The growth of Mobile Wallets and the importance of having integrated loyalty programs

Mobile Wallets offer benefits to all stakeholders, both customers and merchants, by bringing to live mobile payments with enhanced security features while allowing a faster checkout, but also enhancing loyalty solutions.

Mobile Payments Volume

Forecast US mobile in-store payment volume (Source: BI Intelligence´s 2016 Mobile Payments Report)

As expected, in-store mobile payments are growing and recent estimation finds that it will reach $75 billion this year and $503 billion by 2020.

Nevertheless, mobile payments still face some high barriers, but as loyalty programs are integrated and more consumers rely on their mobile wallets, adoption and usage will surge over the next years.

Consumers want more from their mobile wallets. The inclusive mobile wallet with features and services, on top of just debit and credit cards, is very appealing to consumers.

Mobile Coupon and Loyalty Program

Top features consumers want for Mobile Wallets (Source: Urban Airship Report – UK and US Adults Q2 2016)

Loyalty or store cards and coupons are among the most desired features for mobile wallet users. 60% of users have used a loyalty card through a mobile wallet, and there is a high demand with two-thirds of users wanting to. Coupons, like the loyalty programs, are the second most desired feature with 53% claiming that have used them and 62% of customers wanting coupons on mobile wallets.

Apple Wallet

Apple Wallet mobile coupon

Integrated marketing tools such as loyalty programs and other add-on feature are key to drive mobile wallet adoption and usage. Consumers are showing interest in wallets with integrated loyalty programs.

HOW ANDROID PAY WORKS

Android Pay (previously named Google Wallet) is Google platform for payments using Android devices. It was initial launched in last quarter 2015 in the  US, and currently we are seeing global roll-out with UK launch in May, Singapore and Australia in July and other countries already scheduled before the end of 2016.

The Android Pay platform consists in two main features, Payments and Passes. The first one allows you to use your device (with NFC technology enabled) for making payments by registering your bank cards into it. The second allows you to install mobile passes (Coupons, Membership Cards, etc) into your device’s wallet, as it already exists in the Apple Wallet. Currently, Passworks only allows to manage Passes.

 

Payments using Android Pay

Google started by launchingGoogle Wallet, with the idea that all features related with payments would be integrated into a single platform, however they probably saw a niche by separating the mobile payments (and mobile passes) into a new context which they called Android Pay.

If you happen to be in one of the places where Android Pay is already released, it should be very easy to start using the Payments solution, just need to confirm your bank support availability.

Just need to add your credit/debit card to the Android Pay App and you can start making payments in every NFC card reader available everywhere. Another great feature is that the app records all yours transactions and gives you a simple expenses manager, that, in the future, may become a great personal finances application with reports and budgets manager.

 

Mobile Passes for Android Pay

For Passworks the most interesting part is the  possibility of creating and distributing what we call Passes or Cards. Android Pay support Loyalty Cards, Offers and Gift Cards.

You can either add them yourself, by taking any card with a barcode you have, as long as you have access for the number of the barcode, and add to your wallet or you can navigate into some merchant website and use the “Save to Android Pay” button.

The main idea behind you be allowed to add your own cards, is to allow to have a digital copy of them.

 

Adding Passes to the Wallet

You have two ways of adding mobile coupons to your Android Pay Wallet App.

The first is to create yourself, a digital copy of your existent cards (coupons, loyalty, membership, etc.) that holds one of the barcodes available. You just have to tap the + button inside the app and fill the details, simple like that.


android-pay-addAdding a new Pass

The other way is when a specific merchant uses the Android Pay API, directly or through a gateway (like us), generates their passes and make it available on their website, or distribute (by SMS, Email or other) using url linked to the Save to Pay button.

Save to Android Pay

After the passes are installed, you can (if locations were added) receive notifications when the device is nearby the specific location.

Using the Passes

In most cases, the action of redeeming or using some pass is basicaly to read the barcode using some reader (app or scanning device) and for the cases of mobile coupons generated by the merchant, it can also update the pass information after redeeming it.

 

ANDROID PAY SUPPORT & SHORT URL

We are excited to announce that we began supporting the creation of content for Android Pay and also you can share your Mobile Wallet Passes using our new convenient short URL service.

