Users make a vote of confidence every time they choose a payment option, writes Mikael Lijtenstein, CEO of AstroPay, who explained that personalisation and familiarity plays an integral part of that decision-making process.

Speaking to Payment Expert, Lijtenstein stressed the importance of providing a unique and catered experience for the consumer, highlighting that a personalised payment experience can elevate the feeling of trust between the consumer and merchant.

He said: “From a payments perspective, there is a strong demand for trust and security implicit in every transaction a consumer does. Users make a vote of confidence every time they choose a payment option and in most cases the choice is due to familiarity. 

“In our experience knowing the consumer means understanding their culture, their way of living and their most common activities. 

“Speaking their native language is paramount to generating the sense of closeness, as well as providing them with the most renowned local payment methods. The combination of all these factors contributes to the generation of a personalised user experience which is much valued by consumers.”

From AstroPay’s perspective, gaining an in-depth understanding of an individual’s behaviour can help the global company deliver a ‘local’ experience which is tailored to each user.

“We have been working in emerging markets for more than 12 years which has provided us with a great extent of experience in dealing with the specificities of each one,” Lijtenstein continued.

“When markets like the Latin American, Asian or African are mentioned it is important to bear in mind that they are integrated by so many different countries, cultures and behaviors that require deep local understanding and knowledge. 

“As mentioned before, being familiar to the user is paramount when providing a way of payment and building a sense of security. Knowing how they like to pay, their access to different electronic devices, technology available and their connectivity is a way of being local. 

“Working in so many different markets make us sufficiently flexible to adapt to their ever-changing conditions and to provide our clients with a reliable payment solution.”

So how do customers play in the development of new features? According to the AstroPay CEO, user feedback, along with factors such as conversion rates, are taken into consideration when making adjustments to AstroPay’s products.

Lijtenstein believes that while user feedback is fundamental to AstroPay’s overall growth, it is unlikely that we will see a uniformity in approaches to personalisation.

He said: “User feedback is one of the pillars of our engineering process. We devote many resources to specific tools to get this information and to process it. We use different metrics to measure conversion rate and based on them we make adjustments when necessary. 

“We are very agile when changes are demanded and have a strong response capacity. The way consumers use our product is the ultimate test at the end of the day.

“While there are practices that are maturing and that lead to new tools and techniques for engaging the customer and getting feedback that in a way convey a point of standardisation, in turn they open a wide range of new doors that multiply the options available. 

“Moreover, UX depends on how a company or product relates to its customers and how much they listen to them, as well as on their capability to adapt to changes. Therefore, we do not see that there will be uniformity in the way the payments sector treats personalisation disciplines.” 

When quizzed on whether personalisation is somewhat of a compromised discipline – especially in terms of fixed statutory compliance duties across different global markets – the CEO noted that differing regulations present a new opportunity for creativity and innovation.

Lijtenstein concluded: “In our opinion, fixed statutory compliance duties across multiple jurisdictions are an opportunity to design creative solutions that cater for users’ needs. The burden of compliance should be solved by the operator and not transferred to the user as sometimes occurs. 

“Applying flexible and progressive KYC which differs according to the region and to the amounts of money spent, is a way of being creative. Wizard forms are another means of getting information from the user gradually without being too obvious.”