12/08/2014 10:43 BST | Updated 12/10/2014 06:59 BST

Optimising Your Online Mobile Payments

Mobile commerce is on the up and up, and your eCommerce business will need to ensure you're up to the play when it comes to mobile payments if you want to keep pace in 2014 and beyond. Here are Worldpay's top tips for optimising your online mobile payments.

Mobile commerce is on the up and up, and your eCommerce business will need to ensure you're up to the play when it comes to mobile payments if you want to keep pace in 2014 and beyond. Here are Worldpay's top tips for optimising your online mobile payments.

What are mobile payments?

'Mobile payments' is a broad term and can have a number of meanings. In the online world alone, mobile payments can mean anything from an optimised payment page - essentially an extension of eCommerce on a mobile device - through to mobile-specific payment mechanisms, such as direct carrier billing or mobile wallets.

Direct carrier billing is where mobile subscribers purchase products and services online using their mobile device, with transactions charged to their phone bills or prepaid balances direct from their handset. It has become an important payment mechanism with the rise of smartphones and app stores and aligns especially well with the purchase of digital goods and in-app payments. The process is quick and simple and enables shoppers to remain relatively anonymous, only needing to provide their phone number to complete payment.

Mobile wallets offer consumers the ability to store payment methods to use across many different businesses, providing security and convenience. Other technologies that can be housed on mobile devices, such as NFC and QR Codes offer contactless payments as well as tying in loyalty programmes and discounts.

Barriers to uptake

While mobile payments are becoming more familiar, some barriers remain. Security concerns around mobile payments are high, although the perception is often worse than the reality. One of the biggest risks is malware, which can affect open-source platforms. Consumers can minimise this risk by only using official apps stores and implementing detection software.

Consumers can also be cautious about adopting new practices in place of their familiar payment methods. They may feel there's no compelling reason to adopt mobile payments as they often don't offer a more convenient experience - in fact, in many cases the process can be longer.

To overcome this, you should ensure you're doing everything you can make mobile payments as easy and convenient as possible for your customers by optimising your online mobile payment process.

Optimising online mobile payments

Transactions through mobile devices require a different user experience:

  • Ditch the desktop - don't make your customers "pinch and zoom". Create mobile specific layouts or use responsive design to fit the page to the screen.
  • Keep text concise and readable. Use fonts large enough to be read on a small screen and only provide the necessary information to complete the task in hand.
  • Ensure your site is touchscreen-friendly - get rid of hover-over functions and take advantage of native actions like touches and swipes. Make buttons touchable and easy to press - design buttons for fat fingers, and keep touchable elements spaced apart. Also ensure you make it obvious that buttons are buttons - use colour and call-to-action text to lure the user.
  • Make data entry simple - only capture the minimum data required to complete a transaction. Also ensure that your forms use the relevant keyboard layout for the data required. Configure fields to use the right contextual keyboards - email layout for email addresses, numerical pad for card number etc.
  • Don't make customers wait. Mobile shoppers are impatient - longer page-load times increase the chance of shopper abandonment. Reducing http requests and the size of the payload can drive up sales. One or more of the following techniques may help to achieve this.
  1. Use caching for images and scripts to save unnecessary server requests each time a page loads
  2. Optimise images for mobile devices - high enough resolution so they are not blurry, but still small in file size.
  3. Merge together scripts (CSS and JavaScript) and run them through minification algorithms to reduce both the size and the number of requests.
  • Accelerate payments by creating one-click experiences for returning customers. Use tokenisation to store your customers' card information so that their future transactions are friction-free.
  • Broaden shoppers' options by offering alternative payments (APMs). These require less data entry than traditional card forms so can greatly enhance your customer's journey.

Using these tips you can guarantee an easier, smoother payment experience for your mobile eCommerce customers. Once you've got this right, chances are you're well on the way to success.

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