Subscription business models require a different approach when it comes to the payment process than with one-time payments. Some of the things that should be in focus in subscription payment models are user experience, flexible billing options, user retention, monitoring flows and KPIs. In our next set of blog posts, we will share advice and tips for powering the subscription payment process in direct carrier billing, both from the online merchant and mobile network operator’s perspectives.
Whether you are a merchant providing digital services or a mobile operator enabling direct carrier billing in a specific market, you’ll want your users to have the best experience when it comes to their payment flow. Beyond pure cosmetics and brand awareness benefits, a streamlined payment experience can have a big impact on your revenue in subscription payment models.
Conversion rates in case of subscriptions are greatly affected by user experience in the payment and consumption processes. We see it daily. From the initial step in the consumer’s payment process to the very last, and even beyond that. Invision’s research shows that 88% of online consumers are less likely to return to a site after a bad experience and according to Impact, 52% of users are less likely to engage with a company if they have bad mobile experience. The same stats are applicable to any payment process where a seamless user experience is even more valuable since users are spending their own money.
There are different features and combinations of settings that make one online business more successful in maintaining high conversion rates through polished UX than other. To become that business, you can start by applying header enrichment and customizing payment page.
Header Enrichment represents an HTTP request enriched with user data from a mobile network operator (MNO) towards the mobile payments platform like Centili. It tells the platform whether the user is connected over DATA network provided by the MNO. This makes it easier for him to complete the process – and here’s how. If DATA is used to connect, the payment process can be shortened to just one click from the end user’s perspective. After the user clicks CTA on the merchant’s page to start the subscription, the payment platform gets all information about this user needed to initiate the transaction. After the initiation, the end user is asked to confirm the subscription by clicking “SUBSCRIBE” button and subscription is activated. Once introduced, one-tap flows take out unnecessary steps such as sending confirmation SMS or entering a PIN number, that adds friction to the checkout process which affects the chances of users not finishing transactions, dropping off before subscribing.
With micro transactions, one-tap payments are especially important – here, users want their content quickly and as hassle-free as possible. By simply saving them valuable time, merchants and mobile network operators are achieving better conversion rates. This is a win-win-win situation for all involved.
Header enrichment also provides information about users so that their subscription status can be checked – if they are already subscribed, they will be automatically redirected to the page where they can directly consume content, completely skipping the payment page. It might seem like just one small additional step but makes it a lot easier for a loyal user who has already paid for that content to get access to it immediately, boosting satisfaction and increasing his lifetime value.
How to gain user trust while keeping the payment process simplified? Regardless if we’re talking about the desktop web, mobile web or in-app subscriptions, that’s the big UX question everyone is trying to solve.
With micro transactions and quick subscription decisions, it is very important not to distract users with needless or unfamiliar information. This is where customization comes in. With fully branded payment pages, users don’t get a feeling that they are leaving the merchant’s ecosystem only to make a payment on the operator’s side. A unified branded experience builds trust, creates fewer distractions and, ultimately, results in more consumption of digital content.
Subscription confirmation page example
By introducing header enrichment and customization options for subscriptions, user experience equals a smoother payment process, positively impacting conversion rates across the board.
Author: Filip Simceski, Head of Connectivity Operations, Centili Mobile Payments
Read all blog posts from "Carrier Billing Subscriptions 101" series: