Continued Surge of Payment Options Makes Customer Communications (Even More) Vital

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payment trends articles warn of competition

2019 payment trends articles make two things clear: consumers will continue to have an abundance of choices, and the proliferation of options creates greater and greater competition for banks, credit unions and other issuers.

Many of the trends lists* highlight the following:

  • a predicted surge in mobile payments, including P2P;
  • the emergence of contactless payments;
  • use of multiple devices, including voice-assisted devices;
  • emphasis on ensuring the customer experience meets modern expectations;
  • even more attention to data security; and
  • innovation through collaboration with newcomers and disruptors.

But that’s not all. Most “what to watch for in 2019” lists also include warnings for “traditional players.”

As Accenture asks here, for example, if we’re at “the beginning of a journey to a new world in which all payments are instant, invisible and free, how will payments players differentiate themselves, stay relevant and make money?” ABA Banking Journal describes the challenge this way: “Consumers today are being inundated with new digital experiences, and banks must find a way to stand out from the Amazons and Apples of the world. Payments are at the heart of banks’ digital relationship with their customers, and the more banks can do to make the payments experience fast, easy and enjoyable, the more engaged customers will be.”

We’ve heard these warnings before, of course. But what’s often missing from them is a reminder about the vital role customer communications play in launching and maintaining payment products.

With more and more ways to pay, there is increased competition for consumer attention. Product functionality and value prop aside, what the “winning disruptors” have in common is

  • a strong reliance on audience insights,
  • custom messaging to targeted cohorts and
  • channel optimization that allows for precise and timely delivery.

In recent blog posts, we’ve highlighted marketing efforts from traditional players that execute these points well in support of new payment options, including Chase Pay and Amex’s Pay It Plan It. Banks, credit unions and issuers will need more integrated marketing and communications strategies like these if they want to ensure that their payment products make the cut in the coming year. The efficacy of communications – and product success – still relies on marketing that prompts direct action and engagement via relevant, timely and compelling messages.

* Sampled from ABA Banking Journal’s Payment Trends to Watch in 2019, Deloitte’s InFocus: Payments trends 2019,’s 12 Ways Consumers Will Pay (And Be Paid) In 2019 And Beyond. And PaymentsSource’s 7 key payment trends to watch in 2019.

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