Mobile Wallets Mean Immediate Rewards for Consumers and Dealers

Modern mobile phone with hundred dollar bills on a screen and with credit card

Modern analysts are talking about a big rise in mobile commerce, and the biggest driver is the mobile wallet. It is predicted that by 2016 the M-commerce industry will process over 800 billion USD globally (Ericsson). And, with 30 percent of consumers already reporting that they have collected or redeemed coupons via their mobile device and 45 percent of customers with Passbook or Passmarket applications reporting they have redeemed those coupons—it’s clear that the mobile wallet will soon burn a hole in the consumer pocket (DMEautomotive 2013 auto[mobile] survey).

So what is the mobile wallet? Mobile wallets are Apple iOS and Android applications that hold virtually any financial service, from bank accounts, credit cards, and loans to coupons, store cards, and boarding passes. These passes can all be scanned with the consumer’s mobile device at the time of purchase or use.

Consumers can access these passes via social media, QR codes, email, or apps. The pass is then transferred into the mobile wallet and can be redeemed at the retailer either by scanning or keying-in. Once the pass is redeemed, the customer’s account is automatically updated.

This is great for consumers, but is it also great for retailers, like dealerships. All these transactions are trackable, creating reports that can be continuously reviewed for improvement and strategized for optimal results. Tracking these transactions means a deeper understanding into which coupons work best and how consumers respond to different marketing strategies.

And with U.S. consumers most interested in the coupons, rewards and a quicker checkout offered through a mobile wallet (First Data proprietary research—Global Consumer Universal Commerce Tracker 2013), it’s important for dealers to be instantly present with consumers at this critical transaction point. Mobile wallets not only offer an important customer retention tactic for today, but also for tomorrow, as more and more consumers join this third wave of mobile adoption.

Plus, mobile wallets provide dealers with both an offensive and defensive strategy. With new-era gorilla marketing functions like geo-fencing (i.e. software that recognizes a predetermined set of geographical boundaries), dealers can hit consumers with coupons or offers at an exact place or time. This provides the consumer with pertinent information in a place where they can take action right away through their mobile wallet.

On the offense, dealers need to be sure to geo-fence their own stores, so that when the second the consumer enters the sales lot and service drive, coupons and offers are immediately available, in a place where they can be redeemed right away.

And the defensive strategy is just as critical. Imagine your customer walks into a competitor’s store, and a push notification pops up on their mobile phone home screen, offering a great deal at your store, right down the street. Could there be a better time to intercede the consumer buying process? You are not only interacting with your customers when they are clearly considering a purchase, but you are also “conquesting” them back into your store. That’s the power of third wave mobile technology, using marketing drivers like mobile wallets and geo-fencing capabilities to adapt to the new culture of today’s changing consumer.

While these wallets are very user-friendly, the technology is complex, so it is important to work with a trustworthy vendor with a strong background in new-era mobile technology services. And the time to start thinking about this is today, because conquering an ongoing mobile marketing strategy is what will set you apart tomorrow.

Matt Zahm is a new era mobile technology guide for DMEautomotive, the industry leader in science-based, results-driven automotive marketing that provides a range of marketing services to the biggest and most innovative automotive organizations in the industry. For more information, email

Michael Bowen


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