As our world continues to become more interconnected it seems that everything is slowly shifting towards going fully digital. It seems that banking and payments are the latest to jump headlong into the matrix and they have done so with significant success. Mobile payment apps are now a fast-growing submarket that shows no signs of stopping.

Hoping to learn something from this latest trend, we have examined the growth of mobile payment apps and put together our thoughts on how we can learn from their success. For those looking to launch their own mobile business idea, take a few minutes to see what you can learn from mobile payment apps’ success and apply it to your own business.

mobile payment app

What’s the big deal with mobile payment apps?

Last year, in 2016, close to 40% of US mobile users made a payment with their phone. In 2017, that number is expected to almost double. By 2020, that number will likely be over 90%. As more users become familiar and comfortable using mobile payment apps, the market is only going to continue to grow.

As you can see, this isn’t a normal boom. Anything that can affect almost all mobile users in the US is nothing to shake your first at. This still begs the question, “How does this help my mobile app design? How does this affect my business?”

What follows are a few areas that have benefited the mobile payment apps market significantly that can also be applied to your next mobile app development project. Let’s take a look.

The convenience factor

A key element in the success of mobile payment apps is how convenient they are. Not only do they save your information for easy access when you need it, but they rely on being the most convenient option that you can choose from.

After all, why would anyone go through the multiple steps of taking money out of their bank and sending it off to a friend when they could simply tap a few buttons on their phone?

As a mobile app developer, your thinking should track a similar line. For instance, ask yourself, “How can I make my app the most obvious and simple solution to my customer’s problems?

This will look different depending upon the industry and market you will be serving, but by asking yourself this and questions like it, you will put yourself in the right mindset for being successful.

mobile app for payments

Seamless design

Like any revolutionary mobile technology in recent memory, seamless design is a definite key to success. Mobile payment apps are no different. Each of the various market leaders, like PayPal and ApplePay rely heavily on UX design to entice and attract users.

For your own mobile app idea, it is worth considering what role your design will play. With mobile payment apps, their target users are likely looking to open the app, make a payment, and confirm the transaction. Thus, most mobile payment apps direct their users through this flow.

However, as with any mobile app design, this will depend upon the purpose of your app and the end-user you are target. This is why it will be important for you to do your homework and uncover exactly what your target users are looking for in an app.

The next step is equally important: following through. Far too many apps start out with UX design as a focus and somewhere along the way lose the plot. Commit early and follow through to ensure the design of your app stands out and benefits you, not your competitors.  

Automatic loyalty rewards

Our next bit of insight comes from an unlikely yet unsurprising source: Starbucks. The Seattle-based coffee giant has mastered the art of the mobile payment app with their own app that allows users to earn rewards and pay for their coffee all in one place.

The key to Starbucks’ success with their app lies within an under-utilized loyalty technique: automatic enrollment. By simply downloading their app and making an account, as soon as you start using the app, you begin to earn rewards.

Since the problem with loyalty rewards programs is often lack of enrollments, having this done automatically gives you a head start. Not only that, but as customers accumulate rewards points, they are only more likely to stick with the program.

If you are considering a loyalty rewards program for your mobile app, talk with your developers about the feasibility of automatic enrollment. Make sure that your users understand what they are signing up for before enrolling them, but you’ll be surprised at the results that come with it.

Cross-platform integration

Our final piece of wisdom that we have gleaned from the success of mobile payment apps is cross-platform integration. While most apps today are on multiple platforms, the seamless integration that many mobile payment apps boast is what most app designers dream of.

Think of PayPal. The ease in which you can use their platform either on a mobile device or desktop shows that they understand their target audience. While some users are comfortable having all of their information on their phone, a good percentage simply trust computers more.

Instead of forcing their customers out of their comfort zone, PayPal makes it easy for their users, regardless of preference. This should be how you approach your user base as well.

Consider not only what you are offering, but how and where you are offering it. What you might find is that your mobile app doesn’t have the same appeal as your website. This is important, but will only come out if you actually do the work to find the answer. Our advice: put in the work and follow what your users actually need, not what you think they need.

online payment

Final thoughts

As you mull over the insights we just reviewed, we hope that you will find new ways to help your target users. Additionally, while a lot can be learned from mobile payment apps, in the end it will be you who needs to understand your own user base and make decisions that benefit them. All that we can do is provide guidance based on our own experiences.

However, don’t be discouraged by this, get excited! Your target users are out there, waiting for someone to offer them a solution. So, what are you waiting for? Get out there, find your market, and make a difference.