By Randy Smith,
Mobile Wallet Media
May 17, 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.
The refusal to evolve is simply ignoring reality. By not embracing innovation an organization is rejecting the change that gives it the best chance to survive and thrive.
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Mobile and digital wallets will be much more disruptive than just digitizing paper and plastic cards and coupons; they will enable a whole new, more convenient, secure, rewarding and entertaining way to engage customers. They will marry marketing, advertising and payments into one seamless, simple and universal commerce app.

Let’s start by providing a definition of mobile wallet and a digital wallet, for they are not one and the same. The mobile wallet is the mobile interface a consumer uses to connect to their digital wallet(s) and enables a user to make payment, earn rewards or redeem coupons. A digital wallet, stores all the card and loyalty data and initializes and coordinates the completion of payment and loyalty transactions.

Often people act as though the sky is falling when it comes to the word ‘disruption’. But in reality disruption is just another word for innovation and it’s only to be feared by not embracing it. Innovation gives an organization an offense, used to score or achieve organizational objectives. Without a great offense, organizations rarely win.

Disruption has always been around, it’s just the pace of change has accelerated with the advancement of technology and the decreasing cost of deploying scalable technology innovations. A great commentary about this very subject and a new book, Digital Disruption, are worth a read. One thing for sure, there is no reverse gear in technology. The sky will truly be falling for those that continue to act like Dysfunctional Dinosaurs.

So when will mobile and digital wallets take off and become THE way to pay?

First, standardization must be in place that gives merchants the confidence to invest in technology that will endure and provide solid ROI.

Second, conversion of loyalty programs, gift cards coupons and daily deals that also enables seamless, simple and expedient split pay with credit, debit or virtual currency is needed. A simple and intuitive mobile interface is vital to achieving added convenience and value that is much greater than the physical wallet.

Third, mass brand name merchant adoption is needed. Merchants need a self-serve platform that will reduce marketing and payment costs, enhance conversion rates and work seamlessly with existing platforms.

Fourth, mobile wallets must mate top of mind and top of wallet and seamlessly bundle all forms of marketing.

And lastly security is paramount. Our current physical wallets are a walking liability. You drop them and they don’t make a sound. If lost or stolen and you lose much more than just cash, gift cards, receipts and coupons, you worry and you lose countless hours to replace credit and debit cards, driver’s license and insurance cards. In comparison, with a mobile wallet done right, even if lose your phone, you can login online and deactivate your mobile wallet, your card data is not lost, nor is anything else.

There are many technologies and companies competing to fill the gap at POS to enable mobile payment transactions. This has produced a fractured market and delayed adoption by merchants and consumers alike. A possible solution to solve the standardization puzzle, the Mobile Wallet Switch, works by making mobile wallets mobile POS tech agnostic by enabling a mobile wallet to utilize the mobile POS tech adopted by each store.

I’ve yet to see the wallet of the future in any one wallet and many of the key pieces are still missing. It may take a bit more time and a whole bunch of humility, innovative thinking and tinkering for the butterfly to complete its metamorphosis or the puzzle to be completed.
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The Next Great Wave of Digital Disruption: Mobile and Digital Wallets