Albert Camus once said - "You cannot create experience. You must undergo it." The thing about experiences and how we as individuals live them is very personal, contextual and is significantly influenced by the culture and the social ecosystem we are a part of. The other thing about experiences is that there are very many flavors of how we all live them. So there are purely physical experiences, emotional experiences, intellectual experiences, information experiences, cultural experiences, financial experiences, social experiences and ethereal experiences. Each of these flavors add up in their own way to the overall experience we have as individuals. The value and importance we associate with each of these experiences is again subjective - based on our personal preferences and circumstances, so it is a "secret portion" which does the trick for every one of us!
Specifically in the context of payments, the "experience paradigm" is multi-layered as outlined below:
First is the "Payment experience": which is about the "process of payment", i.e., deciding which mode of payment you will use (cash, card, etc.) and actually making the payment - which really involves transfer of funds from the buyer to the seller.
Next is the "Buyer experience": which is about the "process of buying", i.e., short-listing exactly what you want to buy at a particular store (online/offline), thinking through priorities, preferences and possibilities, getting feedback to help you finalize what you will buy, putting it in a shopping cart and placing an order. Then comes the "Payment Experience".
Third, is the "Shopping experience": which is about the "process of shopping", i.e., deciding what you want to shop, getting feedback from friends/family/social media, deciding at which store (online/offline) you will shop. Then comes the "Buyer experience".
Last is "THE overall experience" which is really about how you feel at the end of it all - which is really a function of the holistic way you live the experience from start to finish.
So what are the opportunities for any payments innovator? To create a paradigm to 'live new experiences' - experiences which are possibly first time experiences - which make you go "Wow" when you read about them or live them - which disrupts the way you live and experience life - which changes the way you do everyday things - which pushes you out of your comfort zone, and compel you to explore ways to do everyday things in a faster, simpler and efficient manner. The list goes on…
Can you think of any examples from your day to day life which are trying to innovate the payments experiences for you as a consumer? Leave a comment below to let us know…
A version of this post was first published on FinExtra