayPal SlackBot, which one can easily send a command with the name of the recipient and the amount to be transferred and the bot processes the transaction and generates a report for you. With AI and BI(Business Intelligence), mobile app developers can enhance the user experience of their clients and offer tailor-made services based on their needs, wants, likes and offer personalized experience to the user. This will set your app apart from the rest of the competition.