Featured Feature: Understanding Digital Wallets: Are They Here to Stay? | Intel RGE
AstroPay’s Mikael Lijtenstein discusses the impact Covid-19 has had on the rise of the digital wallet and how it benefits consumers and merchants
The last 18 months of the Covid-19 pandemic have seen a significant increase in digital payments and this continues to influence consumer behavior and the elimination of cash transactions. Speculation about the end of cash and physical payment methods such as debit / credit cards has been around for some time, with most industry experts using this migration and the rapidly growing backdrop of digital payments as the basis for their predictions. on the future of payments. .
The immediate consequence of this trend has been an increase in the use of digital solutions. AstroPay has seen digital and mobile wallets play a vital role in the growth of digital payments and consumer demand has grown even more during the pandemic. This is because digital wallets offer a convenient and secure purchasing method for both the user and the operator.
Digital wallets allow users to quickly and easily make online purchases, withdraw money, and send money peer-to-peer, giving them greater flexibility when paying. By storing all consumer payment information securely in one place, it largely eliminates the need to carry a physical wallet. In addition, they are easy to use and very intuitive. Most digital wallets offer rewards and benefits to their users, which serve to strengthen the relationship and engagement with the product / service provider. For merchants, digital wallets enable the collection of data that enables them to better understand the needs of their customers and to offer initiatives or programs to promote their products / services and retain existing customers.
As the trend for digital wallets accelerates in many parts of the world, the adoption in Asia in particular is unprecedented. India, where AstroPay operates, is the country where we have experienced the most substantial increase with a triple increase in our sales, growth in user base and total headcount. Innovation in the payments industry in the region has coincided with the rise of smartphones and the use of mobile applications. According to recent studies, digital wallets in APAC countries account for 58% of regional e-commerce payments and have overtaken cash at the point of sale.
Will the trend of digital wallets hold?
The pandemic has changed the way we buy and pay, and at AstroPay, we believe digital wallets are here to stay. As more and more people become aware of digital wallets and their benefits, more and more sites and websites are accepting them as a method of payment. As a result, merchants are naturally starting to see how digital wallets can help them increase sales and reach more customers. The growing growth of online shopping is also having a definite impact on the popularity of digital wallets. We don’t think this trend will change after the pandemic, as people have already taken advantage of the benefits of digital wallets.
However, we also understand that consumer behavior is not set in stone and that our success will always depend on the level of customer satisfaction when using new payment methods.
User experience is paramount when it comes to providing a payment service. Users are uncomfortable with having to perform multiple fulfillment procedures or having to take multiple steps to complete a payment. Providing a journey that is as natural as possible and requires just a few clicks to complete the transaction will result in an increased conversion rate, as well as engagement with the brand. One of the points where many potential customers abandon the process is at the checkout. Therefore, the trend is to move towards checkouts with minimal user interaction to retain customers.
At AstroPay, we devote special attention and resources to deliver a high user experience. We perform A / B testing, surveys and listen to our consumers’ feedback to understand their needs and what they value most about the payment experience. User feedback is one of the cornerstones of our engineering process, and we invest in many specific resources and tools to get this valuable information and process it to our advantage. We use different metrics to measure the conversion rate, making adjustments if necessary. This process demonstrates how agile AstroPay is when it comes to adapting to change and responding to customer feedback.
As we continue to focus on creating the best user experience for digital wallets, we believe acceptance will only grow and use of digital wallets will only accelerate.
The case of AstroPay’s One Touch
At AstroPay, we have developed One Touch, our digital wallet for instant and secure payment, in response to consumer demand. One Touch has dramatically increased the total number of users to over 3.5 million worldwide.
One Touch not only offers a faster, easier and more convenient payment option, but also a more secure option. To ensure security, advanced technology and computer security practices are crucial in this industry, but it is far from sufficient. In our experience, the main driver of safety and security is to understand as much as possible the end customer and to foster a bond of trust with him.
With the help of behavioral analysis, the bond with customers can be improved to the next level. This means that we know the customer, not only by the information they share or the use they make of the service, but also based on specific usage patterns such as recurrence, time of day. and special attributes. Combined with adaptive security, services can be enhanced by requiring extensive authentication processes that only apply to users who do not conform to normal usage patterns. The process becomes more sensitive to identify potentially fraudulent activity and different types of scams.
Technology and payment solutions must keep pace with changing user preferences. Providers of digital technology and solutions can achieve this by understanding what consumers look for when they pay, such as security, trust, agility, and immediacy. The vendors who succeed in combining a secure environment with a smooth payment experience will be the ones who succeed in this industry.
Mikael Lijtenstein is the CEO of AstroPay, a pioneering payment solution for consumers shopping online at international sites. Prior to becoming CEO in November 2019, Lijtenstein was COO of AstroPay, responsible for sales and operations, product development and innovation across multiple markets including Latin America, Asia, ‘Africa and Europe. Prior to AstroPay, he worked at dLocal, a Uruguayan financial technology company, where he held several positions, including operations manager and software developer. Lijtenstein has considerable technical expertise and experience in providing cross-border payments and connecting global traders to emerging markets.