Why It’s Now Imperative That Marketers Embrace Fintech

[This article first appeared in “Why It’s Now Imperative That Marketers Embrace Fintech” on Inc. and is written by Travis Wright.]

Historically, a marketer’s job has been focused on developing strategic and creative campaigns to meet certain business objectives, like build awareness, acquire customers, drive traffic to a website, increase app downloads, and overall customer experience. Today, the marketers job has evolved to include now the final stop on the customer funnel – the payment experience.

Mention the word “FinTech” to a marketer and you might just get a glazed over expression and a polite nod from the other side of the table.

In 2016, the rise of technology and the world’s obsession with the sharing economy have significantly changed the game for savvy marketers worldwide, and one of the side effects is the crucial need for marketers to embrace FinTech and use it to complete the overall customer experience.

The Baymard Institute reports that 67.91 percent of eCommerce companies lose interested customers at checkout.

So, for every hundred customers who visit a website, nearly 68 of them abandon their purchase due to a variety of factors – one of which is friction associated with the online payment flow. If a checkout takes too much time or too many steps (aka clicks), then the odds are that a user will leave the site or app without completing the transaction.

As a marketer, everything still begins with a solid strategy and creative execution (insert everything from programmatic planning, humorous campaign, compelling content, or slick website.) It does not end until the actual customer conversion, and more and more, that conversion is dependent on the payment experience.

Therefore, marketers must work more collaboratively with the UI/UX lead, the technologist, the dev team, and the right payment partner to build, deliver, and optimize an online payment experience to make it an integral part of the overall strategy.

This is exactly why leaders in the sharing economy are turning to top FinTech companies like Stripe, YapStone, and Braintree to help improve their overall customer experience.

“Frictionless payments are turning into invisible payments,” says Tom Villante, Co-Founder, and CEO of YapStone.

“Today’s customers just want to shop, an example – to buy a pair of shoes – they are not looking to make a payment. They just want the shoes quickly and easily so the pay flow or checkout UI must be easy and (dare I say) rewarding.

“And that’s where FinTech comes in and has the ability to significantly impact the overall marketing spend.”

Villante has been a leader in the FinTech space for over a decade, and his company’s mission is to change the way the world pays. I tapped his brain for some insights into how top marketers are using FinTech to improve the customer experience and deliver more results on marketing spend.

Here are three important insights to keep in mind:

1. Invisible Payments Will Improve the Customer Experience

Since the invention of Uber, taking a cab seems almost archaic. Remember your last cab ride – at the end of a cab ride, the cabbie tells you the fare, and you hand him a credit card–and then, of course, he asks you to pay in cash. You say “Whoops; I don’t have any cash,” so he negatively sighs and runs your card through the little machine.

Then you wait and wait until it is approved and then for the receipt to print. The cabbie puts it on a clipboard and hands it back to you and before you know it, you’ve been sitting in the car for five minutes thinking that next time… err, there will never be a “next time.” Insert the Uber experience.

One of the biggest factors for Uber’s hyper growth is their thinking to improve the overall customer experience — ultimately solving the problem and delivering a payment experience that eliminated this uncomfortable cabbie scenario.

For every Uber passenger, their credit card is already loaded, so when the ride is done–one simply says, “thank you for the ride” and gets out of the car. This is called an invisible payment and is one of the most crucial elements to user conversions.

Plus, factor in that you can review your Uber or Lyft driver and leave feedback, the experience blows riding in a taxi away. No need to tip. Just a seamless, transparent transaction. Ahhh.

2. FinTech Innovations Can Solve Customer Pain Points

Approximately four billion people own a mobile phone. Four B-B-B-Billion. Of that number, 25% of them use it as their sole method of accessing the internet.

Furthermore, 9 out of 10 mobile searches lead to action, and more than half lead to sales – a very compelling reason for marketers to make punching in a credit card number as easy as possible.

If you have are an eCommerce company, it is obviously crucial to deliver a rewarding user experience. In today’s competitive market, where startups are using technology to compete with Fortune 500 companies, you can’t afford to give customers any reason to close your app before completing a transaction. You must anticipate the needs of your customers.

One example is the “fat finger” issue. For customers, accurately entering their 16-digit credit card number is time-consuming and even frustrating–especially when in a hurry.

Because of this, FinTech companies developed an innovative solution, OCR technology–to give customers the ability to snap a picture of their credit or debit card, with their mobile phone, to automatically input their payment details without all the hassle. If you think about setting up your account and payment method in a new app, it now takes seconds instead of minutes – with little chance for mistakes.

Smart integrations like this will not just help marketers make the initial “sale”–but will keep customers coming back.

3. For a Brand, Credibility Includes Security

Millions of Americans benefit from generating supplemental income via the sharing economy – and the marketplace companies that bring sellers and buyers together.

Today, any of us can make some extra money by renting out a condo or room with HomeAway and AirBnB, selling goods or services on Etsy, or even sharing our car with Turo.

With the opportunity for hyper-growth, today’s marketplace companies must be able to easily accept credit card transactions online, yet more importantly, they must be able to deliver the security required to protect both the buyer and seller.

Regardless of what side of the equation you may be on, every person wants to “feel” that their personal information and their money will be secure. Without this feeling, the transaction will not take place, and the marketplace companies would be dead in the water.

FinTech companies, like YapStone and Braintree, offer robust payments platforms that protect the buyer and seller, as well as the marketplace company.

So, whether you are a marketing leader at an early stage startup, a well-funded marketplace, or an enterprise-level industry leader, FinTech companies and their platforms now offer innovative solutions to dramatically improve your user’s payment experience and ultimately the entire customer experience.

And that is something that will truly pay off.