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Mobile Wallet Marketing: A Powerful Strategy for Brands

As mobile phones become an increasingly competitive battleground for seeking consumer attention, Mobile Wallet can help cut through the noise to establish a convenient, functional, and secure touchpoint with your customers.

If you’re intrigued but still skeptical about how strong the momentum of mobile wallet as a channel has been with consumers, consider these statistics:

  • The Mobile Wallet market size in 2020 was +$100B, and is expected to grow at over 20% CAGR between 2021 and 2027 
  • There are currently 2.8B Mobile Wallet users worldwide with no sign of usage slowing down
  • A study done in 2022 found that 30% of consumers in the United States would prefer to pay with their mobile phones all of the time, a behavior that grew 2% from 2021

As a marketer, it’s not only important that you understand the true value Mobile Wallet can drive, it’s essential.

Read on to learn about the benefits of mobile wallet marketing and the various ways you can take advantage of this personalized channel to connect, convert and retain your customers.

What Is Mobile Wallet?

Mobile Wallet is the summary term for the native apps, “Apple Wallet” and “Google Pay” built into all iOS and Android devices. They require no extra download or sign-up by customers to use. 

While Apple Wallet and Google Pay are best known for holding consumers’ credit cards and enabling contactless mobile payments, they offer much more than just a digital payment option at checkout.

With Mobile Wallet, coupons, Loyalty membership cards, boarding passes, event tickets, gift cards, and other items one might find in their back pocket or purse, are instead housed and organized as “passes” in a single location – a person’s mobile device – where they can easily be found and used.

Unlike physical versions of the mobile wallet examples, their digital counterparts are impossible to lose track of: Once a mobile wallet pass is saved to a user’s device it remains in their mobile wallet unless they take action to remove the pass. This is incredibly powerful because 85% of mobile wallet users rarely delete passes.

And like any other app, you can send lock screen “push” notifications to consumers to remind them to take an action or provide updates.

What Is Mobile Wallet Marketing?

Mobile wallet marketing refers to the various ways brands can use the channel beyond contactless digital payments as a means of effectively engaging their customers on their mobile phones.

5 Key Mobile Wallet Capabilities to Care About

Here are just some of the many benefits that Mobile Wallet offers you as a marketer in order for you to instantaneously deliver relevant, personalized content to your customers:

1. Evergreen Presence on the Phone

Once a mobile wallet pass is saved to a mobile device it remains in the consumer’s mobile wallet. For you, this means an always-on presence in the place where consumers are always connected to – their phone. In other words, once a mobile wallet pass has been downloaded by your customers, you have a huge advantage over competitors.

And since each saved mobile wallet pass, normally, has to be manually removed by the user, pass removal rarely, if ever, happens.

2. Dynamic Content Brands Can Control

The mobile wallet pass itself is completely dynamic, meaning all of the real estate on the pass can be updated at any time, as often as you desire, and in real-time. 

By having the ability to update the content on saved mobile wallet passes with new information at any time, you have a versatile, persistent, visual way to engage with your customers. 

So instead of static marketing collateral, Mobile Wallet can be used as an ongoing channel to continuously keep your customers updated and drive them to act.

Have a Loyalty program? Create a Loyalty pass where you can keep members up to date on their earned points or rewards, status level, and member-exclusive offers and benefits.

Extending a duration of a promotion? Immediately update the expiration date so your customers know they have more time to take part in the offer.

Transform tickets into a dynamic mobile wallet pass where you can instantly let consumers know about unexpected changes, like a date change for an event and a gate change for a flight.

Never let your customers be inconvenienced again by not having their current health and auto insurance cards on them. With Mobile Wallet, you can continue to update the saved pass with the customer’s current policy information.

No matter the industry, Mobile Wallet plays an essential role in creating a seamless customer experience that will accelerate revenue growth and increase customer loyalty.

3. Mobile Wallet Notifications

Just like a push notification a user receives from an app, Mobile Wallet can also deliver notifications to a user’s lock screen, giving you the ability to nudge your customers to act when they might not have otherwise. 

These notifications can also be personalized down to the individual pass holder based on customer data and behavior.

Don’t consumers turn off their notifications?

Consumers have to go out of their way to turn mobile wallet notifications off. So, if you’re wondering how many consumers with a mobile wallet pass a notification will reach – the answer is pretty much 100%.

