Ai Editorial: One-click mobile payment – what if it fails?

First Published, 14th March 2016

Ai Editorial: When one-click mobile transaction fails to go through, it shows a brand in poor light as one is used to accomplishing tasks quite swiftly on such devices, writes Ai’s Ritesh Gupta


A task on a mobile device at times is all about “a tap or one-time touch”. This also includes completing a mobile transaction in a jiffy. If all works well, the chances are we would indulge more in mobile shopping, as nothing can take away the impulsiveness or convenience of buying products via a mobile phone.

But this always doesn’t work out the way we desire.

UX issues

I do end up abandoning a buy or an in-app purchase when it takes too much time (blame it on the home Internet Wi-Fi connection despite having a supposedly fair download speed plan) or there is a complex issue related to acceptance of my preferred payment option.

I have been availing Uber cab hailing service. I love the Uber interface, but struggled with a recent journey. 

Till last year my credit card details were stored, but I deleted them once Uber started offering the cash option (in India). On another note, I also downloaded Paytm wallet app recently.

When I tried booking a cab via Uber last week, a message flashed, stating “balance not sufficient”. Post this I filled in my credit card details for a deposit of Rs. 1000/- or $15. I thought it would be a sort of a guarantee for my trip, in case I don’t pay cash. But even though I was instructed not to leave the app, I received a short message from my mobile operator about addition of Rs. 1000/- in my Paytm Wallet. As for the taxi that I was trying to book, I was stuck within the app environment of Uber, and eventually I decided not to book. It was quite disappointing as the fare was to last only for few minutes.

So why didn’t the payment go through? May be Paytm wallet was designated as the payment option – may be by default. But the point is the app should show me an option to pay via cash at the time of booking, as it is quite convenient. As for the amount, it started reflecting as the balance under Paytm Wallet section of Uber.

When a user is asked to share credit card details against the time limit of a certain fare or a deal/ package, one would expect the transaction to come through. Also if the card details are stored in a safe environment, still if one-click payment option doesn’t work out in the check-out phase, it again disappoints.

Non-UX related one-click payment issues

One-click payment isn’t only about streamlining the user experience (UX) or integration issues (say a travel ecommerce app with a mobile wallet).

Be it for the Asia Pacific region or Europe, there are significant regulatory, regional and technological hurdles to deal with.

If we talk of Europe, there are a set of rules and standards for the execution of Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) or SEPA payment transactions that have to be followed by adhering payment service providers.

The realisation of SEPA called for a settlement on a general set of data to be exchanged in a common syntax.

As for merchants, there are several factors to be considered before they offer choice for paying to consumers. Optimizing reach and conversion, and at the same time costs of payments being kept low is of paramount importance. With the introduction of SEPA, it is being pointed out that caps on multilateral interchange fees will bring down fee for merchants.

Importantly, in order to facilitate cross-border sales and fuel the usage of one-click buy via mobile devices, specialists refer to interoperability. This would require a uniform e-identification system that can pave way for a relatively swifter exchange of information.

But the concept of cross-border remains a practical challenge, for instance in Asia.

Prasanna Veeraswamy, VP – Products at hotel booking mobile app HotelQuickly, referred to cross border payment instrument acceptance and payment while travelling as a major hurdle. Citing an example, he said, “It is so difficult to use a Singapore-based American Express card while you are travelling in Thailand, as a One Time Password (OTP) will be send to your home phone which you would not want to turn on while roaming internationally. A lot of times foreign payment instruments are not recognized locally too.”

New devices, new developments

Merchants can’t rest, and need to keep an eye on new devices.

It is clear that the evolving landscape has brought in new stakeholders into the payments ecosystem.

Veeraswamy referred to the following developments:

·          Payment using wearable devices – There are new possibilities that are shaping up, for example, chips being used in conjunction with standard NFC modems in wearables. This protects users’ sensitive data and assists in secured contactless transactions. MasterCard is already working on plans to take payments to a gamut of fitness bands, smart watches and other wearable devices. Barclaycard has also unveiled several new wearable payment devices, with each device featuring contactless payment technology and to be powered by a secure digital wallet.

·          Messaging based payments - LIINE, WeChat, Whatsapp and Snapchat.

·          OTP or one-time password kind of security moving to messaging platforms rather than SMS.

·          Cross platform wallets that will be a merger of Apple Pay and Android Pay - one wallet that works across all platforms.

As witnessed with existing payment options and devices, the readiness of devices to support one-click payments is going to hold the key. It all seems exciting, but one shouldn’t forget the significance of simplicity and security. Otherwise any promise looks like a fancy feature, and has an adverse impact on the brand.

The ideal one-click mobile payment solution should manage identification securely and instantly, support all cross-border payment methods preferred by consumers, and when a user is in the middle of a transaction there is a need to combat practical challenges to minimize the chances of abandonment.


Learn more about the latest developments in the arena of digital payments at the upcoming 10th Annual Airline & Travel Payments Summit, scheduled to place in Barcelona, Spain (26-27 April, 2016)

For more information, click here

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