Take the Fast Lane to Online Payments

Online payments are become a preferred method of making purchases around the world, and there is a big reason why the auto industry should take notice.

Cash Is Not King Anymore!

It is indisputable that online purchases and online payments permeate the globe. Using online services, you can purchase goods without any geographical constraint, pay your utilities in one second, tip for your taxi ride, manage your hotel reservation, or customize your brand new automobile. Also, it’s no longer a domain used only by millennials. Even people who are less tech savvy have realized that online purchases combined with the product comparison and customer feedback features – which can be considered standard on the vast majority of the online stores – make their lives easier while reducing the information asymmetry and the (opportunity) cost of transaction. Taking into account that more than 80% of total online purchases are settled by online payment[1], it is quite obvious that this form of payment is extensively spreading as well.

For reasons that will become clear by the end of this article, online purchases and payments are something that those in the automotive industry need to be thinking about and planning for.

Seven Pieces of Advice About Online Payment

Online payment can easily be a Swiss Army Knife of your operation, but only if you know how to handle it. Properly calibrated payment pages can generate an enormous amount of extra income while enhancing the customer satisfaction, and it is therefore worthwhile to deal with. The following seven pieces of advice give you the basics of the ideal online payment setup.

  1. Timing: If you are running a business globally, providing 24/7 service is a must. Even small service interruptions can cause dramatic loss, especially if it is happening on Singles’ Day (China)[2] or Cyber Monday (U.S.) [3] which generated altogether more than $11 billion turnover in 2015.

In other words: Provide 24/7 service

Smartphone for making online payments.

  1. Mobile payment: No doubt, smartphones are dominating the devices used. If you take into account that over 70% of handsets will be smartphones by 2021[4], it is essential to have a mobile based solution of your webstore. Responsive web design is indispensable within the industry, nowadays. It allows desktop webpages to be viewed in response to the size of the device with which one is opening them.

In other words: Operate responsive landing pages, payment pages, and a newsletter

  1. Alternative payment method: Card transactions and bank transfers are considered to be the traditional tools of online payment. However, the popularity of alternative payments is growing unstoppably. In 2015, alternative payment methods overtook card payments, generating 51% of the global e-commerce turnover.[5] Alternative Payment Methods such as PayPal, iDeal (NL), Sofort (DE), Carte Bleue (FR), Yandex (RU), Qiwi (RU) and Boleto (BR) should be offered in line with the regional preferences of customers. Hereby, shoppers can choose a trusted and well-known payment method which boosts their willingness to pay.

In other words: Implement APMs beside the regular card payment 

  1. Seamless workflow: Have you ever attempted to purchase something online, but you couldn’t manage without registration or were faced with an unnecessarily complex user journey which forced you to cancel the transaction? For sure! And you know what, you are not the only one! You have to admit that customers usually follow the principle that simpler is better. To ease your shoppers’ lives and boost the topline revenue, you might want to implement the seamless check-in feature and tokenization for your returning customers. Therefore, they do not have to provide personal or payment related data at every turn. This will save time for them, and generate additional turnover for

In other words: Use tokenization as a fast track for returning customers

  1. Local currency: Do not forget that the vast majority of your customers are neither investment bankers nor forex traders. They are not aware of the current FX rates, although it does influence your daily business if you are providing global service. To bridge this gap, you may indicate the local prices on your webpage even if the bank account will debited in another currency.

In other words: Indicate price in generally known currencies, preferably in the local one  

  1. Trust level: The customer will reevaluate whether your webpage seems to be a trusted one before clicking on the ‘Purchase’ button. You can significantly raise his or her comfort if you are using a publicly known certification which proves that your operation meets strict regulations and industrial standards.  

In other words: Prove your awareness with industrial certifications and logos of security standards

  1. Customer care: The real value for your business is not a single transaction, but a solid and returning customer base. Therefore, make sure that you are handling them as they deserve. React rapidly in a user friendly and informative way using your customers’ mother tongue. You are not skilled or just simply out of scope running customer care in-house? No worries at all, outsource it! They will manage such services better, cheaper, and more effectively than you would.  

In other words: Provide live chat as a customer care service

And if you’re worried about the return of these investments, read on…

A person making an online payment on a laptop computer.

Bright Future

In spite of the fact that the global e-commerce market was worth $1.5 trillion in 2015 (with over 25% YoY growth)[6], the upraise is still just getting started. Nowadays, transactions are generated by humans. However, in 2020 there will be approximately five times more machines connected than the number of people living on the Earth[7]. It is strongly expected that the connected equipment will initiate a huge load of seamless transactions. Your car will definitely be part of this new e-cosystem and will interact with many other operators, as well as your e-home or your smartphone. Considering that in 2025 the connected cars’ penetration will be above 20% in the developed markets[8] (USA, Europe, China), in-car-payment will definitely be a must have IVI feature (In Vehicle Infotainment).

[1] Worldpay [2015]: Global Payments Report, 2015 november

[2] Alizila [2015]: Evolution of the 11.11 Global Shopping Phenomenon
http://www.alizila.com/evolution-of-the-11-11-global-shopping-phenomenon/, 2016.11.16

[3] ComScore [2015]: Cyber Monday Surpasses $3 Billion in Total Digital Sales to Rank as Heaviest U.S. Online Spending Day in History
http://www.comscore.com/Insights/Press-Releases/2015/12/Cyber-Monday-Surpasses-3-Billion-in-Total-Digital-Sales-to-Rank-as-Heaviest-US-Online-Spending-Day-in-History , 2016.11.16

[4] Ericsson [2015]: Mobility Report, Europe, 2015 november

[5] Worldpay [2015]: Global Payments Report, 2015 november

[6] eMarketer [2016]: Worldwide Retail Ecommerce Sales Will Reach $1.915 Trillion This Year https://www.emarketer.com/Article/Worldwide-Retail-Ecommerce-Sales-Will-Reach-1915-Trillion-This-Year/1014369 , 2016.11.16

[7] Worldpay [2016): Rethink, Berlin

[8] SBD [2016]: Connected Car Forecast


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