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The Green Sheet Online Edition

December 12, 2022 • Issue 22:12:01

Every second of the mobile experience is really part of the payment process

By Barnabàs Birmacher

A company can have the best payment technology on the market, but if every step leading up to it is not equally as engaging, users and customers might never reach the transaction. With the mobile payments market expected to increase 32 percent from 2022 to 2028 (see https://bit.ly/3FgcnTo) it's critical that the entire mobile app experience be geared toward getting users to their final destination: payment.

This means prioritizing factors like ease of use, security and speed—which all play a larger role in the digital world than they do in person.

There are four key ways for payments companies to improve these factors to optimize the mobile experience before, during and after a transaction actually takes place.

Speed is directly proportional to sales

For payment providers, every moment equates to revenue. Even a slight delay in the mobile payments process can result in a lost sale altogether.

But load time is only half the battle. The rate at which mobile companies release new features and app versions to the app stores, as well as how quickly they address bugs that can directly impact things like app load time, are equally—if not more— important.

MODAS from Bitrise (see https://bit.ly/3UtEpPz) analyzed what distinguishes a high-performing finance app from a low performer. The differences in speed are staggering:

  • The average rate of new feature releases for finance apps is 31 to 90 days. For high performers, the average is 14 days or less.
  • The average finance app deploys a new version of its app to the app stores every 15 to 30 days. High performers release new app versions every 14 days or less.
  • It takes the average finance app 2-3 days to release a bug fix when necessary. High performers make this fix within 24 hours.

As the number of mobile payment options increases, speed is one factor that is well-within companies' control. Prioritizing it is the distinguishing factor between mobile visionaries and mobile leaders.

Frequent updates can make the user experience maximally crisp and bug-free

Companies that increase their release frequency will also see a direct correlation to their overall app engagement. The more releases a mobile app issues to the app stores, the more bug fixes it can implement, ultimately making the experience for users as seamless as possible.

For instance, Dojo, a payments company specializing in contactless card machines and next-working-day transfers (see bit.ly/3gMnSJ3), adopted what is known in the mobile DevOps industry as a "release train" to accelerate this process. This fixed cycle—for example, releasing an update or feature on the second Friday of every month—leads to smaller deployments, which make it easier to track bugs and ensure that users get timely fixes.

Continual app innovation also means there is something new for consumers to engage with each time they visit the app. For Dojo, putting a release train in place allowed developers to turn their focus to the customer experience instead of manual engineering, and roll out new features to users much faster than before.

Don't sacrifice security for simplicity

Payments app providers are often pulled in two directions when it comes to security and simplicity: Their users expect a quick, seamless experience, but they are part of the heavily regulated financial industry, which means having high-level security in place is crucial to protecting sensitive consumer data.

The extra security steps needed to assuage these concerns often result in a longer, more complicated user experience. However, there are ways to create an app that is both simple and secure.

First, address security and compliance checks as early and often in the development process as possible. This will help mitigate risk by catching errors earlier, making them easier to fix. Shifting security to the left in a development pipeline also integrates security team members deeper into an app's development. In doing so, security can stop being the team that says no when an app is nearly across the finish line, and instead, collaborate with developers throughout the entire process. This will also enable mobile companies to leverage security features as a positive selling point, rather than a box to check along the way.

Payments companies should also consider adding features like biometrics and two-factor authentication, which provide an additional layer of security in a user-friendly way.

Automate testing, builds and releases

The best way to ensure that your mobile team can focus on improving all of these processes is by automating the process of testing, building and releasing for your app. Compared to manual processes, automation is significantly faster, more efficient and scalable, and it cuts down on errors, which can arise when certain operations are handled by humans rather than computers.

As companies automate more of their mobile development process, they will free up developers to dream up the new features and experiences that are necessary for payments providers to stay ahead of competitors and front and center on consumers' mobile devices. end of article

Barnabàs Birmacher is the CEO and co-founder of Bitrise, www.bitrise.io/, a mobile DevOps company used by more than 6,000 mobile companies worldwide to get their apps to market faster. Barnabas co-founded the company in 2014. In 2017, Bitrise became the first Hungarian company to make it into Y Combinator. Now, the company has offices in Budapest, London, San Francisco, Boston and Osaka. Barnabàs' vision—and platform—for automating critical mobile processes has attracted customers such as Transferwise (now WISE), Virgin Mobile, Grindr, Tonal, Compass, Mozilla, Philips Hue, Babbel and others. Follow Barnabàs on LinkedIn, www.linkedin.com/in/birmacher/, and Twitter, birmacherhttps://twitter.com/birmacher.

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