The Future of Mobile Wallets

The Potential of Mobile Wallets

According to Urban Airship, 54% of surveyed consumers used mobile wallets, but felt that the best features were not being utilized. In the chart below, you can see the gap between what users want, and how many are actually using that feature.


Let’s take a look at the main features that have the most potential.

Loyalty Cards

Loyalty cards have always been an effective way of keeping customers. According to business blogger Brandon Gaille, customer spending is 46% higher with companies that offer reward card programs.

The problem with rewards cards is that they’re easily forgotten. Urban Airship says that 43% of cardholders forget their cards, and 40% forget they’re members in the first place! However, 69% of respondents said they were more likely to use their card if it were on their phone. Mobile wallets boost the likelihood of a customer continuing to use a loyalty card.

Sales Updates

Mobile Wallets have reached the top four methods of communication for new sales, offers, or coupons, right behind text messages. The most preferred was email with 59%, and websites as second most preferred at 52%.

Take REI’s mobile wallet app for example. This app not only allows you to use your phone to redeem certain offers, but this specific mobile wallet app also notifies you of new offers through push notifications. Businesses can take advantage of this opportunity to update and advertise offers for those that miss out on previous sales.

Coupon Redemption

Mobile coupons are more likely to be used when users are given reminders. 64% of respondents said that they would use coupons more if they were reminded about the expiration date.

Similar to loyalty cards, people (especially Millennials) are prone to forgetting coupons. Since phones are always on hand, this alleviates the problem.


While Mobile Wallets are still being used for mobile payments, people want to use its other features, like sales updates and loyalty cards. We’re seeing a new shift in consumer behavior, where people are slowly acclimating to using their phones to interact with businesses.

Mobile wallets are an increasingly effective way to communicate with your customers. Whether it’s sending a quick notification on a new sale, or reminding them that their coupons are expiring soon, customers want their sale related updates in one area. If your business has frequent offers, or has a loyalty program, consider building an app compatible with mobile wallets.

Millennials and wealthy households use mobile wallets the most. If this is your audience, be sure to target them. These audiences are the ones most likely to carry a smartphone and use it at participating retailers and services.

The Future of Mobile Wallets

Although mobile wallets are still in its infancy, adoption is increasing, with almost one in six using it in the U.S. The only thing is, not enough companies are taking advantage of this unique spot on the smartphone. It’s simply not enough to have a separate app and send notifications- people don’t usually like being bothered with sales offers.

Having a mobile wallet can help businesses stay relevant in their customer’s minds by being a part of the one thing consumers will always have on them: their smartphones. If you’re serious about boosting your brand’s reputation and overall conversions, make sure you have a mobile wallet app that customers can use. In a couple years, we may ditch the physical wallet altogether.