Credit cards have facilitated the growth of digital commerce. Shopping online is easier, more convenient and often cheaper than ever before, and companies are continually innovating their credit card products in order to keep pace with new technology.
The UK is now leading the way in the use of smart devices and tablets to optimise mobile as part of the customer journey. eMarketer has predicted that the retail sale value of UK m-commerce will more than double to £8.17 billion in 2014, accounting for 18% of total UK retail e-commerce sales.
But, as payments continue to move online, what is the future of the credit card? The development of Near Field Communications – wi-fi technology that allows you to tap your phone into a contactless payment terminal in a shop – has been taken by some in the payments industry as a sign of things to come. But despite these concerns, the credit card is looking as healthy as ever.
From the introduction of contactless payment to mobile app integration, credit cards are evolving to enhance the consumer experience. One strategy is to align card member rewards with online behaviour. American Express, for example, has partnered with some of the major social networks including Facebook, Foursquare, Twitter and TripAdvisor to create fully integrated social commerce services. One such service allows card members to sync their Twitter accounts and then use special hashtags to buy gift cards and products from Amazon, Sony, Xbox 360 and Urban Zen. Click here to see other rewards-focused products from American Express.
Over in the US, Amex has taken things one step further with the introduction of its Everyday card. In addition to offering cashback and reward points deals, it’s also fully mobile integrated, helping customers keep on top of their reward points, and also redeem them on recommended purchases directly from the mobile app.
Social networking and smartphone technology has provided a handy platform for companies to integrate the customer retail experience, with new ways to use their credit cards online. As digital commerce becomes more about merging online insights with in-store sales, new and more flexible credit card products can help pave the way towards that elusive, totally integrated experience. And at the centre of it all is American Express.