Unlike other mobile apps where consumers can turn push notifications on or off for the app as a whole, mobile wallet notifications have to be manually managed by the consumer for each individual pass that’s saved to their mobile wallet.

The different types of mobile wallet notifications include:

  • Time-based: Time-based notifications can be delivered manually or can be set up for automated delivery, whichever option best fits your campaign.
  • Behavior-based: Behavior-based notifications can be set up to notify an individual customer or segment of customers about relevant information based on their previous activity.
  • Programmatic: When the content on saved mobile wallet passes is dynamically updated, you can follow up with a notification alerting your customer there is something new in their mobile wallet to check out.
  • Servicing reminders: More than just a promotional channel, Mobile Wallet is also a channel to help keep your customers informed and aware of details like shipping updates.
  • Geolocation: This precisely timed notification can be set to automatically send when a user is 100 meters or less away from a physical location as a means of prompting a visit to the nearby location.

4. Attribution for Measurement and Targeting

Several years ago, it was likely hit or miss when it came to companies having the right technology in place for customers to pay with their smartphone. But, since convenience and safety are now two of the biggest drivers motivating consumer shopping decisions, contactless is now ubiquitous. 

Mobile Wallet is compatible with all POS technology. If you’re not so sure of this because you know there are scanning limitations with your POS terminals, Mobile Wallet offers you a variety of barcode options to ensure passes can successfully be scanned. Since it’s easier these days for consumers to find and access a mobile wallet pass than digging through a pocket or searching in an app, the checkout process is dramatically streamlined. 

However, it’s not just about the checkout process being easier. Mobile wallet passes can be easily identified and tracked providing unique pass attribution, in-store or online, paving the way for a better understanding of the business impact mobile wallet marketing has on your brand and offering a clear path to ROI analysis of your brand’s programs. 

With Vibes, this level of attribution is made uniquely possible through our Secure SmartLink, a unique URL automatically generated for every mobile wallet pass that gets delivered to an individual customer. The Secure SmartLink tracks every action on that customer’s pass, from the initial viewing of the pass to the transaction where the offer is redeemed.

And, since mobile wallet passes can be tracked down to an individual customer level, you can also use this data for more targeted marketing, loyalty, and servicing messaging.

5. Security

This is always a top concern for both brands and consumers, especially when it comes to the sharing of personal information. Everyone can rest easy with Mobile Wallet because it was built with security and protection in mind. 

The Vibes Secure SmartLink is not only built to track attribution, but also encoded with parameters that provide fraud protection for any redeemable pass meant to be used only once, like a coupon, offer, or ticket. This prevents consumers from manipulating the Secure SmartLink to reuse an already-redeemed pass by deactivating the pass after use.

Mobile Wallet Marketing Strategies

Across all the capabilities mobile wallet has to offer, the common theme is that mobile wallet gives you a new way to engage with your customers. 

There are a myriad of ways you can activate Mobile Wallet as a channel for your brand and make the most impact on your customers. 

Offers

A mobile wallet offer is a digital offer or coupon that can be redeemed in-store and online.

A mobile wallet offer can easily be distributed through any existing marketing channel – from in-store signage, print and TV advertising, and direct mail to lower-cost digital channels like SMS, email, web, social and your mobile app – the goal is to create a frictionless experience as customers engage with your brand.

Why this is meaningful for brands:

Thanks to Mobile Wallet you can always keep your customers up to date on the latest promotions, flash sales, and limited-time offers based on their purchase history, deepening their brand loyalty and motivating them to shop more frequently with you over the competition. The seamless customer experience can also result in them buying more from you in a single shopping trip.

If you’re a brand with any type of offer or promotional strategy, Mobile Wallet provides an immense opportunity to increase how often a customer shops with you, and how much they spend during each visit.

Loyalty Cards

A mobile wallet loyalty card is a digital version of a physical membership card. In addition to the pass reflecting the member’s key account details, it can be regularly updated in real-time to reflect account activity such as points earned, progress to a new reward, and personalized loyalty-specific content.

As previously stated about how easily a mobile wallet pass can be distributed through any existing marketing channel, loyalty cards can also be distributed to current members without requiring them to download or sign up for anything additional - quite the perk given 58% of American consumers are less likely to join a loyalty program that requires them to download an app. 