We now support Save to Android Pay

android payYou now can create passes for Android Pay with the same ease that you create them for Apple Wallet. When creating a campaign, you automatically can serve Android Pay and Apple Wallet using the exact same URL.
Tap into millions of iOS and Android users who now use Apple Wallet and Android Pay systems to manage their digital offers.

Know more about Android Pay at Passworks support documentation.

Short URL for a convenient distribution

short urlWe understand the importance of a short URL when distributing a Mobile Wallet Pass. Starting today, you can share your passes using our convenient pass.yt short URL service, available for free to all Passworks users.

Learn more and start creating your own mobile wallet marketing campaign with the free Passworks trial.

How to Use Apple Pay

Tim Cook named 2015 “the year of Apple Pay”! Apple´s mobile payment platform is a huge success and it´s getting even bigger, with an impressive number of banking partners and retail stores accepting that are growing every day.

Nevertheless, there are still two questions that are raised. How Apple Pay works and how to get the iPhone ready for it.

 

Get your iPhone ready

Before you start, you must have a compatible device and the correct iOS version.

For in-store purchase, Apple Pay is only supported by iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, and now by the new iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, due to the fact that those iPhones are equipped with NFC and also have the touch ID sensor. For in-App purchase, and additionally to the iPhones listed previously, Apple Pay also works with iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 3, iPad Mini 4 and iPad Pro.

You will also need to update the iOS version of your iPhone to 8.1 or a newest version to activate Apple Pay functionality.

Once your iPhone is setup, you will need to link a credit or debit card to use for payments. If you already have a card associated to your Apple ID account to make App Store or iTunes payments, you can choose to associate that card with Apple Pay.

Otherwise, you can also add additional cards to Passbook Wallet. Just open Passbook and tap the plus sign on the the top right corner. Tap “Add Another Card” and then follow the entry fields with the card information or speed the process by taking a picture of your card with your iPhone.

Once a card is added to Passbook, your iPhone will guide you through the entire setup process, validating your card, granting access to Apple Pay and finally to store it in Passbook. The card linked to your Apple ID will be your default card in Apple Pay but you can always change it in the future by going to Passbook settings.

 

Apple Pay on Apple Watch

Even if you are already using Apple Pay on your iPhone, you need to add your payment cards to your Apple Watch using the Apple Watch App on your iPhone.

Go to the Apple Watch App on your iPhone and tap on Passbook & Apple Pay. Then tap “Add Credit or Debit Card” and follow the instructions to add the card details and to associate it to Apple Pay. After your card is verified, you will receive a notification on your Apple Watch saying your card is ready for Apple Pay.

 

How Apple Pay works

When buying something at a physical store, you hold your iPhone close to the wireless payment terminal and then use the touch IP to finish and validate your purchase. The beauty of Apple Pay is that you don´t even need to unlock your iPhone or launch Passbook, since the phone will automatically wake up when it gets in the range of the terminal and initiates the payment process.

You can also use your Apple Watch to pay on a brick and mortar store. In those situations, you have to double press the button underneath the digital crown which will bring up your default Apple Pay card. Then, hold your Watch close to the contactless payment terminal until you hear a beep and/or feel a vibration.

If you decide to by something on online partner store using any of the Apple Pay supported devices, you will just use Touch ID to complete and validate the purchase.

Currently Apple Pay is already available in the US and in the UK. And what makes Apple Pay a success, is the growing retail acceptance and the easiness to use.

It’s the Apple season time!

Yesterday was the Apple event in San Francisco and it was massive, presenting its new lineup of products and updates. From Apple Watch bands to the new iPad Pro, passing by the new Apple TV and finishing with the announcement of the new iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus.

 

Apple Watch

Apple Watches

Apple announced that the Watch was gaining new bands, with the special mention of stylish new designs from Hermes and others, and that the Apple Watch Sport had some new finishes.

Additionally, the company showcased watchOS2 that will be official released on 16th of September.

 

iPad Pro

Apple iPad Pro

Apple unveiled their ultimate and the most powerful iPad ever, the iPad Pro. This beautiful new iPad has a high definition 12.9” screen with enough screen real estate to allow split, “full-screen” multitasking.

