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Telcos Must Walk Before They Run When It Comes to Mobile Payments Innovation

telco mobile payments innovation

The mobile payments market is growing fast, fueled by technological innovation and consumer demand. With each consumer predicted to own, on average, nine connected devices by 2021, there is no doubt that we can expect to see an exponential rise in the number of devices and applications used to make mobile payments over the coming years.

In a previous blog post, we outlined how MNOs and MVNOs can connect to this huge mobile payments opportunity. We floated the idea that telcos can find their way forward in this connected-consumer era as a hub for the digital marketplace; or an integrator for devices, applications, methods of mobile payments and customer identity management. With the growth of IoT (Internet of Things) and the huge range of new market entrants appearing on a seemingly daily basis, the market needs an aggregator – and telcos certainly have the technology know-how, as well as the customer relationships to become that aggregator.


Innovation: the route to telco transformation

To achieve this, it is important for telcos to change the way they position themselves with customers by adding more value through additional services, connections and payment means.

But, there is a danger that getting these innovations wrong – either through poor delivery or by taking the wrong road – could jeopardize vital customer relationships. Consumers, generally, are not looking for innovation for innovation’s sake: they are looking for simplicity, ease of use, security and accessibility – all things which help make their lives easier, save time on daily tasks and fit with their fast-moving lifestyles.

Gimmicks are all very well, but without the substance that consumers want, flashy new tricks don’t live long and could end up being expensive mistakes. What telcos must do is identify the ‘must-haves’ for their customers and make those the cornerstones of their innovation process, ensuring a stable foundation for their transformation path.


Maximizing trust and convenience to protect the customer experience

Between filling a shopping basket and clicking the “pay” button, 58% of consumers change their mind. The main causes include the time it takes to enter personal and payment details, being redirected to pay on another page, or concerns about data security. In essence, it boils down to a lack of convenience and a lack of trust – two issues which consumer surveys highlight time and again as being paramount to the customer experience.

Mobile payments themselves are gaining in popularity with consumers, exactly because they offer greater convenience and security. Supporting these two key pillars of customer experience is where telcos must focus their initial investment in innovation. And what’s more – these areas are the ones that they are best placed to support.

Shoppers feel more secure when they do not have to input their personal or financial data with multiple merchants, and when they are actively assured of the security measures put in place. Telcos are in a prime position to instill confidence and loyalty by providing choice around payment and security options, such as the ability to use biometric facilities and stored alternative payment methods.


Moving from theory to practice

The recent insight series from ACI and telco industry experts Red Dawn explores how MNOs and MNVOs can use their capabilities to support innovations that are personalized, seamless, secure and loyalty-enhancing – keeping consumer trust and convenience front and center.

The papers discuss the processes and features telcos should focus on delivering, and examines real-life examples of some of these innovations in practice, along with the benefits they can deliver.


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