Why this is meaningful for brands:

Members want to know their points balance, rewards progress, and available rewards without having to look too hard for them, which is likely why 70% of shoppers say they’d use a mobile version of their loyalty card. 

If members have this information handy, it will drive an increase in purchase frequency. 

And, the targeted messaging capabilities that come with Mobile Wallet ensures that you will always be able to provide relevant messaging to keep your most loyal customers interacting and engaging with your brand even more. 

Beyond the expected increase in sales and customer satisfaction that Mobile Wallet drives, getting members to redeem their loyalty points or rewards benefits companies financially in another way. Outstanding rewards and points are captured as liabilities on the balance sheet, so by increasing customer redemption companies improve the health of their balance sheets.

ID Cards

Offers and membership cards aren’t the only types of plastic shifting to digital. As more consumers say they don’t need nor want a physical wallet anymore, you can take advantage of Mobile Wallet to also digitize certain forms of identification, such as business cards, proof of insurance cards, and in some states even drivers’ licenses.

Unlike static plastic cards, digital ID cards allow for immediate updates to reflect the most up-to-date information. 

Why this is meaningful for brands: 

Not only does Mobile Wallet offer a new level of convenience to your customers, it also provides you the opportunity to manage and service your customers more efficiently with more targeted content. 

By collecting profile and behavioral data, you can use it to notify each individual customer about the proper information and services you deliver, at the right journey stage and at the right time.

Servicing Passes

Let’s talk about two prime examples of using Mobile Wallet for servicing instead of purchasing: Buy Online Pick-up In Store (BOPIS) / Buy Online Pick-up At Curbside (BOPAC) and Appointment Reminders.

BOPIS / BOPAC

For customers who take advantage of buying products online and picking them up at a physical location, they want convenience and speed. By opting for this fulfillment option, they are aiming to save time by eliminating online order delivery wait times, but they also expect to save time during the pickup process.

Mobile wallet pickup passes are optimal as it’s an easily accessible destination where customer order identifiers can be found.

To help streamline the order pickup process even further, you can keep your customers updated by sending automated mobile wallet notifications so they know the current status of their order and when an item is ready to be picked up.

Why this is meaningful for brands:

Consumers are most loyal to brands who demonstrate that they have their back even after a purchase has been made. With Mobile Wallet, you can provide the same level of convenience and accessibility to relevant information that customers need post-purchase.

Appointment Reminders

Use Mobile Wallet to help your customers never forget when it’s time for an upcoming appointment by sending reminder notifications to make sure they come in or reschedule.

All of the relevant appointment details can be updated on the mobile wallet pass so that your customers can get to their appointment hassle-free instead of being concerned they don’t have accurate appointment details.

Why this is meaningful for brands:

With Mobile Wallet, you are able to consistently provide a positive customer experience that increases the likelihood that your customers will remain loyal to your brand. And since a 5% increase in customer loyalty can boost profits by up to 100% per customer, it certainly will have a positive impact on your bottom line.

Gift Cards

Showing an appreciation and saying thank you with a gift card is thoughtful but delivering the gift card in the form of a mobile wallet pass is the gift that keeps on giving. A mobile wallet gift card can reflect the same details as a physical gift card, but without the risk of the recipient misplacing it. And since the saved gift card is likely to stay on the phone, you have the opportunity to reach these customers even after their gift card funds are at $0.

Why this is meaningful for brands:

Gift cards often incentivize incremental purchases that would not have been made otherwise, so lost gift cards mean additional revenue lost. Not only can a mobile wallet gift card be stored and easily accessible for consumers to use, but it also gives you a new communication channel to send timely reminders about redeeming their gift cards, both of which are major driving factors that will get them to buy.

Mobile Tickets

Mobile Wallet eliminates the need to carry physical tickets, making it an ideal space for customers to house their concert tickets, airline tickets, hotel confirmations, and raffle tickets.

Once a customer saves the pass to their mobile wallet it’s safe from getting lost or stolen. But the convenience and reliability factor for customers is just scratching the surface.

The most recognized example of this is a boarding pass at the airport. Mobile Wallet meets travelers in real time to update them if there is a flight delay or gate change.

And because saved mobile wallet passes remain on the phone even after a customer uses it, you now have the ability to seamlessly update those passes with new, targeted content ensuring your brand remains top of mind.