The main details of the new iPad Pro are:

  • 9” screen rocking a 2,732 x 2,048 display,
  • 9 mm thin and 712 grams’ weights,
  • Powerful new A9X chip that is 1.8x than the A8,
  • 10 hour battery life,
  • 8MP iSight camera,
  • Touch ID, and
  • Powerful four speaker audio.

 

Combining with the iPAd Pro, Apple also introduced the iPad Keyboard and the Precise Apple Pencil.

The iPad Pro is really aiming to be a content creation machine, and to do so, Apple wanted it to have a physical keyboard to handle. The presented keyboard, is very similar to Microsoft Surface keyboard.

Apple also announced a stylus for iPad, which they dubbed as Apple Precise Pencil since is accurate “to the pixel”.

 

iPad Mini 4

Apple iPad Mini

Apple did a brief mention to the new iPad Mini 4, referring that the mini´s internals have been update and that now it had the same power as the iPad Air 2.

 

Apple TV

Apple TV

Apple revisited the Apple TV device, with a new App store (a clear believe of Tim Cook that the future of TV is apps), OS (tvOS) and a multitouch remote with a powerful Siri support. There is also a more emphasis on casual gaming with the new Apple TV.

But the star of the new Apple TV is definitely its remote with the new Siri powered touch versatile remote. The new Apple TV Remote is a Bluetooth 4.0 powered that allows user a much more advanced control due to its variety of inputs.

 

iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus

Apple iPhone

Tim Cook unveiled the two new iPhones, the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. The updated new devices bring to life several new features, from which the new 3D touch is the most interesting because it can be a major evolution in how user interact with their iPhones. These new devices have a new and improved 12MP camera that shoots 4K video.

The main details of the new iPhone 6s and iPhones 6s Plus are:

  • 3D Touch,
  • 64-bit A9 chip,
  • 12MO back camera with 4K video recording.
  • 5MP FaceTime HD and Retina Flash,
  • Extra-quick new Touch ID.
  • Better WiFi support.

 

The 3D Touch for iPhone revealed, empowers the devices to sense pressure and give tactile feedback to user. Ultimately, 3D Touch is about saving users taps and getting them to what they want more quickly.

Both new iPhones, are bringing a more quality photography experience with a new and improved 12MP iSight Cameras that can shoot 4K video. There is also a new front facing camera with 5MP HD.

During the new iPhones presentation, it was also announced the official release date of Apple´s new mobile operating system, the iOS9, which will happen on the 16th of September.

To summarise in brief words, it was a great event with very exciting new hardware presented and that finished with the sound of One Direction.

 

*The images here used are property of Apple.com

The Benefits of Digital Event Tickets

In a world where we can download and add into our smartphone all sort of things, such as music, books, etc., doesn’t it makes sense to have that same with event tickets?

The waiting for a post delivery of the paper ticket, having to print a ticket beforehand or to go somewhere to pick them up can be a hindrance in an age where time is increasingly important.

The promise of digital wallets can change all that, and with Passworks you can create a pass for an event, turning a paper ticket in to a digital ticket, allowing the user to safely and easily keep it on his smartphone.

Once a pass is created it’s easy to distribute it to customers via email or SMS, with a straightforward link to open and add the digital ticket into their phone in Passbook, to be kept until it’s needed on the day of the event, be it a movie, concert, museum, sporting event etc.

The convenience of not having to carry around a physical ticket makes the whole process of buying and attending an event that much easier for the customer. There’s no longer the worry of losing the ticket or the hassle of having to find it in your wallet, not to mention the printing costs saved by all the new process.

The most impressive aspect of a digital pass over a paper ticket is that fact that it’s dynamic, meaning it can be updated with new information in the lead up to the event or to send a reminder the day before. That pass is also fraud-protected being each digitally signed.

The fumble around in your pocket in the queue is also eliminated via location-based technology implemented in the pass to appear on the users’ lock screen when they are in the proximity, further aiding an easy, stress-free way to store event tickets.

Digital event tickets make it even easier for event organisers to manage their customers as you can easily track their demographics as information is sent back to them from the pass, increasing understanding of their actions and behaviour.

