There are two major mobile payments challenges for businesses: inflexible product-focused IT systems that are siloed and not designed for real-time transactions and a service culture focused on moving products and services and not satisfying the customer.
The standard business culture and supporting IT systems were all designed to push products and services – not to be customer-centric and user friendly.
The culture and the applications must be inverted with the customer the new focal point.
Rewriting IT applications and supporting databases to meet the new paradigm is a long-term challenge, even if some of the effort is simplified by using cloud SaaS applications. However, applications are not the bigger of the two challenges.
Culture eats process for lunch every day and changing that culture to one oriented around the customer is the tougher nut to crack.
Business executives have to drive this transformation every step of the way and lead by example.
The organization needs to not only become customer-focused but over time it must incorporate a 360° view of the customer (a full “know your customer” model) and provide mass customization of all interactions. Each message should be tailored for the individual in the role he or she is performing and formatted for the currently used device.
Small businesses owners must adapt to this paradigm shift quickly if they do not want to lose customer loyalty, market share and revenues.
Small business owners and executives should realize there is a good business case for transforming the organization. In addition to the revenue potential, there are productivity gains that result when mobile payments are used instead of cash or plastic cards. Mobile payments are very efficient and some studies have shown a gain of more than 15 percent when fully implemented. Furthermore, mobile need not be just for payments.
Customers can use it for ordering products and services, inquiries, and comparative shopping – all in self-service mode – and the order-to-pay process can then be fully executed via the mobile device.
Small business owners and IT executives should study firms that have already adopted a mobile payments model, such as Apple, Cheesecake Factory, and Samsung to understand how they have transformed their businesses and integrated mobile money into the process flow.
Then they should create and implement their own business cases and strategies on how to succeed with mobile devices and mobile payments.
The clock starts now.