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The Ultimate Mobile Wallet is More than Payments

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Like most people, when I think of mobile wallets, I think of making a payment transaction: a quick, convenient, contactless payment transaction where I don’t ever have to pull out my card. But that’s the just the tip of the iceberg of what mobile wallets can do.

The push for mobile wallets is driven by a nearly universal desire to ditch everything in your wallet, not just credit cards. Train tickets and commuter passes, student ID’s, club memberships, boarding passes, parking passes, stadium tickets – all of the things that clutter up your wallet can potentially be stored in a mobile wallet.

Jaymee Johnson, director of marketing for Isis, highlighted this trend in an interview with CNet last year when he said, “people are tired of carrying around wallets bursting with paper coupons and key chains overloaded with plastic loyalty cards.”

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“The ability to put all of that on a device that you carry with you 24/7 and offers an added level of security is a big step forward,” he said. “That is what consumers get excited about when we talk to them about mobile payments.”

To understand the how the payment industry is thinking of mobile wallets in a truly comprehensive fashion, you only need to look at the tag line for last year’s Wallet Wars conference: ‘Combine Offers, Coupons, Loyalty, Ticketing, Identity and Payments to Produce the Ultimate Mobile Wallet.’

Consumers are warming up to this trend and beginning to expect more from retailers and mobile wallet apps. As John Koetsier notes in an article on Venture Beat, 59% of consumers say they would have a more positive view of retailers if they started to deliver digitized content. Koester goes on to predict that the mess of flyers on your front door could soon be replaced by a smarter set of customized and personalized digital flyers in your mobile wallet.

Over the next few years, I expect that we’ll see mobile wallet providers start to get really creative in taking advantage of this technology to drive convenience. After all, convenience is one of the top factors that will compel consumers to ultimately stick with one mobile wallet over another.

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