In the not-so-distant future, the money in your customer’s pocket may be housed in a smartphone instead of a leather-bound wallet. Recent research by ICM paints mobile wallets as a technology in its infancy waiting to break into the mainstream. Although consumer awareness of mobile wallets is high, only around 10% of Americans currently utilize mobile transactions. But as more and more players enter the payment space, marketers are keeping a close eye on this emerging form of commerce.

Mobile wallets mean big data

With the number of smartphone users rising around the globe, the opportunity to leverage their wealth of information is limitless. As valuable as the money in a person’s mobile wallet may be, the real treasure is the info that’s collected with every transaction. Mobile payments give marketers a clear picture of a person’s buying habits, geographic location and even their social media status, making it easier to define and effectively reach target markets.

The benefits of knowing your mobile customers

Recent mobile device trends in retail environments help us better understand the impact mobile users can have on sales. Fast Company reports that 82% of smartphone-wielding customers use mobile search engines to find product information while perusing the aisles. Their article also noted that these information seekers spend an average of 25% more than traditional shoppers.

Although mobile searches clearly spur more sales, retailers remain at the mercy of the consumer. If they don’t search a company’s product or service, there’s a good chance they’re not going to see it. That’s where the marriage of marketing and mobile wallets comes in.

Denver software company, Mocapay, is at the forefront of this trend with their Mocapay Wallet. The transaction aspect of Mocapay’s mobile payment service works like a gift card that’s redeemable at multiple stores. Users simply put money in their wallet and spend it at participating restaurants and retailers.

On the marketing side of things, Mocapay operates more like Groupon, offering consumers time-sensitive deals at nearby merchants. But here’s where things get interesting: once the user redeems a deal, the business immediately receives valuable info like who they are, what they purchased, when they purchased it and what other offers interest them. The app also sends the user repeat offers with short expiration windows to encourage repeat visits.

Personalized service for personal customers

The success of Mocapay, and future mobile marketers, will depend on their ability to deliver a personalized experience. When done right, mobile payment and marketing services will feel more like a personal shopper than a piece of spam. Customers will receive distinct advantages like deals, personalized customer care, and quicker and easier transactions. Marketers gain useful information about users, allowing them to help build personal, long-lasting relationships with their clientele. Everybody wins, except for the companies manufacturing credit cards.

Image courtesy of Google.