With mobile payments becoming more popular with consumers, when is it time for your business to consider implementing that choice? If current studies and customer feedback are any indication, your company could gain more customers and retain existing ones by offering mobile payments sooner rather than later. People not only desire the option to pay via mobile means, they are coming to expect that choice when completing financial transactions. Conducting business using mobile devices, such as smartphones, is an increasing trend. More customers are taking advantage of mobile payment options, according to a recent study conducted by Cognizant and Monitise, a global business consulting firm that helps companies with research, development, and implementation strategy. According to Cognizant’s study, consumers want to be able to customize their mobile payment experience. A full 75 percent of the study’s responders wanted to have the option of changing the look and feel of the mobile payment application. This personalization could include such things as selecting the payment functions they want to use the most, such as pre-scheduling payments. Finally, over half of the study’s participants indicated a preference for using a tablet device over a smartphone, when possible. About 700 participated in the survey, which was completed in partnership with the CBC. The resulting report, entitled “Segment-Based Strategies for Mobile Banking,” highlighted several reasons for customers’ increased desire for banks that offer mobile payments. Today’s consumers don’t want to be tied to conducting transactions only on a desktop PC. Simply put, mobile options go a long way to increasing customer loyalty to a company, whether that business is in the banking industry or otherwise. The study indicated that there are several things customers are looking for when they choose to pay or complete a financial transaction via a mobile device. First, customers prefer to conduct their online business at their convenience and at any time they choose – whether it’s at midnight or six in the morning, when they first arise. In addition, customers like having a connection to a variety of social networking features. The study mentions that “Consumers are also open to using social networking features on mobile banking apps/websites for accessing information on new products and sharing opinions.” That way they can compare and contrast what other consumers are saying about a business or they can get tips on which products or services might benefit them the most. Given the increase in customer loyalty as shown by these recent studies, mobile payments are an attractive option. If banks and other institutions are taking advantage of such applications for improved business, it only makes sense for your company to get on board with mobile payments as well. Contributor: Bev Sninchak is a veteran freelance writer with 16 years of experience producing content for print and online publications. She is interested in many subjects, from social media strategies to internet marketing strategies.