The Ins and Outs of Digital Payment Methods: What You Need to Know
As recently as a decade ago, the idea that we were headed towards a "cashless society" seemed laughable. Now, with more and more people making purchases online and with options such as contactless payments becoming the "new norm" for in-person experiences, we may be a lot closer to a cashless society than we think.
This innovation has given rise to a new wave of digital payment platforms--and a new generation of people who expect to be able to tap into them anywhere, at any time. This is true both in how they spend their money in terms of e-commerce and with regard to where they handle their financial services needs. It's in the best interest of credit unions everywhere to sit up and pay attention.
The Impact of Digital Payments
The advantages of digital payments are a big part of the reason why adoption is at an all-time high. Security is definitely a key benefit, as digital payments not only help to reduce the risk of theft but also go a long way toward eliminating counterfeit money as well. These are two major problems for both consumers and businesses that are directly linked to cash.
Digital payments are also a far faster solution than cash for most people. From the perspective of members, they can monitor and get more detailed information about their spending than ever by way of digital banking apps. From the point of view of a credit union, they now have more data surrounding member preferences than ever before--thus allowing them to offer more personalized services that play to those needs in a more effective way.
More Options Create a Better Experience
Of course, it's important for credit unions to offer a wide range of options when it comes to digital payments to meet the needs of the largest audience of members possible. Mobile digital payments have become quite popular in recent years, for example, thanks to the advent of not only smartphones and tablets but also smartwatches as well. Many use NFC technology to create a truly contactless experience.
QR payments are also fast, convenient, and secure. Members can make payments simply by opening a credit union's branded app. Speaking of apps, there are also "super apps" that are now available. These have other features in addition to digital payments, like being able to reserve a certain item at a specific store for pickup at a later date. Supporting as many of these "super apps" as possible is another way for credit unions to further help their members.
As is true with so many other tech-driven services that you may offer, not all digital payment methods are created equally. You need to let the needs of your members dictate which option makes the most sense. Don't simply offer one avenue and hope it's adopted. Instead, offer as many as possible and help them handle all of their financial services needs on their own terms.
The team at FLEX has recently authored a digital services eGuide that, in addition to covering digital payments for credit unions, touches on a plethora of other ways that you can reach your members in a more effective way. To find out more, click the button below to download the guide.