The case for Mobile Wallets and Loyalty Cards

loyalty-cardPrompted by a survey from Veoo that found 95% of UK and US loyalty card holders have anywhere between 1 and 10 physical loyalty cards, I’ve just had a quick dig through my wallet to see exactly what plastic tat I carry around with me. I’m a bit surprised at how many loyalty cards I have.

I found a Network Railcard, an AA card (automobile, not alcoholic), not one but two Caffe Nero cards, a Costa card, a Costco card, a Tradepoint card, a sports centre membership card and of course a Press card. Nine in total and that’s considerably more than I was expecting to find. And I notice not a single supermarket or retailer loyalty card (bar the coffee shops where I only ever buy cups of tea!)

On average, one in four UK loyalty card holders are using mobile wallet solutions to store offers/coupons (28%), airline boarding passes (19%), loyalty cards (29%) and tickets (24%). That’s not surprising considering the proliferation of plastic we carry around with us but we’re lagging behind the US in mobile loyalty card adoption.

Loyalty cards have proven to be incredibly popular, there’s hardly a household in the country (apart from mine) that doesn’t have a Tesco Club card or a Nectar card (or both). And so far we’ve only talked about the cards themselves, pop into any supermarket and you’ll see bundles of paper coupons which have been mailed out to consumers, stored in their physical wallets and purses and then handed over to the checkout assistant. How much simpler would life be if the whole lot was in a mobile wallet on your smart phone?

Widespread adoption of mobile wallets would also make life easier for online retailers with physical stores. When a customer purchased online you could send a voucher to shop instore, you could send click and collect credentials, you could send discounts for future online purchases and with proximity solutions you could also send time sensitive offers when the consumer passed by one of your retail shops in the future.

Of course Veoo has a Mobile Wallet solution which is undoubtedly why they commissioned the survey. I detest loyalty cards and refuse to have them so I’d have taken the survey with a pinch of salt… but then I looked in my wallet and found the nine loyalty cards that I carry about with me so I can’t dislike them that much. Perhaps there is a really strong case for mobile wallets for loyalty cards, it would certainly make my wallet lighter.