Why, it’s the digital wallet, of course! I guess the better question is this: Why does a social media marketing and online branding blog care about a dumb wallet? The digital wallet, or mobile wallet, is the game-changing accessory that marketers, tech junkies and shoppers will all be talking about in 2012 and here’s why.
Read Write Web, PCWorld and Financial Times are just a few of the blogs and news sites that have been bugging out about mobile wallets lately, and the buzz is likely to grow to a deafening blast before the year is over. For newbies to the trend, mobile or digital wallets allow everyday consumers to use their smartphones as credit cards. Mobile wallets take smartphone and online shopping capabilities into real world practicality.
Google’s Wallet, which was slowly rolled out last year but continues to gain steam as it adds technology and partners, is in cahoots with MasterCard. Together Google and MasterCard give users a real-life, empty wallet for free to be filled with online coupons, loyalty cards and credit cards, all of which operate like the real thing without causing an additional bulge in the pocket. Visa hopped on board with Google, too, back in September while PayPal and LevelUp rushed to release wallets of their own. Sure, it’s cool technology and something we all saw coming, but why do mobile wallets matter to marketers?
Basically they matter because it’s a faster route to connect consumers to brands they follow on social media with instant commerce. The bridge between seeing it and buying it later gets tinier and tinier and mobile wallets are helping chip away at that. The technology is also important to marketers because it can put the frequent flyer miles, gift cards and club cards in a never-before-utilized mobile format that any business can create. Expect mobile wallet versions of services to be the accessory within the accessory and a major part of mobile marketing next year.