Nothing has changed the payments industry quite like social media payments. One company experiences success, and many more quickly follow. However, while wildly successful in the U.S., experts are saying that the UK needs to adopt a different strategy when it comes to social media payments.
According to Forbes, Venmo was one of the first mobile apps available in the U.S. It allows customers to send money between almost any bank account and from debit or credit cards. Very rapidly, others like Facebook’s Messenger expanded from the U.S. and launched in the UK.
The market for social media payments in the UK, however, has not enjoyed the same welcoming audience as in the U.S. Many companies are trying to find the right balance of banking and social media. Earlier this year, First Direct launched a service called fdpay.
Fdpay is available via any messaging app that utilizes the phone’s keyword, such as WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger. The transaction is facilitated through the UK banks’ Paym service and is aimed at the high-volume market of everyday transactions of $400 or less. In just a short time, it has already proven to be highly popular with existing customers.
Why Social Payments are a Challenge in the UK
The biggest challenge for social payments in the UK is that it is largely a change in interface; it has not become a fundamental change in how users move money. The slow adoption of social payments is definitely not for lack of trying. The U.K. banking sector has been experimenting with various services to enable payments through social media for several years.
Despite U.K. banks’ efforts to innovate and offer more convenient payment experiences, the take-up of social media payments in the U.K. has been much slower than expected. “One of the reasons for this is because we already have Faster Payments in the U.K.,” explains Michael Kent, CEO of money transfer platform Azimo.
“These social media payments services are not category killers in the same way that PayPal’s Venmo app has been in the U.S. because while it can take up to five days to clear a banking payment over there, Faster Payments means you can already pay your friends instantly through any banking app.”
According to Kent, if new services like WhatsApp Pay and Google’s Tez do reach the UK in the future, it would likely lead to rapid mainstream adoption of social media payments. He says, the key is that the entire industry needs to come together to make it happen. If so, “it might work”.
In the meantime, UK businesses are seeking ways to improve the payments process for their customers with the services they have at their disposal right now. The key is to find the best merchant account for your business type. To browse a long list of providers, along with reviews, check out the latest updates and reviews via Best Payment Providers.
Author Bio:Payment industry expert Taylor Cole is a passionate merchant account expert who understands the complicated world of accepting credit and debit cards at your business. His understanding of the industry and best merchant account has helped thousands of business owners save money and time.