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Loyalty Programs May Be Final Frontier for Mobile Wallet Adoption

The adoption of mobile wallet technology has implications in countless markets. Through the acceptance of the seamless POS tool, customers are abandoning traditional cards in favor of the NFC-enabled tech in increasing numbers. After a slow start, mobile payments are starting to gain momentum while providers like Apple and Google search for the “killer app” that will push it into the mainstream. According to research from Points, that X-factor may just be loyalty program integration.
 
In “The State of Mobile Wallet Loyalty and Engagement in 2016,” the company examines the state of the mobile wallet, and how it relates to potential loyalty program integration. The report notes that a staggering 94% of those surveyed indicated that they would use mobile wallets more often if they were able to earn and redeem loyalty rewards through the platform.
 
“Consumers are looking for that all-in-one solution when it comes to mobile wallets,” said Christopher Barnard, president at Points. “While adoption for mobile wallets has been gaining steam, loyalty is the missing piece to help users stay engaged in mobile wallets for the long haul. And on the flip side, the integration of loyalty into mobile wallets presents an incredible opportunity for loyalty programs to make their currencies more ubiquitous and more deeply engage their member base in a new way.”
 
Of the industries in which customers are most interested in redeeming their points, grocery stores are a runaway winner, with 38% of the vote. Rounding out the top three were travel (20%) and gas stations (18%). All three of these verticals are prime targets for mobile wallet adoption, opening the door for brands to take advantage of increased sales through implementation.
 
The intersection of mobile wallet and loyalty programs is highly intuitive: As customers move toward a consumer space without the need for plastic credit cards the tolerance for keychains filled with loyalty cards will drop as a result. Moving these cards to a smartphone allows for an easier shopping experience, a less cluttered keychain (or wallet), and above all else, a loyalty program that allows customers to engage without points of frequent friction.

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