Has the time for mobile wallets finally arrived?
We’ve heard it all. Consumers are demanding it, but not sure if they are ready for it. The fintech sector is booming but the m-commerce sector is slow on the uptake. Hospitality and retail businesses are struggling to attract and retain customers, and there are rumours that mobile ordering and payment apps could be the answer.
However, the tide is turning. By 2021, it is estimated that the world’s usage of mobile wallets will increase by more than a third, and the world might just be ready for it.
In the UK, the uptake of contactless payments has been rising steadily. It’s no surprise, as the cash we carry in our pockets is lessening all the time. Combine that with our inability to put our smartphones down, and it is the perfect recipe for a quicker adoption of mobile wallets.
But if we want to get the mobile wallet into the pocket of every consumer, we need to realise that it is more about engagement than payment.
The demand is real.
We are discovering that the use for a mobile wallet goes beyond that of simply replacing the cash we have in our hands. It also offers a whole world of opportunity, and as a fast-moving, ever-changing, and forward-thinking population, we like the sound of that.
Millennials love a bit of technology. A recent report revealed that in the last three months, 67 % of millennials have used mobile wallets compared to 51 % of respondents who are 35 to 54 years old.
But these same millennials can also be a bit demanding when it comes to marketing. Our society is so bombarded with emails, adverts, online messaging, that it has almost become ‘switched off’ to the traditional methods of marketing.
We want to pick up our phones for the latest deals and offers, and the countless loyalty cards are taking up so much room in our real wallets that we would would much rather have it all in one place.
In a time when brands can struggle to be heard, and when bricks-and-mortar retail are looking to bring more people through the door, and bars and restaurants are under threat from mobile delivery apps, it is little wonder that many businesses are looking to turn to that little piece of technology constantly found in our hands.
So if the demand is there, and both businesses and consumers want it, has the time for mobile wallets to become mainstream finally arrived?
The hospitality industry is primed to take advantage of the impending m-commerce growth, and now is the time for restaurants, bars, and cafés to drive the adoption of mobile wallets – and start engaging with their customers.