The perception of how companies use personal data is often misguided. The usage of such data, rather than being a hindrance, nuisance or intrusion, can be to the customer's benefit during their payment experience. Every day as consumers we encounter instances of our personal data used by companies to promote or offer various bespoke items or services.
This happens for various reasons, such as when we enter our personal details into a certain app or website (to buy a service or product), accept cookies online, or ‘interact’ with a sector by scrolling the internet. However, could this also be seen as an advantage – having a potentially useful service or product presented to you after you’ve bought a similar one?
The customer appreciates value and convenience. If, for instance, they have made a transaction paying a conveyancing solicitor, they may be moving house. This is where personal data collection can be beneficial, as it can pinpoint this possibility and, as a result, personalised items or services may be offered or suggested to the customer.
They may even be directed to furniture or tech retailers’ websites, for example, as buying a sofa or TV is common after moving homes. The use of personal data in this case pre-empts the consumer's thoughts, and what likely action they will undertake or item they will purchase next. In an increasingly fast-paced world, this might be exactly what the customer needs to prompt their next transaction.
It is, nevertheless, important to use data in the right way and loyalty schemes are becoming an ever more popular means of data-harbouring that businesses are deploying. There are now thousands of loyalty plans sector-wide as companies realise their value by recognising spending behaviours, trends and demographics. Nonetheless, companies looking to add to their existing loyalty member list should minimise friction wherever possible.
Customers may be offered a 10% discount on their basket in a shop by a staff member if they join the retailer’s loyalty scheme. However, many people are uncomfortable disclosing personal details out loud to a staff member, or even filling out a form if there is a queue of people waiting behind them.
Instead, the option of joining a loyalty programme should be seamlessly routed in the payment terminal. At Worldline we have a payment solution that ensures a QR code will flash up on the PIN entry device asking whether you, as a customer, would like to join the loyalty scheme of said retailer.
If the answer is yes, the customer can scan the code and sign up for the loyalty scheme without hassle. If the customer has Apple or Android ID details already saved on their phone, their details will automatically be populated into the loyalty scheme sign-up form. This is without the customer having to do anything at all. Any future purchases made through a credit or debit card at this retailer are automatically linked to the loyalty card.
This is particularly beneficial as consumers are increasingly using digital wallets – those stored through smartphone apps – to pay for their goods and so are less prone to carry around a physical, more traditional loyalty card or wallet.
Undoubtedly, by having means of payment digitalised, customers are much less likely to forget their loyalty card at home and miss out on the benefits they offer. Loyalty is king, both from a retailer and consumer standpoint, even if it is in perpetual evolution. In time, companies' use of personal data in our day-to-day lives might also be seen as king.
Dusty Miller, Head of Retail Sales, GSV at Worldline
Dusty has over 17 years’ experience working in payments. His customer-centric approach has been key in successfully leading sales and relationship teams across the whole payments spectrum from acquiring through to ecommerce and full omni-channel digital solutions. He has a keen interest in innovation and a passion for helping clients navigate the complexities of the ever-changing payments landscape.