New Survey Finds Mobile Wallets at Tipping Point for Consumer Adoption

Urban Airship’s “The State of Mobile Wallet Marketing” report reveals that a majority of consumers have used mobile wallets and want to use them more

Urban Airship unveils mobile wallet solution enhancements to help more businesses deliver personalized engagement to customers

PORTLAND, Ore. — July 27, 2016 — Regardless of age, gender and location, consumers want to use mobile wallets to communicate with brands about sales, offers, coupons, loyalty programs and more, according to The State of Mobile Wallet Marketing report published today by Urban Airship, the mobile engagement leader. Urban Airship conducted a survey of 1,000 U.S. and 1,000 U.K. adults to analyze their attitudes, expectations and adoption of mobile wallets.

Mobile wallets are native to iOS and Android with Apple Wallet and Android Pay allowing smartphone users to receive and store content like event tickets, boarding passes, coupons and loyalty cards, as well as make mobile payments with credit and debit cards. Brands are increasingly using the non-payment capabilities of mobile wallets to reach and engage consumers, and the report finds that customers are responding. Overall, the majority of consumers (54 percent) have now used mobile wallets, with 30 percent of respondents using them in the past week. However, there are large gaps between what consumers have in their mobile wallets and what they want, suggesting strong demand for a wide-range of purpose-built mobile wallet items.

Consumers Show Diverse Adoption and Desire for Mobile Wallets

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Mobile wallets, the report says, are now among the top four ways consumers prefer to stay updated on sales, offers and coupons, alongside decades-old channels including websites, email and text/SMS. Adoption is especially high for people with above-median household incomes and millennials, an age group where apps and mobile wallets displaced text/SMS from the top four preferred communication channels. The young and more well-off also skew much higher in behaviors that make mobile wallets an ideal fit, from letting physical coupons go unused or expire, to desiring the dynamic engagement and reminder functionality that mobile wallets provide.

See additional key findings below, or download the full report.

“GameStop’s PowerUp Rewards™ program is one of the fastest growing loyalty programs in retail and we continue to make enhancements so rewards can be issued monthly and customized to each customer’s preferences,” said Darin Smith, Senior Director of GameStop’s PowerUp Rewards program. “Mobile wallets give us another highly visible and convenient way to reach more customers with the personalized benefits of our exclusive loyalty program.”

“We saw an uninstall rate of less than one percent for our mobile wallet sweepstakes pass tied to our 2016 Copa América Centenario efforts. This speaks volumes given the amount of messaging we sent throughout the tournament, demonstrating that those downloading the pass formed a qualified and engaged audience base,” said Sprint’s Digital Lead of Multicultural Marketing Luis Martinez. “We actually had more sweepstakes entrants install the mobile wallet item than opt in to other forms of communication, which shows the potential receptivity of this medium on the part of the customer for continuously communicating with them on mobile. We’re just getting started with our understanding of the impact mobile wallets can drive for the customer and our business, but we’re already seeing value.”

Additionally, today Urban Airship released the latest version of its mobile wallet offering, rebranded as Urban Airship Reach, an easy-to-use solution supporting diverse, large-scale wallet engagement campaigns for brands like GameStop, POLITICO Europe, Sprint and SXSW. New user interface enhancements enable non-technical business users to import data from other systems to instantly create individualized passes en masse. Together with the industry’s first performance based pricing, Urban Airship Reach makes it easier for any business to take advantage of mobile wallet marketing with cross-platform passes that update in real-time, are location-aware and can message customers on their smartphone lockscreens — all without building an app.

“Businesses are looking for new lightweight, service-oriented ways to communicate with customers on mobile, and our findings make it clear that mobile wallets will lead the next wave of mobile engagement,” said Brett Caine, CEO and president of Urban Airship. “There is a shift underway in how consumers want to interact with brands. They want relevant, personal and useful content with as little friction as possible. Billions of dollars are at stake as offers, loyalty, ticketing and membership shed paper and plastic to become items in a mobile wallet, and virtually any type of business can gain tremendous advantage from the simple, persistent and addressable customer connection they provide.”

Key findings include:

Mobile Wallet Adoption High Among Young and Above-Median Income

  • In the last three months, 67 percent of millennials have used mobile wallets compared to 51 percent of respondents who are 35 to 54 years old.

  • 62 percent of respondents with household incomes greater than $60K have used mobile wallets in the last three months, compared to 39 percent with household incomes below $60K.

  • The top three mobile wallet items consumers have used the most are loyalty cards, coupons and boarding passes.

  • 84 percent of millennials and 80 percent of respondents with household incomes of $60k+ are more likely to use mobile payments if loyalty rewards and discounts are automatically applied.

Coupons in Mobile Wallet Used More Often, Drive In-Store Traffic

  • 41 percent of respondents said they “always” or “often” forget to bring paper coupons to the store.

  • 48 percent of respondents said they “always” or “often” let coupons for products they’re interested in expire or go unused.

  • If respondents receive expiration reminders via mobile wallet, 64 percent are more likely to use the coupon.

  • Plus, mobile reminders drive in-store traffic. 67 percent of U.S. respondents and 58 percent of U.K. respondents are likely to visit a store if they receive coupon expiration reminders when they’re close to a store.

Consumers More Likely to Participate in Loyalty Program With Mobile Wallets

  • One-quarter of respondents use their physical loyalty cards “sometimes” or “rarely” and one-third “always” use them.

  • The top two reasons for not always using them include not bringing the card (43 percent) and forgetting they are part of the loyalty program (40 percent).

  • 69 percent of respondents are more likely to use their loyalty card if it’s on their phone.

  • 73 percent of respondents are more likely to join a loyalty program if points and rewards are automatically updated and immediately visible on mobile wallet loyalty cards.

Register for a webinar on Sept. 7 at 10 a.m. PDT to hear how businesses can broaden mobile engagement to more customers by tapping into what they really want from mobile wallets. Complete survey findings are available for download in Urban Airship's The State of Mobile Wallet Marketing report.

About Urban Airship

Urban Airship provides the world’s leading mobile engagement platform, helping thousands of businesses of all sizes form a direct and lasting connection with their customers. With Urban Airship, companies gain total control of their mobile footprint — apps, wallets and user-level data — to deliver experiences that get noticed and drive action across mobile or any other customer touchpoint. More than 40,000 apps and some of the most innovative global brands trust Urban Airship to accelerate their business through mobile marketing with an independent study calculating an average 878 percent return on investment for customers.

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