Why this is meaningful for brands:

Going mobile with ticketing will save you costs, eliminating the need for expensive printers and fulfillment options.

Additionally, a bad customer experience can often lead to negative customer reviews, and when it comes to ticketing that bad experience can certainly be driven by long, immobile lines.

Lines are guaranteed to move faster, helping to drive stronger customer satisfaction.

Weaving Mobile Wallet Into Your Mobile Engagement Program

Now that we’ve illustrated how Mobile Wallet can stand on its own as a persistent and powerful messaging channel for brands, let’s dive into how you can implement mobile wallet marketing alongside your other mobile marketing channels as part of a singular program to effectively inform, motivate and engage consumers across the customer journey.

Anywhere you can embed a URL you can deliver a mobile wallet pass, meaning you can take a multichannel approach to promoting program signup as well as getting passes into more customers’ mobile wallets.

To drive awareness of your brand and help stay top-of-mind, start by opting customers into an SMS list. This is not to say you abandon your other marketing channels to pair with mobile wallet. However, SMS is already a personal, conversational channel, so customers are extremely receptive to engaging with brands through text messaging. 

Since SMS is inherently mobile and there’s a 98% open rate for text messages plus a 60% response rate within five minutes, it provides a seamless customer experience for delivering mobile wallet passes.

If you’re keeping score, customers only have to opt-in once, and you get two valuable, engaging channels to reach your customers with SMS and Mobile Wallet.

In addition, the SMS and Mobile Wallet channels offer complementary segmentation and targeting capabilities to enable you to reach customers only in one channel, or in both depending on the urgency of the message.

Another advantage of a saved mobile wallet pass is that individual passes can be updated to reflect new promotions and content without needing to send another message to the customer nor requiring them to have to sign up for anything additional.  

And if you’re trying to drive your customer to make a purchase, Mobile Wallet eliminates steps to streamline the purchase process. Instead of sending your customers to search various inboxes or input different passwords, Mobile Wallet is accessible with one tap or one swipe.

What if I Already Have a Mobile App?

Mobile Wallet doesn’t replace or compete with the value of a brand’s mobile app. Rather Mobile Wallet provides tremendous value in the ways it complements mobile apps by making the customer experience more convenient and providing you with easily accessible, persistent communication channel. And even with the most sophisticated and widely used app, you could still be missing customers that mobile wallet can help you reach. 

Here are several ways Mobile Wallet can help you in ways that your mobile app could be limited:

  • Mobile wallet notifications can’t be turned off. But an app’s push notifications can be turned off rather easily, and once a customer turns them off it’s much more difficult to get them turned back on. The native mobile wallet app is unique in that push notifications sent through cannot be turned off.
  • Mobile wallet passes are easier to find and access. Two taps to reach a saved pass, versus six taps and two swipes to reach that same information in an app. And this convenience factor is applicable to more than just finding an offer, it is just as valuable if you want to surface and summarize key messages you need your customer to see. No opening and searching through an app required.
  • Mobile Wallet can cross-promote an app to help increase downloads. Of the many dynamic content capabilities mobile wallet has, it includes an option to add to prompt pass holder to download your mobile app.
  • Mobile Wallet does not require any internet connection. If a customer is having a tech issue like a poor signal or is in an area that has poor or no connectivity, they won’t be able to access your app. Mobile wallet can reach these customers because it’s native to all devices and saved passes do not require any cell service.

Mobile Wallet, in conjunction with SMS, Push notifications and mobile app inbox bring more consumers into a program, while also driving a deeper connection by serving as an effective, impactful communication channel.

The Bottom Line

From a persistent, engaging communication channel to driving incremental purchases, brands that activate Mobile Wallet benefit from the channel in so many ways that create a long-lasting relationship with their customers.

Mobile Wallet Marketing: Where to Go From Here

As leaders in the mobile wallet marketing space since its inception, we at Vibes hope you have a better understanding of mobile wallet marketing, how it works, and how it can help you drive conversion, learn more about your customers and ultimately create stronger 1:1 connections with them over time.

For more strategic examples and insights into how it has the power to impact your specific industry download our comprehensive guide, The Power of Mobile Wallet as a Channel.

If you’re interested in taking the next steps with Vibes to effectively activate Mobile Wallet for your brand, book a demo with us today.