What compels the consumer experience? Payment processing, product variety, something else? There are several popular and accurate answers to this question, but one of the more obvious ones is convenience. Between browsing and checking out and paying, the goal for merchants should be to provide a customer experience with as little friction as possible. Things like NFC and mobile payments play a role in this goal, but now, so will augmented reality.

Although augmented reality is starting to become more prominent in fields like payment processing and retail, we may have neglected to realize that we’ve actually already been using it. Everyone’s Snapchat selfies are now never complete without a filter that creates an enhanced environment, and Pokemon Go created an alternate world in our actual reality. Recently, even Facebook has ventured into the augmented and virtual reality realm. There is no such thing as one reality anymore.

We’ve seen it before, but now we will be seeing augmented reality more as it becomes part of shaping the future of payment processing and retail, particularly through mobile commerce. In 2015 alone, augmented reality as well as virtual reality companies have already raised more than $650 million in financing to make augmented reality a component of transforming the retail shopping experience, particularly through online and mobile.

 

Augmented Reality in Payment Processing and the Customer Experience

When people shop online or especially via mobile device, they get a lot of that desired convenience, but the missing piece is a tangible component to the experience. Augmented reality is poised to provide a more sensory shopping experience for consumers, particularly through mobile channels. It can augment a view for consumers with the addition of technology, such as holding your phone over your feet and being able to see what an out-of stock shoe would look like on them. Another use might be aiming your phone at an empty space and being able to see a couch there.

PaymentsSource recently shared that Kohl’s is on track to implement some augmented reality into their commerce, calling it augmented commerce. A customer could walk through the doors of a Kohl’s location and get digital updates throughout their time there. They could also combine the physical and virtual shopping experience simultaneously by leaving with physical items and also by using a virtual cart to ship other items later — items that they’ve already seen through augmented reality. The possibilities for this wave of technology are endless.

 

Friction Reduction in Payment Processing

The place that augmented reality and payment processing intersect is right through the concept of friction. Augmented reality intends to reduce the possibility of friction during checkout even more than before. It is about delivering a more customized, full-circle customer experience and controlling the entire retail shopping experience from A to Z in the blink of an eye, boosting the amount of payment processing occurring. The idea is that a consumer could shop through mobile or online with augmented reality as the overarching influencer of the experience.

 

What the Future Holds

Augmented reality will continue to prove useful in mobile commerce. It is creating opportunities for more customer engagement by delivering new value and increasing conversion rates through mobile apps. Retail merchants should be hopeful as augmented reality technology continues to develop and make strides in retail and in payment processing. Keeping an eye on technology will keep businesses relevant, and particularly when it comes to payment processing. Reality is always changing, in retail and in payments.

Payline has the payment processing technologies to fit nearly any business need. We want your business to experience payments differently with us, whether you operate via mobile, online or in-store. We have what your business needs, so check us out.

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This piece was written by Lauren Minning, Content Specialist for Payline.