Research: Understanding consumers unmet payment needs

Deciphering the unmet payment needs of shoppers with insights on how Amazon Pay addresses those needs.

At Amazon Pay, our guiding principle is customer obsession. We seek to understand consumer unmet needs and develop products/features to address them. In an earlier post, we explored benefits that are important to Amazon customers when choosing a digital payment service (such as Amazon Pay) over traditional payment services (such as credit cards).1 The results encompassed themes of security, purchase guarantees, trust, and convenience.

Let’s take this a step further to clarify if these benefits are addressed by the industry today. We’ve developed an opportunity map (shown in the image below) illustrating how the importance of a benefit relates with how payment services are addressing these benefits.

An opportunity map can help identify benefits that are must-haves, important unmet needs, long-term delighters, and nice-to-haves. This article focuses on the must-haves, important unmet needs and how Amazon Pay addresses some of them.


View the opportunity map in more detail here.6

Must-Haves (Top left quadrant)

Themes of security, trust, and convenience are the key must-haves in the payments space. It implies that benefits related to those themes are important in driving choice, and that payment services today satisfactorily address these must-haves. The upside of exceeding consumers expectation on these benefits is low, but the downside of unsatisfactorily addressing them is significant. A payment service needs to address most of these benefits to be in the consumers’ consideration set. Amazon Pay addresses most of these benefits and is surely in the consideration set. Security: The key ‘must-have’ security benefit relates to fraud prevention. For starters, Amazon Pay takes precautions to protect consumer accounts by enabling them to sign in using a secure server connection. This minimizes the chances of a customer’s information being stolen. Additionally, Amazon Pay offers consumers the option to enable multi factor authentication (MFA) (security code sent to the customer’s mobile phone is required in addition to the login information) to further enhance security. Trust: Amazon is one of the most trustworthy brands in the world.2 That trust halo extends out: first to the Amazon Pay brand and then to businesses that offer Amazon Pay. In a survey conducted by Amazon Pay in 2018, 83% of customers rated Amazon Pay a 9 or 10, on a 0-10 point scale on brand trust.3 Convenience: Consumers value the convenience and speed that comes with paying using a familiar login and password. What can be more familiar than using the trusted Amazon login to purchase off-Amazon (HINT? Amazon Pay). This avoids the need to type in credit card/bank details or create a new account on websites. Other benefits: Seller acceptance and international purchases: Acceptance by sellers and enabling cross border purchases are also must-haves. Consumer trust in Amazon Pay has driven sellers to make it available, which in turn boosts Amazon Pay’s visibility, and further drives seller adoption. Today, Amazon Pay is a payment option on tens of thousands of seller websites globally. We aspire to help customers purchase ‘whatever they love, wherever they shop’. Amazon Pay also recognizes the global nature of consumers today and enables international payments in multiple currencies.

Important Unmet Needs (Top right quadrant)

Money refund due to damaged product, avoid sharing payment details with sellers, earning rewards on credit cards stored in the payment service, storing and using gift cards, and peer-to-peer payments are important unmet needs. These benefits are important but not satisfactorily addressed by payment services today. By addressing these benefits, Amazon Pay positions itself as differentiated offering among consumers. Purchase guarantees: Consumers seek money back guarantees if a product is undelivered or damaged or not of promised quality. That is the reason why Amazon created the A-to-z Guarantee, to make online shopping experience more reliable. Amazon extends this same guarantee to all Amazon Pay purchases. This guarantee helps obtain a full reimbursement on a purchase or cancellation of authorized payment if consumers are not satisfied and are unable to resolve Amazon Pay purchases directly with a seller. Consumers trust that Amazon Pay has their back if they face any issues with product deliveries or returns due to dissatisfactory product quality. Security (Avoid sharing consumer information with sellers): Amazon Pay does not share consumer payment information with sellers. Sellers only receive the consumer name, email, and shipping address from Amazon Pay to help with order fulfilment. Earning rewards on credit cards stored in payment service and use of store cards: Using Amazon Pay does not mean that consumers have to forego rewards/points they earn from credit cards stored in their Amazon account. They will continue to earn reward points on Amazon Pay purchases through their credit card(s). In conclusion, Amazon Pay is a payment service that addresses most of consumers’ must-have benefits and important unmet needs. It is no surprise then that 90% of Amazon consumers in the US who have used Amazon Pay are either satisfied or very satisfied with their experience4 and 91% are somewhat or very likely to use Amazon Pay again if given an opportunity.5 Delight your customers by signing up to offer Amazon Pay.

1Source: Survey conducted by Amazon Pay in 2018 among 2251 Amazon customers in the United States, United Kingdom, and Germany. Results in this article are from a trade-off exercise that tested 35 benefits. The context of the trade-off exercise was: “In this section, you will see a list of benefits that might be important to you in choosing a digital payment service (such as PayPal, Amazon Pay, Apple Pay, Google Pay etc.) over traditional payment services (such as Credit cards, Debit cards, Checks, Bank accounts etc.). On the next few screens, we will ask you to follow a series of steps to rate the importance of these benefits.”
2In two separate annual brand rankings (BrandZ by Kantar MillwardBrown and Best Global Brand 2018 by Interbrand), Amazon follows two other brands as the world’s third most valuable brand.
3Source: Consumer Net Promoter Score (NPS) Surveys: Conducted by Amazon Pay in 2018 among US consumers who had used Amazon Pay in the 1 ½ months preceding to the survey launch dates. Question asked was ‘How would you rate your experience with Amazon Pay on each of the below attributes?’ 0-10 point scale where, 0=Not at all Satisfied & 10=Extremely Satisfied. Sample size = 3966.
4Source: Source: Consumer Net Promoter Score (NPS) Surveys: Conducted by Amazon Pay in 2018 among US consumers who had used Amazon Pay in the 1 ½ months preceding to the survey launch dates. Question asked was ‘Overall, how satisfied are you with Amazon Pay?’ 1-5 point scale where, 1=Very dissatisfied, 2=Dissatisfied, 3=Neutral, 4=Satisfied, 5=Very satisfied. Sample size = 5936.
5Source: Source: Same survey as above: Question asked was ‘How likely are you to use Amazon Pay again?’ 1-5 point scale where, 1=Very unlikely, 2=Somewhat unlikely, 3=Undecided, 4=Somewhat likely, 5=Very likely. Sample size = 5938.
  • The axes intersection point is the median of the importance scores (Y-axis) and the median of the unmet needs (X-axis). Y-axis (Vertical) = Benefit importance. X-axis (Horizontal) = Unmet needs = 100% - (Average Top2Box perceptions of Amazon Pay and competitor payment services on these benefits). Top2Box = % rating 4-5 on a 5 pt. scale on consumer perceptions of Amazon Pay and other payment services on each benefit. The question was - Please rate the payment services on the below benefit. Use a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 is “Very Poor Performance” and 5 is “Excellent Performance”. Respondents must have used a payment service for them to rate it on their top 10 benefits.
  • Two benefits – Protects me against fraud and Alerts security issue with an account have been manually brought into the chart for optimal sizing of the chart (they have very high importance scores thus elongating the Y axis). Their positions within a quadrant do not change.