What is in your wallet?
- Pictures of loved ones
- Business cards
- Credit cards
- Debit cards
Pictures of loved ones
Since the advent of the camera on mobile phones, people have been taking picture and storing them on their phone. Already most people keep pictures on their phone, I am sure you will agree on this point.
I am going to extend this a little further not only to include business connections but also your general address book, which has already been replaced by mobile phones. But now with smart phones, you don’t just have a few addresses and numbers, you have access to your business connections, friends and family via Social networks such as Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter. You have real-time access to these trusted connections.
Debit cards +Credit cards + Cash = Payment methods
If you put credit cards, debit cards and cash together they can be grouped as “payment methods”. Twitter executive Jack Dorsey has founded a company called Square, Square will allow users to sign bills using their fingers on the screen of the mobile device, and the transfer of funds will take no more than two business days. More about Square here.
Another company in this space is DeviceFidelity and they have joined forces with Visa to give a touch-less payments system, see announcement here. Therefore, it is becoming increasing easier to pay via your mobile phone. Another cool application on is tabbedout it is designed for “Tabs” in bars and restaurants (an application for instant popularity)
Starbucks uses a card, but you can also get access to this card as an iPhone Application, the card can also be accessed via their Facebook page also (currently only available in US). The Starbuck card application can be now used to pay for Starbucks purchases via barcode scan.
Paypal have an iPhone application (and Android), there is even a “Bump” which allows you to transfer money between two PayPal accounts via two iPhones withing proximity of each other. This Bump feature should prove handy for Parents with teenagers.
There are some applications such as Expensify which allow you to keep track of what you have spent. With the increased use of payments via mobile devices this step will become paperless, the data will be stored for later to examine and this will have an effect on future buying decisions.
What else can you do with your mobile that you can’t do with your Wallet?
Well you can check and compare prices very quickly and very easily. Red laser, for instance, lets you check prices by scanning a barcode on a product, for example if you go into a local book shop and see a book you like, you can take out your phone and scan the barcode at the back and it will return the same book, it’s price and where you can buy it. This application (depending on the product) is a huge threat to bricks and mortar retailers.
Measuring Customer Loyalty
Zappa tag technology is a little sticker that attaches to your mobile phone. Zappa tags are smart stickers that store the loyalty points you’ve earned in all your favourite shops, bars and cafés. There are also Loyalty applications such as Subway application (Subcard), which keeps track of purchases and rewards customers loyalty.
Above I have outlined how each feature of “the wallet” are been replaced by technology and more specifically technology deployed on smart mobile devices.
The reason I think this trend (the replacement of the wallet by smart mobile phones), is more and more important is that consumers will be making more and more buying decisions faciliated via their smart phone. If you link payments with the fact consumers are now on online social networks such as Facebook and Twitter via their smart phone, then as a business you should see the need to be present on these social networks. Your business can be in a consumers pocket when they are about to make a purchase. To take Facebook as an example, it is very easy to “Like” a product with one click, once a consumer has clicked “Like” then they have “opted in”, then next logical step is a purchase, again this could be at the click of a button. Match this with location and loyalty applications and you get a very good picture of your consumer. The trick is to link your marketing measurement throughout the process, from awareness before purchase, to payment, to customers loyalty and recurring sales. Mobile devices are going to become more core to this process.
Facebook mobile use – reference : http://www.facebook.com/press/info.php?statistics
I was at a talk recently where the Chairman [Bobby Kerr] of Insomnia coffee was talking about the use of Zappa tag technology with insomina coffee, and he said “If a guy forgot his wallet in the morning on the way to work, he would ask one of his friends for €20 to buy lunch, but, if he forgot his phone he would drive back for it.“ This sentence speaks volumes for this trend of Phones replacing Wallets.
Mobile phones are now also fashion accessories
Mobile Smart phones now have a role in the marketing and sales process, and this role is going to increase with the adoption of these devices and the Mobile Web.
How long before you stop carrying a wallet (or a purse)?
As a business have you considered how you can take advantage of Marketing via mobile devices and social networks?
One thing is for sure, mobile phones will never relpace Man Bags, or will they? (you will need a Man Bag to carry your iPad)
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