By Randy Smith,
Mobile Wallet Media
July 31, 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.
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I believe this is the future of retail coupon and offer advertising. The mobile/digital wallet shall be the container for all offers/coupons. Linking offers to mobile wallets or payment cards provides convenience that enables consumers a life of leisure in retaining and redeeming offers. I'm kind of surprised this model has yet to come to market.

To clarify, if one sees or hears a TV, Radio, web, email or print ad and it has a "tag line and/or logo linking an offer to Mobile/Digital Wallet or Card" in the ad, one will know the offer may automatically be found and redeemed through the wallet or card without need to print a coupon/offer from email/online, clip from print ad or use a code. Saving money just got more simple and convenient.

For consumers beholden to universal mobile/card linked offers, there is no going back. Like I've said before, there is no reverse gear in technology. You don't go from an iphone back to a feature phone or from email to snail mail. Consumers will look or listen for the mobile wallet or card-linked logo or tagline that frees them up from having to do anything other than activating the mobile offer or swiping a card to redeem. This convenience will drive extreme loyalty to offers linked to mobile wallets or cards.

So how would this platform work? Simple, merchants take any fixed discount coupon or offer from any ad and recreate this offer to be displayed and redeemed through a wallet or card purchase. The merchant then places the mobile wallet and/or a card 'Mobile-Linked' logo and/or tagline in all ads, all form factors.

Card-linked service providers are already set up to succeed here, even when mobile wallets take off, and should provide their platform to mobile/digital wallets. However, mobile wallets have potential to disrupt card-linked offers or compete for offer redemption. Although card-linked offers will simply be plugged into wallets via consumers adding cards to wallets, there is the potential for double-dipping on offers and thus unacceptable channel conflict arises.

Convenience is king for consumers. Offers generated and linked to merchant coalition or proprietary wallets may offer more consumer convenience in terms of ubiquity and thus offer greater value than card-linked offers. Card-linked offers not requiring activation may be more convenient for consumers, but merchants may not want to automatically give away discounts or rewards, when they do not have to, in order to earn a sale. Automation through loyalty programs has better ROI for merchants than card-linked offers, which offer higher discounts than loyalty programs. And we've yet to see what loyalty will do through a ubiquitous mobile wallet platform.

An additional potential disruption by wallets of card-linked offers comes from virtual, gift or coalition currency. These alternative currencies are more likely to prosper through mobile wallets and offer merchants lower processing costs. Therefore, merchants are more likely to entertain distribution of offers through mobile wallet, currency-linked offers. One thing for sure, this will build pressure on both interchange and card-linked commissions.

Right now you hear "Find this offer on our Facebook page." With Mobile and Card-linked offers, the Facebook page tag line may be replaced with "Just pay with Mpay Wallet or Big Bank Card to redeem offer."

In closing, the seamless and ubiquitous redemption of coupons and offers through a mobile wallet (and cards) is the future of discount driven advertising.  Mobile and card linked programs are the gateway to 'Loyalty Like Never Before' and greater customer engagement, satisfaction, revenues and ROI.
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