It’s Time: Get Moving with Mobile Wallet Marketing (Part one)

The State of Mobile Wallets. Part one of our two part series. 

By Judy Chan, Senior Product Marketing Manager

It’s been a transformational year for mobile payments and mobile wallets. We’ve not only seen consumers pay for items and services via mobile devices, but we’ve seen a shift in behavior as consumers turn to their phones for all things shopping related. This includes activities such as pulling up digital loyalty or reward cards, searching for digital coupons that can be redeemed in-store, checking for product reviews in-store and conducting pre-shopping research before heading out. All of these events span both payment and non-payment related activities mean two things: Mobile payments and mobile wallets are two peas in a pod — and mobile is king.

The current state of mobile payments in the U.S. is an interesting one. While there’s strong growth, it’s not happening at the breakneck rate that one might expect — especially when you have tech giants such as Apple and Google launching Apple Pay and Android Pay. While mobile payments are only a small fraction of overall transactions today, a seismic shift is inevitably coming as momentum continues to build. These “early days” give marketers a unique window of opportunity to stand apart from the masses by implementing digital wallets now into their mobile strategy.

Short of Apple publishing hard numbers about Apple Pay, the conversation has been a bit anecdotal. However, Apple said (in an email statement made to Bloomberg), “We’re off to a great start and we are seeing continued, double-digit monthly growth in Apple Pay transactions since launch. And our customers love Apple Pay — a recent survey found satisfaction rates of 98 percent.”

Some retailers may be waiting for consumer adoption to take off before investing in mobile payments at the point of sale. Others may see the move to chip-based credit cards as part of the immediate critical path. In either case, more and more retailers are directing resources to outfit stores with chip reader terminals that include contactless functionality (ie. NFC). In either case, it bodes well for the growth of mobile wallets.

The Demand Is There

Regarding customer adoption, Forrester Research, Inc.1 published a report that found 56 percent of U.S. online adult smartphone users are interested in having access to coupons, discounts and special offers within a mobile wallet.

According to Juniper Research, contactless mobile payments will double this year. This means that as more contactless payment terminals are installed, Apple Pay, Android Pay and Samsung Pay will benefit greatly — consumers can just tap to pay and go.

While swiping a credit card isn’t really that difficult to do, contactless payment conditions people to expect greater convenience and more streamlined experiences. This is where mobile wallets really hit their stride, providing additional value and utility alongside payment capabilities.

A friend of mine and her daughter recently visited American Eagle Outfitters, an apparel store, and used both a mobile wallet coupon offer and Apple Pay. She told me it was “surprisingly easy and dare I say, ‘fun’ to use.” “Fun” — a three letter word that can be the difference between being brand loyal versus being just another store. Retailers that can embrace this momentum, will not only earn a place on a customer’s mobile phone, but in their hearts as well.

Join us tomorrow for part two of "It's time: Get Moving with Mobile Wallet Marketing."

Looking for ideas to get started? Download our Mobile Wallet Inspiration Guide.

Forrester Research Inc., The Future of Mobile Wallets Lies Beyond Payments, February 2015