There’s nothing new about mobile payments. Near Field Communication has been around for a long while, available on payment cards since 1997 and on phones for about five years now. Apple Pay is nearly five months old, but certainly isn’t the first contactless mobile payment service. Google Wallet has been around since 2011.
Apple Pay is off to a great start, though. The pay system accounts for two-thirds of the contactless transactions going through card networks. Five months and two-thirds of transactions. Why? Like David Heun notes in this Payments Source piece, it’s just so darn easy to use. It’s for this reason—user experience (UX)—Lextech President Will Scott recently travelled with Lextech Digital Marketing Manager Tom Caprel for the Mobile Payments Leadership Summit in Phoenix.
High level attendees, big topics
The high level event was a gathering of many e-commerce corporate executives. Scott and Caprel attended sessions and panels on topics like the future the Internet of Things in retail, mobile security, the need for loyalty program integration, and perhaps one of the most buzzed-about discussions, ApplePay and disruption.
Being passionate about helping businesses solve real world problems, Scott decided to speak on the common issues surrounding user adoption, and more fundamentally, best practices in mobile payment UX. This ended up being the session with the most active discussion and participation. We took this as a confirmation on the vital nature of UX, and it showed a need for more discussions to be fostered on the topic.
The vital nature of UX
Though many people realize the importance of good visual design, few understand the connection between visual design and UX. Fewer still understand the connection between stellar UX and successful (read: profitable) apps that easily earn ROI. This was the thrust of the Lextech presentation at the Mobile Payments Leadership Summit.
Scott and Caprel didn’t just wax poetic about pretty apps and profitability. Their presentation was filled with a solid overview of design, user needs, and UX best practices focused on mobile payment apps. They showed many examples, both good and bad, and spoke about proper UX process and universal principles, regardless of the team or budget size.
They came away with some great new connections, a deepened understanding of mobile payment current issues and trends, and yes, even a little color in their cheeks.
Did you attend the summit? What do you think was the most interesting conversation happening there? If you didn’t go, what do you think about the role of UX in mobile payments? Let us know what you think are the best/worst mobile payment apps for UX in the comments.