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How end customers regained their autonomy

Transparent customers, complete transparency, data security: automated data exchange has many advantages. But with each use case, the voices calling for data security are getting louder. Especially when dealing with sensitive data, such as for mobile payments. And yet there are solutions that let the customer decide which data to disclose and which not. 

Daily life is focusing more and more around the smartphone. Wherever we go, the smartphone provides us with personalized services. The device recognizes patterns, and increasingly makes proactive suggestions that can make our lives easier. Of course, this goes hand in hand with data that is being automatically called in the background. The end customer often doesn’t even know about this. It is therefore not surprising that resistance is getting stronger. 

End customers would rather keep their data to themselves

More data and analytical findings provide advantages, but also create responsibility. You may find a better picture of your customer quite enticing, but end customers are often unhappy about this type of transparency and would rather keep their data to themselves. How can we deal with this situation? In other words, how can you offer personalized services without at the same time having to ask the customer about their entire life?

The “smartphone payments” topic is particularly sensitive in this respect! The end customer has to disclose sensitive and highly personalized data to be able to use a service. In many cases, data is requested that is not really needed but creates a comprehensive picture of the customer. This data is then used for selling additional products or services which customers with similar profiles have also purchased. These push sales are not always well received by the customer and can result in them not only abandoning the intended purchase, but also no longer wishing to buy from your company in the future. 

Autonomous customers are happy customers

Such practices can lead to customers feeling bullied. That can be avoided! You can make your customer happy and gain a competitive advantage. As a retail business solution developer, we are confident that a happy end customer who feels valued and whose need for security through the appropriate handling of data is respected comes back and can generate more sales for you. 

As previously reported, we campaigned for this customer autonomy at the EuroCIS. We are convinced that you can offer services to your end customers and leave them make their own decisions about the data. They will thank you, because you give them something that hardly any other company does: freedom and autonomy.

Mobile payments re-invented

We have gone down this very path with our mobile payment solution. We are currently testing the first phase, in other words mobile payments at fuel stations. We have the following scenario in mind:

A customer comes to the fuel station and ants to fill up. However, the shop is crowded with customers who have filled up and passers-by who may want to buy a few snacks. The customer wonders if they should carry on to another fuel station that is less busy. You would lose this customer and their dales. So why not give them the opportunity to fill up and make a mobile payment? 

The customer simply selects the pump they wish to use, fills up, and pays. As easy as that… And they don’t even have to register for this process or log in anywhere and disclose their entire background. After all, they just want to fill up and you want the sale – and that’s entirely possible. 

Sounds like an automated pump to you? Too right it is! It is a virtual automated pump. The only difference is that the end customer always carries it around with them. The process and need is the same for the automated pump and mobile payment. Only the appearance differs.

Tell me more: How does it work?

We have decided to use a progressive web app. This means that the functions can be accessed in a browser instead of a conventional app. The advantage in our scenario is that the end customer does not have to download an app and, most importantly, does not have to register.

However, when the end customer uses our mobile payment solution, they still have to be able to access this function somehow. This is where the creative options are endless. You can stick a QR code on the pump or send customers the URL in a newsletter, print it on the till receipt for next time…

If you have decided to stick a QR code on the pump, the end customer simply has to scan it with their smartphone to access the page with our mobile payment solution. Then they only have to select the pump and pay after filling up. And now the end customer has the choice they have been waiting for: If they wish to remain anonymous, they can select the payment type they like the most. If, however, the customer wants to record their data as they believe that this will give them an advantage (the keyword here is personalized promotions), they can register quickly and easily. This makes sense for end customer with company cars as they can view past transactions when invoicing their expenses, etc.

If the customer has not registered, you don’t have any data but other advantages instead: 

  • Satisfied customers who value easy and quick solutions
  • Increased sales potential by tapping customers
  • Real-time fuel and sales data
  • No hardware required
  • Updates can be performed quickly and without delay 
  • No worries about data security
  • Quick throughput of end customers who only want to fill up
  • New functions can be quickly added

One is followed by two

We are currently testing the first phase of this solution with this use case presented above. Phase two is already in the pipeline. But we don’t just stop at fuel stations. This solution can be used in any place where end customers purchase something and wish to make an autonomous decision about what is going to happen with their data. 

We believe that the autonomy and satisfaction of end customers are the future – are you with us?

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