Mobile Wallets Are Happening: Here's How Independent Developers Can Compete – By Christopher Barnard, president at Points

Until recently, discussions surrounding mobile wallets have primarily focused on slow adoption rates. But thanks to industry leaders like Apple and Samsung who are innovating to meet consumer’s payment needs, they are building steam for widespread wallet adoption and are opening doors for independent developers now entering the space.

But it’s no easy feat going up against giants like Apple and Samsung and the many other independent mobile wallet developers. To compete, lesser-known mobile wallet providers need to capitalize on three emerging trends in the digital payments industry – stronger data security, opportunities for continued engagement, and loyalty program integration.

When it comes to attracting and retaining consumers, few aspects of a mobile wallet are more important than payments security. Consumers who feel secure in their mobile wallet payments are more likely to adopt digital payment habits. From host card emulation (HCE) to biometric security tools that use body parts to authenticate transactions, mobile wallet providers who implement advanced security measures stand a chance to increase the number of consumers on their digital payment platform.

Once consumers are comfortable with the layers of security that mobile wallet providers put in place, the next step is driving engagement through a series of personalized and responsive services. Machine-learning algorithms, for example, can tailor coupons and ads that appear in a mobile wallet directly to a user’s interests and purchasing behavior. In addition to providing consumers with the opportunity to collect, manage and redeem both digital coupons and loyalty programs, mobile wallet apps also enable marketers to push their products – opening the door for even greater engagement with consumers.

Last but certainly not least, loyalty program integration can give mobile wallet providers a huge leg up on the competition. Having increased 26 percent from 2013 to 2015, the number of loyalty program memberships in the U.S. is now greater than three billion. Needless to say, many of today’s loyalty programs have gained the trust of consumers. By offering those loyalty program members the ability to track their balances, transfer points between programs and redeem seamlessly with every transaction, mobile wallet providers have a chance to replace traditional plastic credit cards with digital platforms of their own.

Constant innovation on the part of digital payments leaders such as Apple and Samsung has given ‘little guys’ a seat at the table. But in order to stay in the game, undiscovered mobile wallet providers must dominate the competition where it matters most – security, engagement and loyalty integration.


Christopher Barnard is the president and co-founder of Points, the global leader in loyalty currency management providing eCommerce and technology solutions to the world’s top brands. Through its Points Loyalty Wallet software, Points provides transactional access for wallet developers, banks and merchants seeking a way for their consumers to earn and redeem loyalty rewards in a digital wallet.


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