The pandemic has rapidly accelerated digital transformation projects. It has also driven mass adoption of mobile payments. After a slow start in the US, the use of mobile wallets is rapidly catching up with cash payments. Mobile payments such as Apple Pay and Google Pay are also becoming increasingly popular in Europe as well as globally.
Many Apple-fans, including myself, can no longer imagine life without Apple Pay. I hardly carry cash and I don’t usually go to places where they don’t accept contactless payments. Last year, Alphabet introduced a new version of Google Pay, its mobile payment service. It brought many advanced features and took the whole service to the next level. The older version is still fully operational, however, its days are obviously coming to an end. At least in the US where the company has begun informing users that it will stop working in April.
Mobile payments are here to stay as they now represent the “new normal” as much as working from home does. And what about you? Do you use Apple Pay or Google Pay?
Mobile Wallet Opportunity
Mobile wallets are not, despite first glance, a financial technology. Instead, they will continue to have their biggest impact on the customer experience. People want a digital loyalty card on their mobile phones. People are interested in having expired coupons automatically updated to new offers. Yes, on their mobile phone. In other words, it’s not just a new way to pay that people want. It is a desire for more convenience.
The largest tech companies in the world — Apple and Alphabet — have been the primary drivers of the adoption of mobile wallets. It is not hard to see why. The eventual goal of these initiatives is to integrate them into our digital lives to the degree that people can search for a product or service, and pay for it with one click. To make shopping more seamless than ever before.
Starbucks Was First
Starbucks was the first-ever company to start offering mobile payment solutions to its customers. It has helped them to attract new customers as well as to create high industry standards in customer service. The Starbucks app got the customer rewards right at peoples’ fingertips. People can use it to order ahead, pay, or track the rewards they have earned, find stores, and redeem offers. No matter how people would pay, they can earn Starbucks’ “stars” with their morning grande. People can also easily add their Starbucks Card to their Apple Wallet right from the Starbucks app.
What’s In It For Small Business?
How mobile payments can help your coffee or sweet shop, restaurant, retail store, food truck, or sandwich store to win the hunger game? The innovation has turned a mobile phone into a wallet — besides other tools. You can benefit from this technology in multiple ways such as on-demand food deliveries, on-the-go booking, faster processing. And push notifications. Push notifications are an excellent way for small businesses to stay connected with their customers. You can provide information on your deals, promotions, and discounts, or exclusive content, and other important notifications, updates, and confirmations directly to the lock screen of your customers.
The good news is that it doesn’t require any custom mobile app or hiring a dedicated software development team to do what Starbucks does. You can build and run a smart and simple loyalty program by integrating your digital customer cards, digital stamp cards, or digital coupons directly with mobile wallets in a very cost-efficient manner. And your small business can show up on customers’ lock screen with relevant information in the exact moments they need them.
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