Lead Infrastructure at WL Payments

Payment Innovations in the Online Dating space

Back in the day, people only got to interact with new people through friends, family, their university, job, or some other such intermediary. However now, more and more people are beginning to find their significant other through the internet! To be more specific, on dating apps. These apps have completely transformed the way we find love, as made evident by their rapidly growing popularity. The projected revenue for the dating app market is US$ 3.241 billion in 2021. Like any other industry in this era, innovation is a necessity- dating apps must constantly look to update their services and technology if they want to remain competitive. While some dating apps are free with paid add-on features, others run on a subscription-based model. There are several advantages and disadvantages to both models, but neither is exempted from the need to keep up with payment trends. 

Whether dating apps are looking to expand into different regions, boost their conversions, increase their user retention, or just run their business more efficiently, payment innovations can be of immense help. This is why partnering with the right payment platform that offers the latest innovative payment solutions, is crucial to the long-term success of a dating app. This blog aims to explore the various payment innovations dating app companies should look out for and how these solutions can benefit them.

Real-time data analytics

Now more than ever, dating apps have access to large amounts of data that can be leveraged to their advantage. Though data analytics is generally associated with marketing, one should not overlook its importance in payments. In fact, data analytics can play a huge role in the geographical expansion of a dating app. This process of expansion is unlike a traditional business, as it is usually not pre-decided by the dating company but rather by its users. These apps can start in one city but then spread like an ink stain across a map, to surrounding areas. By knowing their customers’ transaction history, the country and region they’re from, payment methods and currencies they transact in, how often they buy add-ons, and what their average transaction value is, one can gauge their users’ preferences and behavior. This gives dating apps a better understanding of payment methods, currencies, and features they should integrate to boost their conversions and customer loyalty. Having access to such data, allows them to efficiently adapt to new customer preferences and continue to expand organically. Read more on this subject in our blog: Using Payment analytics and insights to grow your business.

Multi-acquirer setup for business continuity

When partnering with a payment gateway it’s always wiser to choose one with a multi-acquirer setup. As dating apps tend to have a large amount of traffic, any outage or technical hold-up on the acquirer’s end can severely impact business continuity. However, with a multi-acquirer setup, the risk of outages is spread across multiple acquirers. This ensures the smooth, uninterrupted functioning of the dating app with the use of cascading. Cascading allows failover transactions to automatically be sent to a secondary acquiring bank. Hence, risk diversification in the form of a multi acquirer setup is highly encouraged, especially, when it comes to this industry. Read more on this subject in our blog: Multi acquirer v/s single acquirer: Which to choose?

Additionally, as an efficient way to decide on acquirers for each transaction, one can also configure Intelligent transaction routing (ITR). ITR has been known to optimize the routing of transactions while allowing for the cost-efficient continuity of business operations. Read more on this subject in our blog: What you should know about Intelligent transaction routing.

One-click payments

Some online dating apps offer premium paid features and add-ons, like sending someone a virtual like, wink, heart, kiss, etc. Paying for small interactions of this kind must be made simple and quick for users to even bother using them. The best way to do this is by integrating a one-click payment solution so that users are not hassled by a long check-out process. One-click Payments have the power to significantly improve customer retention, boost conversions, and reduce app abandonment rates. Overall, by simplifying the payment process for users, dating apps can build a better long-term relationship with their audience. Read more on this subject in our blog: One-click payment in the Modern E-commerce Ecosystem.

Recurring payments

As previously mentioned, some dating apps are free at the start but have tokens or features that you can buy over time. While others run on a subscription-based model wherein a user is billed a certain amount at timely intervals. The latter model makes predicting the app’s cash flow much easier. Dating apps can devise these subscription plans based on the frequency of payments- monthly, quarterly, or yearly. To do this, they can ask their partnering payment gateway to set up customized recurring payments. An example of such a customized system would be providing a 1-week free membership plan before charging people for the app. This is a great way to engage more users as first-timers might need time to decide whether the app is right for them.

Security and fraud mitigation

Fraud is a major problem for a large portion of the online dating industry. Some would say, it’s the biggest threat to online dating. Any attempted fraud can result in more chargebacks (that are already a common occurrence in this landscape) and an overall higher banking fee. So integrating payment solutions with the highest level of security is undoubtedly essential. 

When looking for a payment gateway to partner with, dating apps must check that they offer a real-time fraud prevention solution. Such fraud engines are based on machine-learning algorithms, which can analyze and detect new fraud patterns. This also enables dating apps to better understand customer behavior, detect abnormalities, reduce false positives and preserve customer relationships. Not only is machine learning significantly more accurate, but it has also proven to be more efficient and cheaper when compared to manual reviews performed by fraud analysts. Fraud solutions may also incorporate bot and proxy detection and offer unique device fingerprinting which when combined with other fraud prevention tools, can be very effective. The partnering payment company should also be able to integrate payment methods like ApplePay and GooglePay as they have proven to be more secure and a better way to safeguard customers from fraud. Lastly, one must not forget the effectiveness of tokenization, which basically replaces sensitive account and card information with something that cannot be decrypted (token), thus securing the transmission of sensitive data. This precludes data breaches and prevents fraudsters from obtaining user data. While many payment companies do offer some kind of fraud solution, the majority do not deploy the latest and most advanced technology that high-risk businesses like dating apps need.

Conclusion

By now we all must thoroughly understand the need for dating apps to update their payment technology. Every solution discussed, has the potential to completely transform the fortunes and successes of a growing dating app. However, let us not forget the most important step in their journey- integrations! Dating apps should look out for payment gateways that offer quick and easy plug-n-play API integrations. Integrating various payment solutions, technology, acquirers, etc should happen in a matter of hours and days rather than weeks and months. The easier and quicker implementing these solutions are, the more money, time, and resources saved in the long run.

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