Human senses and emotions - Design considerations for Payments Business
In this TED Talk Jinsop Lee suggests how design using multiple human senses (sight, touch, smell, sound and taste) can significantly improve the experience (I strongly suggest you take time to see the talk). Instead of just focusing on sight and touch, addition of a new dimension such as smell can significantly improve the interaction experience. If you have experienced shows in Universal Studios etc. you are probably getting what I mean (light, touch, smell and sound all creating a magical reality together). Beyond the senses use of human emotions (sad, angry, scared, tender, excited, happy) also play a significant role in experience design. Think of a couple enjoying their honeymoon in an exotic island resort - combination of their emotion (tender) and restaurant design with great touch, sight, sound, taste and smell(all five senses) can make the evening a once in a lifetime experience. Great hotels make money by designing these unique experiences for which customers are always ready to pay premium.
Payments is a universal value exchange process between customer and business. Customized design of this process using the principle of senses and emotions can significantly improve customer satisfaction, loyalty and advocacy. For example when a customer is sad and scared(e.g. some close relative is struggling with cancer and customer is paying urgent hospital bills for an operation) the payments experience should sympathize with the customer (e.g. offering some installment plans, additional comments of encouragement printed on the receipts etc. should be considered). But when a group of college students are paying for a weekend party (happy and excited) pricing and payments experience should be designed differently - we can consider use of wearables(experimenting with the trendy way of paying), use of exciting colors in the Point of Sale (red/yellow), use of exciting background music(sound) etc. to improve the payments experience and increase the likelihood of spend. Gamification is another opportunity to exploit human emotions - especially in a group setting customers pay more when you mix gamification(and dynamic pricing) with loyalty strategy.
Companies are recognizing these trends and 'senses and emotions' based product design is getting significant traction with the advent of new technologies like Mobility, Predictive Analytics and Internet of Things (IoT) etc. Payment players such as American Express, Visa, MasterCard and Bank of America are investing heavily in wearable wallets, biometrics, and Internet of Things (IoT) technologies to make payments invisible. We are seeing new partnerships of payment players with device players such as Ringly, Nymi, Jawbone, GM (key fob), TrackR, and more. We are seeing trendy ways of payment authentication such as pay-by selfie facial authentication by MasterCard. All these innovations are subtle use of human senses and emotions to improve payments experience. We believe these trends will continue and amplify in coming days.