With Contactless Payments on the Rise, there is a Need for Better UX

Mar 23, 2021 | User Research

This article was originally published on Vulcan Post on March 12, 2021

More and more businesses and their services are migrating online during the pandemic for survivability. But with the move likely being a rushed one, UX (user experience) is not on the forefronts of their minds.

They just need to show customers their products, and customers should already be making purchases, right? Well, not quite.

Alvin Chai, UX Consultant at consulting firm Netizen eXperience (NX), told Vulcan Post that some of the biggest UX problems that companies (old and new) still face today are:

  • Focusing too much on the look and feel but not the usability of the interface, i.e., how easy it is for a user to complete a task on their website/app;
  • Developing their website/app/software based on their business requirements without validating their design with real users through usability tests;
  • Not interviewing their users to understand what their unmet needs are, which could uncover new business opportunities.

But what’s the cost of having bad UX?

A Painful Price To Pay

When bad UX is not fixed, Alvin said it leads to more support and training costs so target users know how to use your digital service, and you’ll have wasted or lower ROI on marketing.

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Alvin Chai, UX Consultant / Image Credit: Netizen eXperience

Even if you get a large volume of traffic to your site, you’d see a lowered sales conversion rate because people simply don’t know how to navigate it.

This then increases the need for redevelopment or rework. Alvin shared, “Programmers typically spend 50% of their time on avoidable rework, and the cost of fixing errors after development can be 100x more than before development.”

Ultimately, your bad UX will mean reduced user satisfaction and retention, and users would be less likely to recommend your product/service through word of mouth.

One case in example Alvin noted was an American e-commerce site that made new customers register before they could checkout, which caused friction.

Once they took away that feature, the number of customer purchases went up by 45% and the site saw an additional US$300 million in sales that year.

Cashless Payments Can Be Much Better

At this point in time, Alvin and his team have pinpointed an area that they think needs lots of help with UX: cashless payments.

Cashless and contactless payments are on the rise, but so are privacy and security concerns surrounding them, a survey by NX found.

A local example Alvin shared was how Malaysians often receive call and text messages from frauds disguised as official accounts of brands like BigPay, for example.

“This would affect the confidence of the e-wallet’s security. Another fear is having unauthorised transactions or abuse of their accounts. Users can also be wary about how their transaction history, location data and spending habits would be used to profile them,” he said.

And while better UI can improve some of these issues, others will require more scrutiny and actual changes in the UX process.

“For cases of fraud, it will be difficult to implement change in UI since the fraudulent activities are being carried out by unknown parties.”

“One of the best ways to support your users when a fraud happens is to provide easy-to-find guides and hotline numbers that they can call to seek help,” Alvin explained.

The experience of how your company assists a customer in distress will go a long way in building trust and customer loyalty.

Alvin Chai, User Experience Consultant at Netizen eXperience

Another way good UX can be implemented is by giving users the option of hiding or tapping to show their private information on their screens so their data is protected from prying eyes.

Some e-wallet providers have also begun offering money-back guarantees to ease the fear of unauthorised transactions.

Eyeing What’s On The Horizon

When it comes to digital innovation, NX’s consultants like Alvin team up with clients to help them understand their target users through UX methodologies which include user research, user testing, user behaviour tracking, and more.

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A UX consultation in session at one of their labs / Image Credit: Netizen eXperience

“We also conduct strategy workshops for client stakeholders to find a balance between business needs and user needs when developing digital products/services,” he said.

“Amidst the pandemic, for 2021, we’re still expecting a healthy double digit YoY revenue growth for our work in the finance related sector.”

A few challenges they’re excited to take on soon is with digital banking and in healthcare sectors too.

For digital banking, Alvin said, “Ultimately, everything that can happen at a physical branch level can happen in digital form too, e.g., loan application, account registration, remittance, insurance, investment, and more. All these need to be well researched and designed in order to support online self-service.”

“Apart from that, we also see healthcare sectors benefitting from delivering better digital experiences, from digital vaccination passports and telehealth to remote elderly health monitoring.”

NX will continue to expand the scale of their remote UX services to serve different markets in the region, especially for their clients who are expanding beyond Malaysia.

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