We've all been there: scrambling to find our wallet to pay for a taxi, forgetting our rewards punch-card to our favorite coffee house at home, having to provide our I.D. card to enter the hotel gym, or shuffling to find a boarding ticket for the commuter train. But then came apps that transformed the customer experience. Rideshare apps, for example, changed transportation and, in the process, trained consumers to expect a payments experience that is much more seamless. In a similar vein, one Seattle-based coffee company began integrating loyalty rewards within their branded digital wallet.
Today, consumers expect the same level of ease of use regardless of the company or the industry, whether it be retailing, public transit systems, hospitality sectors, or entertainment and events, to name a few. McKinsey & Company described these forces that continually raise customer expectations as "not due to a specific industry, but from all of the excellent interactions that leading companies provide."1
This new norm means that merchants that don't modernize their payment process may lose business. Consider customer sentiment when their card product is not accepted during the transaction process: In a 2018 survey of 1,845 Discover® Cardholders, 59 percent of primary card* members whose cards were not accepted felt inconvenienced, 48 percent annoyed, 46 percent disappointed and 30 percent frustrated.2
Yet, with a strong payments infrastructure in place, companies can better position themselves to retain and promote business. For instance, with Discover® D-Payment Application Specification (D-PAS) Connect, the latest evolution of the D-PAS specification, it's easier for businesses to set up more seamless payment experiences. Below, we look at the ways D-PAS Connect can transform various industries in unique ways.
1. Creating Retail Loyalty
From coupons to reward points, retailers have long used loyalty incentives to get consumers to shop more. However, with more than 3.3 billion loyalty program memberships in the U.S. (that's 29 per household), consumers may find the experience disjointed from the actual payments experience.3
D-PAS Connect allows businesses to create a more seamless experience by directly loading loyalty program data onto a payment card—both contact and contactless—for simplified tracking and rewards issuance. This may include memberships or reward programs where customers earn discounts as they make purchases. Issuers can also create non-merchant-specific loyalty programs that incentivize consumers to use a specific payment card or account to drive spending.
2. Improving Public Transit
Public transit systems are moving beyond traditional transit payment systems and adopting contactless payments readers, to deliver a digital ticketing and payment experience. By implementing contactless payments, with D-PAS Connect, riders can use their digital wallets or contactless cards at points of entry to pay for single-ride fares or to store transit tickets that are paid for in advance. Meanwhile, fares are calculated on the merchant's back-office without the rider having to take any action.
3. Expanding Hospitality
D-PAS Connect can be used to allow hotel establishments to integrate room key data and other credentials directly to payment cards or mobile wallets. In doing so, a consumer's ability to pay for goods is integrated with access to the hotel building, hotel rooms, their room's safe and hotel gym, pool or spa. In a similar vein to retail loyalty programs, hotels may even integrate their own loyalty rewards program.
4. Supporting Amusement Parks, Festivals and Events
Major amusement parks have integrated payments into wearable technology so that everything from paying for meals to getting on rides is as easy as tapping your watch or wearable to a contactless reader. This approach also works for concerts or other large events, where innovative reloadable prepaid programs can be used to combine tickets with a pre-determined dollar amount for purchases at the venue.
Payments of the Future
By implementing a strong payments infrastructure, businesses across many industries will delight customers with a more personalized, more convenient and more secure payment experience. Though use cases may vary, there are many ways that D-PAS Connect can combine payments and cardholder benefits to improve the overall customer experience.
1 "The Role of Customer Care in a Customer Experience Transformation," McKinsey & Company, March 2018.
2 C+R Research Study of 1,845 Discover Cardholders by DFS Services LLC, completed in February 2018.
3 "Customer Loyalty in 2015 & Beyond," Colloquy, October 2015.
* Primary card members are defined as respondents who use Discover® Card more than other cards.
The information provided herein is sponsored by Discover® Global Network. It is intended for informational purposes, and is not intended as a substitute for professional advice.