Blog: Digital/Mobile Payments and the Power of Social Media (April 2013)
By Hunny Huria, Visa
At times I’m amazed how social media has changed our lives and continues to have potential to impact it more. There are innumerable people who start the day by checking their Facebook accounts. As of December 2012, Facebook had more than half a billion daily active users, and 9 million apps and Websites had been integrated with the Facebook platform. Convergence of social media and digital/mobile payments presents a big opportunity to develop a new ecosystem, enriching the customer experience at checkout and increasing merchant revenue.
Almost all businesses maintain a certain presence on social media these days by creating a business page. But, in general, I find these pages stale and few people visit them daily. These days, many card payment solutions (Square, etc.) have the option of sending a receipt by email or SMS text. If the merchant’s Web page link is sent in these receipts, along with a message saying “Thank you for shopping with us. Visit again for more offers,” I think this will help merchants connect with their customers after purchase. An overall customer experience would look like this: grab a mobile device, visit the merchant’s site, buy the products, complete the mobile payment and get the receipt as an SMS text message. And when a customer wants to buy from the merchant again, he can go back to the text message with the URL and visit the merchant’s site.
With the proliferation of technology, customers have become highly tech savvy, and any time they want to buy something they often check product reviews first. To mobile users, that means opening another browser, going to Google and typing in the product description. This seems like a bit of hassle to me. I think merchants should integrate their social media presence with their checkout pages. Let’s say at the time payment options are provided, hovering the cursor over the pay button shows the reviews posted on the merchant’s business page in a small window and gives an option to click and read more. If any of the new online payment services, especially the digital and mobile wallets, such as V.me or MasterPass, provided such an option, it would definitely propagate the payment service provider’s reach among the merchants.
There are many more ways to integrate payments with social media campaigns, such as payment solutions providing an option to post the P2P transfer on the sender’s/receiver’s Facebook wall (of course with their permission), which can give a boost to such a program.
Hunny Huria is a lead engineer with Visa in Singapore,working with emerging payments group The views expressed in this blog are Huria’s and do not reflect the views of Visa. Prior to joining Visa, he worked with Merrill Lynch and 3i-infotech in cost reallocation & remittance payments projects. He can be reached at [email protected].
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