Loyalty matters when it comes to mobile payments

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This recently published article by the Wall Street Journal “The Next Step for the Mobile Wallet? Loyalty Programs”, is right on the money.  Here’s a snippet…

Jim McCarthy, global head of innovation and strategic partnerships at Visa Inc.V -2.16%recently called Apple Pay AAPL -3.50% “a long-term tipping point for mobile payments.” Indeed, many watchers think the three-month-old mobile wallet may have the right mix of elements to spur widespread adoption.

Now that more people are convinced to pay with their phones, the next challenge for mobile wallet providers may be tapping into merchants’ loyalty programs, integrating the two systems so that customers manage their rewards from the payments platform.

“(Customers) are not specifically demanding new mobile payment offerings,” Forrester Research Inc. analyst Thomas Husson said in an email. “Having access to loyalty program points and rewards within a mobile wallet is the number one feature they are interested in.”

A March 2014 report from a section of the Federal Reserve Board’s Division of Consumer and Community Affairs found a significant number of mobile users who reported an interest in using phones to receive deals and discounts, suggesting that “tying these services to a mobile payment service would increase the attractiveness of mobile phones as a means of payment.”

But very few, if any, of the major mobile wallet providers have done a great job integrating into store loyalty programs, Mr. Husson said. The Journal noted that Apple Pay doesn’t work with corporate credit cards or certain co-branded cards tied to loyalty programs.

Figuring out how to combine those elements will be key way to create a seamless shopping experience on mobile that customers actually want to use.

Continue reading this article at http://blogs.wsj.com/cio/2015/01/26/the-next-step-for-the-mobile-wallet-loyalty-programs/

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