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From tech holdout to digital native - how to transform your customer base

Slow and steady wins the race, right? Well, not always. With the Fourth Industrial Revolution upon us and technology moving at a heady pace, it’s survival of the fittest out here, especially for businesses. In a world where change is the only constant, those who lag behind risk losing out on the many benefits new technologies can bring.

Just ask any Gen Zer in your life (and they’re easy to spot; they’re the ones yelling “Ok, Boomer!” at you with a roll of their eyes, no matter what your age). These digital natives have grown up with an unlimited amount of information at their disposal, and they know how to access it quickly. They are also fast adopters of innovations and actively engaged in new technologies rather than passive users, making them the ideal customers for forward-thinking companies.

On the whole, consumers – yes, even Boomers (aged 57 to 75) - are embracing new payment technologies and the adoption of new, fast and flexible digital solutions is growing. Research shows that 95% of consumers in Africa considered using at least one emerging payment method in 2021, including e-wallet payments, cryptocurrency, biometrics, contactless or QR code, and 65% say they tried a new payment method during the pandemic that they would not have tried under normal circumstances.

These emerging tech-savvy consumers are benefiting from the flexibility, convenience, accessibility and speed that new digital payment options are offering. So, how can you help the laggards still using cash to catch up with the rest? Because even the smartest product offering means nothing if your customers don’t know how to use it.

Here are some ways to make your customers feel comfortable using their phones to transact in any situation, whether it’s making online payments, scanning a QR code at a market, paying via USSD, or sending money to family across borders:

Focus on the user experience

Create a seamless and easy-to-use interface for all your mobile payment applications. This is probably the most important ingredient for successful consumer adoption.

Educate, educate, educate!

Consider posting a short and engaging video explaining how to use your platform on your social media pages. Show your customers how online payments, QR payments, e-wallets, and tap-on-POS with card or tap-on-phone work. Explain the safety of these methods, and how to prevent online fraud in simple, easy ways that make customers feel like you care about their experience. Because you do and you should let it show.

Be fully transparent

A big part of creating tech-savvy consumers is gaining their trust. They need to see you, whether you are a bank, fintech, or telecommunications company, as reputable and trustworthy. Be open with your customers about the associated risks with online payments, if there has been a data leak within the company, how you as a company have successfully overcome these challenges in the past, and, most importantly, the measures you have put in place to ensure the safest mobile banking environment.

Highlight the benefits of online payments

Partner with a reputable celebrity or influencer

Consider collaborating with a well-known personality or social media influencer to visually show the consumer user journey. They can help create a reputable brand resonance by bringing attention to your product and showing how easy it is to use. Ensure that the chosen individual has a good standing in society and that there are two use cases; one with an older individual and one with a younger individual to effectively target two generations.

Like the three Industrial Revolutions that came before, this fourth one is about getting more done with less time and effort, in the current case, using digital power. But, as customers need to adopt an innovation quickly or it will languish and disappear, the tech holdouts and those sceptical of change can hamper this digital revolution and your company’s progress. Convince them to embrace the new, and abandon the old, and you are home free.


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