By Randy Smith,
Mobile Wallet Media
August 21, 2013
About Mobile Wallet Media
Mobile Wallet Media is a news media, analyst, marketing and consulting firm focused on the future of mobile: payments, marketing, loyalty commerce, security, prepaid, virtual currency, daily deals and the convergence of them all with social and local. The Chief Editor, Randy Smith, was the primary founder, inventor and former CEO of MobilePayUSA, a TechCrunch Disrupt Startup Alley Winner.
Media Partners
Digital gifting of $2 - $10 mobile gift cards and incentives appear to be a solid conversion and engagement bridge for consumers and mobile payments. Wrapp, Gyft and LevelUp are a few startups leading the way. Wrapp and Gyft have had huge success of pairing Social Media with sharing of mobile gift cards.

Gene Cornfield, VP of Marketing for Cashstar, moderated a panel of executives from Wrapp and Gyft. He shared “Most consumers would rather receive a $25 gift card than a $40 gift.” Hjalmar Winbladh, Wrapp's Founder and CEO, unwrapped some amazing stats from a single marketing campaign. An unnamed retail client distributed 2 million dollars in gift cards (or 2 million gift cards?) and reached 75 million consumers. Gyft co-founder, CJ Macdonald shared "Customers share 5-10 gift cards at a time." He went on to state "Recently I asked retail marketing executives about how they are using their gift card platform to engage new customers?" His answer expressed that these executives were doing little or nothing to create and build relationships with gift card users. It appears Facebook is a vital distribution tool for both these companies. Their pioneering in this space is sure to be emulated in mass. Time will tell if Facebook ends up acquiring one or both of these companies to drive more revenue through ever larger retail and brand clients.

LevelUp CEO, Seth Priebatsch shared his perspective on mobile payments. Seth shared four of the top reasons as to why mobile payments have not taken off yet: "Cards work just fine, change is expensive, entrenched players are resistant to change and the chicken and egg problem (lack of standardization or mass adoption of POS tech to enable mobile payments)." His stated reasons for mobile payment adoption by merchants: "Lower processing costs, access to data, advertising, loyalty and developer tools (think back several years ago to a world where virtually all payment systems were closed for developer access)."

Seth went on to share his broad vision for the future of mobile payments growth: "The 5 Vectors of Mobile Payments: Consumers, Merchants, POS, Acquirers and Developers."

Consumers > “Consumers want to save money immediately, in an ongoing and invisible manner . . . Though it's hard to get consumers to start making mobile payments, it's hard to get them to stop once they start."

Merchants > "Interchange rates have trended up until two years ago . . . Why the down trend now? Competition. The ‘Old World’ networks and cash are being challenged by ‘New World’ mobile wallet offers of unlimited payment options . . . Merchants like to save money but savings is not enough. Merchants also want to see a move in top line revenue."

POS > "Merchants want mobile payments integrated with POS. Square has to completely disrupt the entire POS industry. We went to all POS players and asked if they would make us a first class payment option."

Acquirers > "Acquirers just want to stay relevant. They are big and don't want to go away and want a share of whatever payments platform merchant uses. Square has to completely disrupt the acquirer industry to succeed. We chose to swim downstream by partnering with Heartland and Merchant Warehouse."

Developers > "Developers want an open platform. Letting brands own their own payments method is key to being open. Merchants like the idea of having control of their payment platform after 60 years of abuses by networks."

Continue to page 2 of 2 - (Don't miss PayPal perspective)

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