3 Ways Social Media Can Enhance Your Mobile Wallet Marketing Campaign

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past years, you can’t fail to recognise the hugely important role and impact that social media had and is having in our lives. It has never been easier to contact a friend, reach someone and, more importantly, share information, which makes it essential for brands to have a social media presence.

A mobile wallet marketing campaign can also be boost by the benefits of what social media has to offer.

Take full advantage of it and use social media as an additional platform to create a buzz around your products, offers and increase awareness of your brand.

  1. Create generic mobile coupons to be shared

    A mobile coupon can be personalized to a specific user or generic in order to be massive, meaning that it can be shared and used by everyone. By sharing a mobile coupon it will increases awareness of your brand on social media and maximises the exposure to your offers, attracting and acquiring new customers.

    A Facebook referral promotion campaign is a great example of how to empower the effectiveness of a generic mobile coupon. The promotion works by enticing fans to gain rewards by referring friends to sign up, meaning they effectively do a lot of the hard work for you. The initial action of liking your brand’s page is a simple and task-free one for the users which increases your fan base. Then in order to access the coupon, a sign up is needed, giving you access to new customers’ email addresses to add to your mailing list.

  2. Link news feed posts to passes

    Update your news feeds regularly with new information about the offers and to add the pass click the link to download. A pass will be added instantly into the smartphone’s digital wallet. That can include a generic offers pass that can be updated frequently with special promotions according to the brand strategy.

    Your customers’ news feeds are also a springboard to attract new customers as their likes or retweets of offers will appear on their friend’s newsfeeds, making it more likely they will click on your page to see the offer if they know a friend has done it.

    3 Ways Social Media Can Enhance Your Mobile Wallet Marketing Campaign-01

  3. Make your customers aware of your technology

    It’s key, that if you update your digital wallet technology content, to let your customers know the changes, and social media is a great place to communicate. As an example, if you’ve just incorporated your passes or loyalty card into Passbook, then updating your news feed to get that information over to your customer base is key.

    Likewise, if you’ve introduced new technology in your stores, such as iBeacons, then sending information via social media allows to explain how it works encouraging your customers to try it.

Digital wallets, such as Passbook, are key to effectively use beacon push notifications

The premise of beacon technology has created a big buzz amongst marketers, who see the potential of a more personalisation and relevant customer targeting. However, it’s important they understand and exercise with caution how to use beacons in order not to be invasive and also to have the ability to create relevant, contextualize and personalised content.

Leveraging location-based technology will undoubtedly lead to a closer, more personal relationship in the way brands communicate to their customers. It presents a win-win situation for both brands and customers, as marketers can see better results from their campaigns and customers can get more relevant offers to their own tastes and likes.

However, some consumers, worry about privacy issues when brands can directly send messages to their phones and can also feel annoyed by too many push notifications or by the ones that are not relevant to them.

Positioning beacons in-store can counteract some of these issues, by taking advantage of the customer’s location for a more beneficial situation. Customer interactions with beacons will normally only happen after downloading a Passbook Pass or having a specific App, meaning there is already an opt-in by the consumer. Nevertheless, over-targeting, being too personal or sending to many push notifications can drive the customer’s to delete the Pass or uninstall the App.

The quantity and types of push notifications comes down to good judgement (common sense) and ultimately, thinking from the customer’s point of view about whether you would respond well to those specific messages. Research by Punchtab revealed that 88% would be willing to use location-based technology if it mean they would receive special offers or coupons. So, it´s key to provide value to the customer, giving him a good reason to be contacted.

Combining Digital Wallets, such as Passbook, with beacons are perfect for in-store push notification to easily allow customers to obtain passes and influence their in-store activity, with the goal of encouraging them to make a purchase. The seamless process of adding a pass on the go into the smartphone is becoming part of the future, and of how we shop with taking advantage of smartphones and digital wallets.

Passworks Loyalty Card Use Case

Introducing a loyalty card program and campaign has always been an effective way to increase sales whilst adding value for customers.

The paper and stamp is no longer the most efficient means to offer a loyalty card. Likewise the burden of carrying that tattered bit of paper, hidden away in a wallet hardly gives off the impression of offering good customer service. Even plastic loyalty cards, take up space in the wallet and don’t offer any interaction and engagement with the customer’s smartphone.

