Friction and frustration in payments

A recurrent payments theme for me is around payments being an enabler, not a barrier, to the consumption of goods and services. Unfortunately all too often it is a barrier and this results in consumer frustration and even worse, transaction abandonment, especially online. But payments friction is much deeper and extends right through the way banks and others operate.

sevendotzero_2014-Jul-06Over the past few weeks I’ve been noting these areas of friction and frustration on Twitter as I’ve experienced them. Whilst they vary in importance they do highlight how frequently the consumer experience is ignored when considering payments.

  • Friction and frustration in #payments … self scanning in @waitrose has been broken for several days.

  • Friction and frustration in #payments … discovering that a cheque is the only way to pay.

  • Friction and frustration in #payments … setting up a direct debit online with my power company and then discovering it’s been set up for a completely different date.

  • Friction and frustration in #payments … 3-D Secure – enough said!

  • Friction and frustration in #payments … receiving a new Visa debit card in the post & realising it’s not contactless!

  • Friction and frustration in #payments. Me … “Why don’t you take cards?” Retailer … “There’s an ATM across the street”. Not helpful.

  • Friction and frustration in #payments … a faxed letter is accepted by the bank but a scanned letter by email isn’t. Very 1980’s.

  • Friction and frustration in #payments … giving the same information to 2 people in 2 departments just to change mortgage payment bank details.

  • Friction and frustration in #payments … when you find the store doesn’t take cards.

  • Friction and frustration in #payments … Barclays Pingit and their problem with identity verification http://sdz.im/j7

What all these examples show is how often payment related processes are designed around the requirements of the business but take no account of their impact on the consumer. All of us who work in payments must ensure we design processes that start with the customer experience and make payments the enabler and not the barrier to purchasing.