New Data Unveils Strategies to Help You Get Started with Mobile Wallet

The following is a guest contributed post by Lisa Paccione, Vice President, Americas Sales, Syniverse 

Although mobile wallet has been available on smartphones for several years for payments, it has been an underutilized asset to complement apps and other mobile communication channels in order to enable marketers to better engage with customers and boost loyalty.

While some brands have started integrating mobile wallet, most still haven’t realized the full opportunity for engagement. Mobile wallet awareness is now reaching a point where marketers can no longer afford to not fully embrace it. With this in mind, Syniverse recently completed a mobile wallet study that offers insights for marketers seeking to take greater advantage of this channel. We’ll explore some of the key findings from the study before diving into strategies for getting started with mobile wallet.

New Findings and New Directions for Mobile Wallet Use

In a survey of 1,000 U.S. consumers and 1,000 U.K. consumers, we identified three critical findings:

  • Nearly two thirds of respondents said they are aware of mobile wallet, and it’s available on 90 percent of smartphones today.
  • Of those that have a mobile wallet in the U.S., 53 percent use it at least once a week and as many as 29 percent use it daily.
  • More than half of those in the U.S. that initially did not know about mobile wallets are interested in using them.

In addition to this study, a 2017 Mobile Consumer Report shows that nearly 40 percent of smartphone users surveyed in the U.K. and U.S. currently use the non-payment portion of a mobile wallet to store information – such as offers, coupons and airline boarding passes. This promising insight is explored further in the report showing that nearly 70 percent of those surveyed believe mobile wallet offers from a brand would positively impact their view of the brand and would encourage them to make a purchase.

These findings provide important data for marketers. There is a clear market opportunity for adopting mobile wallet solutions. Based on our findings, however, one of the first steps is for brands to create awareness of wallet and educate consumers by enticing them to take advantage of mobile wallet’s benefits. Mobile wallet will offer an increasingly valuable engagement channel for those brands that create compelling strategies.

Three Strategies to Get Started

Based on this survey data and lessons learned from recent customer engagements, here are three strategies that I’ve found to be crucial for enlightening consumers about mobile wallet and getting a wallet campaign off the ground:

  • Use geolocation-based offers – Using geolocation to determine when a person is near a store and reaching them with a coupon, reward, or other mobile wallet item at the “mobile moment,” when they are most likely to be making a purchasing decision, is critical. This precisely timed outreach enables brands to influence customers to act on a particular purchase as well as encourage them to shop more.
  • Integrate with loyalty programs – Mobile wallet offers a particularly complementary fit with loyalty programs. Customers can immediately earn and redeem points without having to search for their physical loyalty cards or dig through their apps for information. Developing a loyalty program that integrates mobile wallet items offers a unique benefit that can spur customers to use loyalty programs more heavily and thereby shop and increase purchases.
  • Bridging instore and digital – Offering mobile experiences along the customer’s instore journey through wallet can help brands boost revenue, increase efficiencies and remain agile. As one example, Chipotle Mexican Grill recently launched a mobile wallet campaign when it closed all its locations for a company-wide meeting. For customers who visited a store that was closed, Chipotle offered those customers a free burrito, redeemable through a mobile wallet coupon. The restaurant set up window signs urging customers to text a number to receive a coupon, and the response rate was unprecedented, with about 5.3 million people requesting the offer, and 3.5 million people redeeming it.

In these ways, mobile wallet offers a powerful but still underutilized engagement channel to dynamically connect with customers. The first step is to entice consumers to try mobile wallet and educate them that wallet is much more than a payment method. These three strategies here can help brands take the first steps.