CNP Expo: Mobile Payments Solutions MUST Include Loyalty and Rewards

May 22, 2013

How important are value-added programs to consumer adoption for mobile payment? During a late Tuesday afternoon session of the 2013 CNP Expo, panelists agreed from the outset: Value-added programs are absolutely necessary for establishing mobile payment options.

Advershares CEO Roy Gonzales gave several valuable statistics for merchants to consider when creating their value-added programs: “84 percent of consumers want cash back, and 74 percent want discounts. The more straightforward the rewards system, the more likely consumers are to participate and spend.” Add to that an app that tells a customer how much cash back they have available or what they get a discount on while they’re right there in the store, he said, and you have created an app that truly adds value for the customer.

Gonzales added that he does not believe that gift cards are a good incentive, since $6 billion in gift cards go unused every year. But Chief Editor of Mobile Wallet Media Randy Smith disagreed, contending that gift cards have no value only if customers don’t have the card with them when they shop. But “if the gift card is part of a mobile wallet app, the customer is more likely to spend it. Convenience will drive consumer acceptance of mobile apps going forward.”

All three panelists agreed on the need to hook these mobile apps in with social media in some way, since referrals and endorsements from friends and family are key to consumer adoption.

They also agreed that one of the biggest obstacles for the adoption of mobile payment apps going forward continues to be merchants’ outdated POS systems. Jared Horowitz of Branding Brand pointed out that many merchants are hesitant to invest in new technology and the hardware needed to support it in their stores without some evidence of the payoff.