A Baker's Recipe for the Mobile Wallet

written by bethburgee on October 4, 2012 in eCommerce and Industry Trends with 3 comments
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Hello, my name is Beth and I have a chunky wallet.

What I’m about to share is shocking. It might even make The Taploid. I confess to you the innards of my wallet (see photo above). Today, I ask for help  to solve my average-American problem of having an over-bearing wallet. Let it be known, I have excellent credit, nonetheless, I have 6 credit cards, 14 “punch” cards and 14 “loyalty” cards. In total – that is 34 cards I carry around daily. On a recent phone call, my CEO was astounded that anyone would have more than 2 credit cards (business + personal). Well, Debbie – meet my wallet. At least I’m not as bad as Vitaly Pecharsky who has 40+. The average American family has 8 credit cards according to a PBS Quiz. With the evolution of the smartphone, even cases are adapting to hold less. Simply put: our wallets are just too heavy.

In preparing for our upcoming Under the Radar conference, I am on the phone with many startups wrestling with the issue of converting my bulky physical wallet into a convenient mobile one. They are working on optimizing my credit card rewards, ditching ye ole stamp card and mobilizing the “opportunity” of coupons, deals and discounts. The idea is about condensing the physical, enhancing the spend and personalizing marketing through re-targeting. This would seem like a large enough issue on it’s own to tackle, but startups these days are taking it a level higher.

We are in an era where consumers expect to pay less, receive rewards for their loyalty, and get personalized experiences, reward and loyalty programs are going to have to evolve with the adaptation of the mobile wallet. Carrying 28 cards for rewards is SO 2006. Let’s not forget tying in shopping, having a friend’s recommendations at the touch of a button, sharing everything super neat in a sweetly tagged Instagram photo while earning some $$$ for referring that really neat thingamajig.

I refer to this as the “mobile commerce cake with the social icing”.

Recipe Ingredients:

1 cup of mobile wallet,
A pinch of social everything
1 stick melted analytics to coalesce everything together
3 tablespoons of customers loyalty
1 nifty little app to tie everything together

Mix gently, pour into my iphone and bake at 450 degrees for 45 minutes. Serve warm.

Some of the companies we’ve come across who are making waves in this space are Paydiant, LevelUp, Gyft, Marqeta, Local Bonus, Flint Mobile, Thanx, and Linkable Networks. Do you know of a startup we’re missing? (Let me know ’cause I’d hate to leave stones unturned).

While I put everything back into my wallet, I wonder, can we have our cake and eat it too?

Share your thoughts!

*No credit cards were excessively used or harmed in the making of this post.