Strategies for the Amazon, Apple, and Samsung payment systems

Now that the Mobile World Congress is coming up, all eyes are turned to this year’s new mobile trends. According to the BI Intelligence report, even though m-commerce is growing more and more, it still trails computers in terms of conversion ratio, with a 15% conversion rate from mobile devices compared to 75% from computers (tablets account for the other 10%).

The main reason is probably usability: it can be hard to locate details or to fill out a payment form on a mobile device screen. But an unpleasant experience in the payment process has negative impacts that go beyond people abandoning a specific sale transaction: such an experience can be hard to forget; we lose not only a sale, but a customer.

Trends indicate that a lot of m-commerce involves payment methods similar to Apply Pay and Shopify. Samsung has developed a system closely based on NFC (Near Field Communications, a technology that allows two devices in close proximity to share small bits of information). Apple supplements the NFC system with third-party payment apps.

Amazon has adopted a different strategy: the businesses or companies themselves are the ones who implement the system, allowing registered Amazon users to pay directly without having to log in again or provide all their data again.

So what are the keys to these three payment systems?

Samsung, NFC payment-oriented

The claim made by the Samsung Pay payment system is “Simple, Secure, and Designed with our Best Available Security”, meaning that it is focused on the user, who is the one who installs it, and its arguments are based on simplicity, security, and usability.

The key points are a maximally optimized installation and configuration system that facilitates registration and subsequent payments; and a special emphasis on security: one that keeps information separate and does not store or share it with third parties. It includes a biometric process, allowing payment to be made with a simple fingerprint validation, simplifying management to the maximum.

Another, secondary argument is compatibility: according to Samsung, this payment system can be used almost anywhere a credit card can be used.

One problem with this approach is that it focuses heavily on offline payment, based on the concept of replacing a physical credit card with a mobile device payment, but it does not specifically address strictly online payments

Apple, NFC payment and apps

Apple Pay goes one step beyond Samsung by integrating the NFC payment system for payment in brick-and-mortar stores and also for payment within apps.

Its arguments are very similar: “Secure, simple, and even more useful”. They prioritize security above simplicity, and the most useful concept expands the functionalities and locations where it can be used (greater integration).

The Touch ID system, like the Samsung system, allows payments to be made with a previously scanned fingerprint.

Another form of fast payment offered by Apple as an alternative to Touch ID is the double click system, which is available both for mobile devices and for Apple Watch. The speed is the same, but validation is performed with a double-click on the screen.

This method is also user-oriented: security, ease of use and speed, with the plus that it also integrates with in-app purchases and allows payments to be made through an Apple Watch. To sum up, it applies a similar process and functionality to that of Samsung Pay, but to more channels, making it more “user-friendly” for the consumer.

Amazon: company approach, solutions for the consumer

In the case of Amazon Payments, a slight distinction is made between company focus and e-commerce, with arguments based on business growth and conversion rates.

Automation is another of its strong points, with an aim, on the one hand, to facilitating and simplifying the user experience, and on the other, to providing companies and e-commerce with a tool for not only maximally automating the payment process, but for building long-term relationships with clients with the support of the “Amazon brand”.

Thus, Amazon allows companies the option of having users pay through their account instead of having to log in a second (or third, or fourth, etc.) time. The user perceives the ease of use and trust generated by Amazon, which increases sales and conversion. It is important to note that Amazon does not share the payment data with the third party, thus generating greater security in the handling of personal and banking data.

The approach is clear: if you have bought once through Amazon, you can buy quickly and easily from other e-commerce businesses. The weak point, which applies only to online payments, is that NFC technology is (currently) not implemented.

In summary, all signs point to the fact that payment methods are not only going to become simpler, faster, and more convenient for the users, but that companies will achieve greater and greater integration: agreements with major payment platforms to avoid our having to log in repeatedly; maximum offline and online integration with mobile devices and apps, etc.; and new identification solutions (biometrics, identification of data from a photo of the card, etc...).