“Brands need to keep evolving and augmenting the program to enhance the user’s experience.”
The Emerging Payments Association (EPA) Asia is a commercial membership association of payments industry influencers. EPA Asia is part of the growing EPA global network. It runs more than 30 events each year, delivers eight projects annually to drive change, helps to connect the ecosystem, encourages innovation and profitable business growth. The EPA’s vision is for Asia is to be the regional Knowledge Hub for payments innovation. As it sets out to be the most influential trade body in emerging payments, the EPA’s mission, to collaborate to innovate, has the potential to improve lives everywhere.
Convenience is the new currency
- Consumers know that their time is limited and valuable; so a brand that saves a customer’s time whilst significantly benefiting them in the process, is one that will win.
- If a brand can simplify a consumer’s experience, enrich their lives, and give them the ability to do more things at the same time, then this is powerful.
Personalisation is valuable and increasingly essential
- Consumers want to be shown that a brand truly knows who they are.
- Points based loyalty programs are no longer enough; habits and preferences need to
be acknowledged to tailor make a unique and personalised customer experience.
- A brand needs to show customers why they deserve their time, money and loyalty.
Data sharing and the role of trust
- Data & AI allow brands to provide customers with a broad digital experience.
- However, there are still risks around granting access to one’s personal data;customers are very aware of this but may be prepared to trade for convenience.
- As long as the brand is using the data to enhance a customer’s experience, consumers are satisfied with that value exchange.
Digital Payments and Digital Rewards
- Digitalisation is the best way for a brand engage with their customer.
- Apps, websites and platforms gives a customer a direct channel of communication with a brand and helps with the ability to continue reaping the benefits of a brand even after a purchase has been made.
- Brands connected with digital payments can instantly reward customers with benefits, allowing customers to continuously stay loyal to a brand.
Loyalty programs – and payments – must adapt to the expectations of the consumer by utilising data, emerging technologies, and psychology to build rich experiences.
COVID-19 and consumer behaviour
We buy out of habit, but habits change; due to COVID brands needed to find ways to keep up our habits while offering us more. The pandemic has affected how we view brands and our criteria over which brands we choose to be loyal too.
The trend of consumers wanting an instantaneous element to their experience from food delivery, payments and online shopping is now a contributing factor in what attracts a customer to giving their loyalty to a brand.
In the wake of the pandemic people are becoming used to living in a digital world, and has accelerated our expectation of emerging technologies, utilising data and building our experiences to be the best that they can be. If anything COVID has forced brands to be able to adopt new ways of business; keeping customers happy is key to survival.
Opportunities for brands
Due to COVID-19 we are now aware of new benchmarks on loyalty and rewards, which presents new opportunities for how brands can gain new customers and keep existing ones engaged.
Customers are now more willing to change brands if one offers a better experience than the one that they are currently loyal too; this can lead to expensive switching costs for brands.
The future of rewards and loyalty
The future of rewards and loyalty is that brands need to continue to modify and enhance the user experience; so that they can ensure that a consumer stays loyal to them.
Brands must understand that customers always want something new- and if a brand does not continue to evolve and augment their programs, platforms and benefits then users will choose to take their business elsewhere.
Technology and security
Like a lot of technology there is always going to be a risk factor, and brands need to keep in mind that technology can be a double edged sword. Bad actors are always going to be there to try and seek out insecurities and loopholes to perpetuate fraud.
For a brand to gain and maintain the trust of their customers, they need to ensure safety and security of their systems so that a customer, their data and information is protected.
If a brand can offer security to their customers, then it will allow the customer to stay loyal.