This is how to integrate group payments for the best user experience

This is how to integrate group payments for the best user experience

Know the payment options in advance

Consumers prefer choice. This is a maxim that has withstood the test of time. And while there has been some retrenchment as consumers become overwhelmed with excessive choice, payments is one area where choice matters.

Each consumer has their own preferred mix of payment methods, as evidenced by the proliferation of mobile payment methods, in addition to traditional options.

“The adoption of mobile apps for storing funds or making payments (such as Android Pay, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay) grew by about 25 percent in the last three years, from 40.4 percent of consumers in 2015 to 52.1 percent in 2017.”

- Federal Reserve’s 2017 Survey of Consumer Payment Choice

When determining which payment methods to offer, the best bet is to offer as many as technically and operationally feasible. This includes group payments, which are a growing segment of e-commerce that shouldn’t be overlooked by product managers designing checkout flows.

Leveraging the psychology of consumer optimization

When evaluating where to integrate group payments, look to user psychology. It’s much more helpful for someone considering a purchase – especially a larger purchase – to know what the payment options are in advance.

If this person happens to be organizing a trip abroad, for example, there might be a large amount of stress around how to cover the larger upfront expense. Knowing that there is an easy group payment option within the checkout process could quickly dispel any hesitation. This reduces cart abandonment, increases user satisfaction, and ultimately makes more money for the merchant.

Pay By Group co-founder Camilo Acosta knows what consumers want. As the head of one of the largest group payments facilitators, he has seen a variety of approaches from companies integrating group payments. The key, he says, is to bring the group option to the front of the process:

“The earlier you let users know the option is available, the more likely they will convert. This is a key point, honed by successful payment brands like BillMeLater. They would have this information as early as the homepage, so consumers know the payment options in advance.”

This understanding of user psychology is all about consumer optimization. In any given transaction, a consumer will try to optimize against personal budget, product price, and individual preferences.

For the nerds out there, absorb the video below. It goes deep into the economics behind consumer optimization (including indifference curves!).

Consumer Optimization Video

Product managers designing checkout flows should look to their own behavior to understand how best to integrate group payments. Your budget determines what you can afford, and splitting payments can expand what a consumer is comfortable paying – i.e. larger cart sizes.

Integrate early, showcase often

Group payments can enhance the user experience, giving brands a clear differentiator. Reframing group payments to be a marketable feature allows a merchant to highlight their customer-centricity: “You asked, we delivered.”

And then take it one step further: don’t just mention the option. Call it out as a unique differentiator in the consumer-facing design, says Pay By Group’s Acosta:

“The best way to integrate group payments is not to just show the full cost but “this costs X per person.” Users are more likely to convert as they make the decision to buy upfront, before going through the checkout. Sure, people still bounce from checkout pages, but merchants are more likely to capture the purchase by introducing it earlier on.”

When it comes to group payments, integrate early and showcase often. Merchants can and should actually market the ability to split payments as part of their value proposition. This feature keeps users in the brand’s ecosystem rather than going to a competitor.

By clearly highlighting payment options for potential customers, merchants can make more money while also increasing user satisfaction – a virtuous cycle all around.