Capturing the moment with digital payments
When a digital transaction record includes rich merchant place information from Google Maps Platform, a new world of opportunity can be opened-up.
Digital mapping and geolocation solutions like Google Maps are among the most powerful and useful tools of the digital age – making sure we never get lost again, enabling us to discover new places and experiences, saving us time and money, helping us to live and travel more sustainably, and more. Much more.
Mapping is also embedded into countless apps and websites (think of Uber, Airbnb, Expedia, and WhatsApp). Indeed, Google reports that millions of apps and websites use Google Maps Platform.
Now, we are beginning to see maps being embedded in many more mobile payment apps. And, as banks and payment providers start experimenting with the true power of digital mapping and geolocation services, the opportunity for increased customer engagement is immense.
It is straightforward for payment providers to begin adding geospatial information to their experiences. For example, Visa has worked with Snowdrop Solutions, a Google Cloud premier partner, to provide its clients access to Snowdrop’s Merchant Reconciliation System (MRS). MRS is an application programming interface or API that can be easily and quickly integrated into mobile banking apps and websites with little effort.
Whenever a digital payment is made, a string of data is automatically generated containing a few key transaction details, which is made available to consumers in their transaction statements. By enriching this data with merchant place information, payment providers can remind their customers of where they made purchases and help them remember what they were doing at the time.
In this first instance, the benefits are quite functional.
The inclusion of geospatial information can make transaction statements and spending summaries clearer, more visually appealing, and easier to understand. This, in turn, boosts consumer confidence and drives advocacy. And, by providing a visual reminder of a payment location, it reduces unnecessary customer service calls.
The impact can be significant. For example, when the UK’s Nationwide Building Society implemented the transaction enrichment solution, provided by Snowdrop Solutions and powered by Google Maps Platform, it reported a 30% reduction in the number of transaction query calls made to the customer service team.
But the true potential of using geospatial information in banking and payments experiences extends much further.
Think back to your last holiday… the sights you saw, the cafes and bars you visited, the souvenirs you bought. These were some of the moments that made the holiday so special. By visualising transaction locations on a map, merchants can help customers capture these moments forever.
Examples could include contextual, geo-targeted offers, that deliver the right reward, in the right place at the right time; location-based personal financial management solutions and analysis, structured around an interactive map of payments; the opportunity for customers to create and share location-based content relating to their purchase, such as pictures, reviews and ratings; the ability to bring brand campaigns to life through immersive worlds and virtual experiences; a new way to add saliency to sustainability-related offers and positionings; and the addition of digital maps to spending notifications and alerts – in a way that is more likely to grab a customer’s attention and catalyse action.
Use cases like these are possible when payment providers utilise internal data, secure opt-in for offers and other activities, and surface helpful information about businesses from Google Maps Platform like business name, location, reviews, photos, and ratings.
To find out more on capturing the moment with digital payments, Visa, Snowdrop Solutions and Google Maps Platform have published a mini-report on transaction enrichment – which you can read here.
The MRS API is hosted, securely, by Google Cloud. This means that consumer payment and personal information is safely retained within the bank’s own systems. No payment or personal data is shared with Google, Snowdrop Solutions or Visa.
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Case studies, statistics, research and recommendations are provided “AS IS” and intended for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon for operational, marketing, legal, technical, tax, financial or other advice. Visa does not make any warranty or representation as to the completeness or accuracy of the information within this article, nor assume any liability or responsibility that may result from reliance on such Information. The information contained herein is not intended as legal advice, and readers are encouraged to seek the advice of a competent legal professional where such advice is required.
1 Google, 9 things to know about Google's maps data: Beyond the Map: https://cloud.google.com/blog/products/maps-platform/9-things-know-about-googles-maps-data-beyond-map
2 Visa Case study, Nationwide Building Society used Merchant Search API powered by Snowdrop Solutions, to reduce operating costs and improve its customer experience by enriching transaction data