Digital Payments in Focus-Instant Buy Buttons

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Near Field Communication (NFC) will open the floodgates for profound changes in the way we use our mobile devices. While today, there’s a good deal of trial, error and confusion around mobile technology, including apps, QR codes, image recognition, etc., NFC will soon dominate the way consumers secure coupons and deliver payments. Our phones will become our wallets. – Anthony Lacovone, Augme

The digital payment segment has turned into a pile of innovation and trials. More and more companies are trying to rake in money by tapping the potential of this segment. Catering to the massive proliferation of mobile payments in recent times, mobile phone using customers are now fast turning into mobile paying customers. It is an interesting story that is unfolding page by page. So, how can we easily segregate the digital payments landscape? And, what’s evolving in the segment? The digital payment landscape can be explained in two simple sections, the Buy Buttons & Digital Wallets. Let’s have closer look at both these sections of Digital Payments.

Buy Buttons
Buy Buttons can be defined as a simple way that enables a consumer to make payments and do efficient purchasing on a certain website. It has been touted as one of the fastest evolving sections recently. Buy Buttons can be classified as General Buy Buttons (Services offered by Banks & Card Companies) & Social Media Buy Buttons (Services offered by Social Media Sites). American Express recently launched Express Pay. Since its inception, it has been widely recognized as Amex’s answer to PayPal. On the other hand, Visa Checkout allows consumers to register any network branded card to their Checkout account and use it online and via the app. General Buy Buttons are focused on simplifying the process to enhance conversion and consumer interest. Speaking about the Social Media Buy Buttons, these services offer the users to make purchases on the Social Media sites. Pinterest recently announced that it will enable buyable pins via introduction of a Buy Button to turn the social-bookmarking site into a marketplace. On the other hand, Facebook had launched its own Buy Button a couple of months back to enable the users to buy from various ads presented to them in their News Feed. Twitter’s Buy Button launched in September of 2014 in an attempt to capture impulse sales from brand followers.

Digital Wallets
Digital Wallets can be defined as a slightly more complicated section of Digital Payments. These are the apps that consumers use to register payments, exhaust coupons and avail offers and loyalty memberships. Apple and Android are the two platforms that have been garnering the consumer attention in terms of the Digital Wallet segment. The mobile phones act as the starting grid in the process & the shopping utility app serves as the process platform. Digital wallets like Google Wallet and Apple Pay have been striving hard to make the checkout more frictionless and easy for the consumers. They have been converting online and mobile sales via eliminating friction at the end stages. Pinterest will soon be enabling Apple Pay for iPhone 6 users. The reach may be limited, but, Digital Wallets are slowly enabling the consumers to use them to shop across a ton of merchants, all digital channels and all devices.


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“Thinking Aloud” reflects the emerging trends and varied outlook of the rapidly evolving internet and communication sector. An IAMAI publication, this is a part of the market education initiative of the association.

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