Julie Pukas, head of U.S. Bankcard and Merchant Services at TD Bank, believes that the customer experience is such an integral piece of the customer loyalty puzzle−one that loyalty marketers have to embrace every day.
TD Bank released a new survey of payments technology industry experts on topics such as EMV, along with cash and mobile wallets.

“It’s really around customer expectation,” Pukas explained to Loyalty360. “We know that customers want experiences that are better and faster–and it’s up to the industry to ensure we can do that without sacrificing security. We also know that consistently positive customer experiences breed customer loyalty, so within the industry we need to focus on how we can deliver that in all channels–brick and mortar, online, and mobile. Consumers’ desire for seamless transactions is permeating every industry and there are some game-changers who are really upping the ante when it comes to payments and customer experience. The companies that will win will do so by prioritizing seamless and frictionless customer experiences, followed closely by offering on-demand service. Today’s consumers are savvy and want immediate delivery of services or goods. It’s a tall order to fill, but companies who master that will find a customer base that is fiercely loyal to their brand and poised to transact again and again.”

Some key survey findings include:

Respondents said EMV has made purchases slower (62 percent) and less convenient (41 percent), but exactly half felt it did make transactions less prone to fraud (50 percent)

Despite these issues, 45 percent of respondents said EMV is here to stay and will be fully adopted by merchants and card issuers.

However, 36 percent of respondents think EMV will become obsolete when something more innovative comes along and 18 percent said we will never see absolute, complete adoption of EMV.

Most (54 percent) respondents think society will become cashless, but not too soon.

If society does become cashless, most respondents think it’ll happen within the next 11-20 years (28 percent), followed by within the next 50-plus years (23 percent).

About one-fifth (21 percent of respondents think society will become cashless in the next decade.

Despite the plethora of options when it comes to mobile wallets, industry experts see some consumers sticking with traditional wallets.

Respondents said what’s holding those who don’t use a mobile wallet back the most is they think traditional wallets are more convenient than mobile wallets (40 percent); they don’t trust in the overall security of mobile wallets (32 percent) and they don’t understand how to use a mobile wallet (27 percent).

“The trend across the board is the desire to pinpoint customer friction and then work to reduce it,” Pukas said. “We see newer, more progressive companies doing this everyday–the Ubers, the Venmos have rapidly redefined customer expectations around transactions, and now it needs to filter to other industries.”

Pukas said it’s interesting that those in the payments field expect this to happen at a slower rate, despite the fast changes the industry has already seen.

“I think that directly correlates to our knowledge and direct experience surrounding customer and merchant adoption,” she explained. “We are poised for some major changes, but know that, on the whole, widespread adoption at the merchant level and customer level is much harder to come by.”

What do you foresee or predict for the future of mobile wallets?
“I don’t see them going away, but with so many users questioning their true value, I think we need to reconfigure them in a way that offers a notable difference in transacting for the consumer,” Pukas predicted. “As with all things in payments innovations, we need to make them better, faster, more secure and also more convenient. In my opinion, the functionality isn’t entirely there yet and, in order for a widespread adoption to occur, we need to better demonstrate the value for the customer. A large percentage of our survey respondents felt that mobile wallets would be adopted as consumers’ sole payment method within six to 10 years, I don’t think that number is off base, but I think we need to see some significant enhancements for that to occur within a decade.”

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