Loyalty Incentives Can Help Drive Mobile Payments: Barnard

Companies wanting to push mobile payments should offer consumers extra incentives to use the mobile platform over other payments options, Christopher Barnard, president and co-founder of Points, tells Mobile Marketing & Technology.

Barnard is among the scheduled panelists at the Mobile Payments Conference, Aug. 29-31 at Renaissance Chicago Downtown Hotel in Chicago, Ill.

He points out that credit card usage was growing, but at a relatively slow rate until the advent of frequent flier programs and co-branded credit cards about 35 years ago. The co-branded cards offered users frequent flier points or other loyalty incentives to use the cards rather than checks, which had been the dominate payment method.

Once consumers wanted to use cards rather than checks – to take advantage of the loyalty incentives – merchants who had been reluctant to accept cards had to start accepting them to meet consumer demand, Barnard explains.

One notable exception was the quick service industry – which was predominately a cash business – until card issuers reduced the interchange charges for the industry.

Today, some two-thirds of card payments include some type of incentive, according to Barnard. Travel loyalty continues to be the dominate loyalty incentive, Barnard adds, citing a Maritz report. However, there are increasing types of loyalty programs. Consumers tend to prefer choice and will use some programs for quick rewards and others for aspirational rewards, such from travel.

With that in mind, if mobile payments providers give users extra loyalty points for using mobile payments rather than other payment methods, it could help drive additional mobile payments, Barnard says.

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