However, switching from the paper version to a safer, more convenient and relevant digital version is a more viable option for consumers whose smartphones are already heavily incorporated in to their daily lives. Through Passbook, Google Wallet or other wallet, it’s now easy to store multiple loyalty cards in one App to be used whenever you’re in your favourite stores.

Digital loyalty cards facilitate the whole process of acquiring points or stamps, storing them and then obtaining any rewards or free products. Stamps or points are added via the smartphone’s camera which scans the QR code of a tent card or poster kept behind the counter of a store. A member of staff then types in pre-determined information such as a username and password to verify the action and clicks a button on their system to send the updated points to the customer’s phone. The loyalty card is then automatically updated to show the changes to the customer’s balance.

Once the customer has gained a reward the QR code on the card is changed, allowing them to obtain their free item. The pass is then updated to return back to the start position or the necessary points are removed from the customer’s balance.

The luxury of storing a loyalty card in Passbook or Google Wallet is that it can be used alongside other digital wallet features, to allow the customer to get the best value and use out of a store’s technology. For example, a digital wallet enables you to obtain a coupon offer and then switch to the loyalty card to add points or gain a stamp, all in the same place, in a seamless process, saving time and energy.

What iBeacon Technology Can Offer to Retailers

The unique features of iBeacon truly offer the ability to revolutionise retailers’ in-store experience, by allowing a better understand of customers’ path, real-time interaction with their customers, which represents a huge potential to engage in new products and offers to increase sales. But automatically there are two questions that arise.

The first question is what is an iBeacon and how it works? Beacons are Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) devices, that work as small indoor positioning systems, to send information to nearby smart devices. In the case of a smartphone that information is delivered via the brand’s App or through Passbook, and then displayed as a push-notification on a pre-subscribed user’s screen.

This enables retailers to send-up-to date, contextualized and relevant information to a customer depending on their exact location in the store and based on their behaviour.

For example, imagine you’re in a department store that sells a vast range of products, each time you walk past each section and are near that particular beacon you’ll might get a different message on your phone, be it promoting a new line of clothes or a discount on French wine etc.

The second question that needs to be asked by the retailers is ‘What can Beacons offer to my customers?’ The answer to this question is very simple; Facilitate and improve their in-store shopping experience. iBeacons offer a cost-effective way to efficiently engage with customers on a platform they are familiar with, their smartphone.

These days, the smartphone goes everywhere with the customer and it’s already integrated into their shopping habits, particularly as many major retail brands offer an App to browse and buy all their products. According to a research carried out by Swirl, 85% of those who own a mobile shopping App use it whilst shopping in a store. Furthermore, 65% of them said they consult their smartphone whilst in a store to find out about products and offers. This means, that through the smartphone, retailers already have a ready-made platform to attract their customers’ attention, and a push notification from an iBeacon is one of the best ways to do that.

The benefits of this technology for both retailer and customer are endless, and the possibility to create more interaction between the two is one that can even bring more trust and build the relationship, whilst allowing the retailer to reap the rewards of offering them better service.

Finding the right equilibrium to make the best use of iBeacons is crucial. In the case of normal push-notifications, the balance of sending the right amount to users is a difficult thing for brands to gauge. However, with real-time location-based push-notifications, retailers can send information to customers at a time when they actually want to find out more about product offers, and best of all, since they are already in-store means they are in the perfect place to act on those messages and buy products.

iBeacon can also work side-by-side with a store’s existing technology, to give retailers a way to better understand their customer’s behaviours, tastes and needs, whilst offering them a more personal shopping experience.

For example, when iBeacons’ push-notifications are used in conjunction with the store’s App and existing CRM platforms, retailers have the ability to tailor the messages they send out to specific customer group.

How it works is that when the customer’s smartphone receives the information from the iBeacon, prompting the App to send a push notifications, the store’s system can also be notified who it is that has entered the store. Automatically, the staff working at that time will, have access to important information, such as purchase history or what tastes and prefer products that customer has. Likewise the message sent out by the iBeacon, could be totally personalized and can be sent only to a particular group of shoppers and thereby maximise the exposure of certain products to the right target group.

Summarising, iBeacons represent a neat and effective way for retailers to better understand and get closer to their customers by enabling them to easier access contextualized and relevant offers, and thereby increasing sales.