You don’t need an app for that…

You may think this is a strange headline for a company that primarily helps brands make their apps successful, but the reality is that you don’t need an app to do one of the most fundamental things in mobile—send your customers personalized offers they’ll appreciate, marrying rewards and loyalty programs with the mobile payment process. The recent investments by Apple and Google into their digital wallet and payment products are making this easier than ever.

Digital wallet adoption has been on the increase with the release of Apple Pay and the announcement of Android Pay. The non-payment portion of digital wallets, such as loyalty cards, coupons, gift cards, and tickets will have an increasing role in the mobile payment space. The key to thinking about the wallet opportunity is not as a one-time campaign or a static piece of paper, rather this is a dynamic channel to engage users with branded digital content that can be easily updated over time.

In addition to dynamic updates, you can also send a change notification to reach customers on the home screen of their mobile device, letting them know the wallet item has been updated.

Do you need an app?

A lot of people think you need your own app to have a mobile footprint, but that may not be the right path for some brands out there.

• There are 1.5 million android apps and 1.4 million iOS apps in the app store

• Not every organization needs an app

• Not every organization can afford to build and maintain an app

• Not every organization can afford to promote an app (App Store Marketing Strategies And Stats - Business Insider)

• Consumers don’t want to interact with every organization in their lives through an app.

Apple Wallet and Android Pay allow brands to have an app-like engagement channel with their customers without having an application.

Dynamic Loyalty Card Example

To show how you can use passes to engage with customers, we’ll walk through an example using a loyalty pass to show how brands can use digital wallets to engage their mobile audience. A large portion of loyalty programs offer benefits after achieving a certain level of points. These are usually tracked in a backend system that updates as customers spend money or uses a service. Putting a new point balance on a pass is pretty straightforward, but doesn’t really drive the point home of where they are in relation to earning that benefit. For example, showing customers their progress visually is a much more compelling experience than simply displaying their total number of points. Below is a sample pass that shows points earned on a progress bar.

As customers progress through certain thresholds, you can update the image to show their progress and send a change notification with their current point balance.

In our example, we’ll assume that customers get a $50.00 coupon on their next purchase after reaching 5,000 points (this could be a discount, free item, etc). Once they reach the reward level, the loyalty card gets a barcode that can be used to redeem the $50.00.

After redemption, the process could start all over again, or the customer could hit a new tier and keep accruing points. Wallet passes can be customized to a brand’s specific loyalty program.

One other thing to consider is location with wallet passes. You can attach up to 10 locations, which will automatically display the pass on the lock screen of the customer’s device as they enter those areas. Based on the customer’s profile, you can set the 10 nearest locations for them. If the customer moves, the pass can be updated with his or her new 10 nearest locations.

All of these dynamic updates and locations are specific to an individual customer. Loyalty programs are personalized by nature, and now you can engage at that level through digital wallets. All of the images, fields, and colors on the pass can be customized and updated in real time. Digital wallets won’t give you all of the functionality of an native app, but they allow you to have branded content that lives on customers’ devices, changes based on their individual profiles and notifies them on the one screen they are never without when they achieve new loyalty milestones or you have a new offer.

Try our digital wallet tools, free.