October 10

Mobile Payment Apps and Marketing

By Danielle Gillette

Have you ever left your wallet at home but still wanted to pick up your morning coffee? In a not-so-distant future, but that won’t be a problem as long as you have a smartphone. As it is, Pew Internet’s September research shows that 45% of all American adults own a smartphone already, and that number is expected to increase as cheaper options become available. Starbucks has had their own mobile payment app since January 2011, and it’s already been used for more than 70 million payments. Now they’ve announced  a partnership with Square that will kick in for Square Wallet users in November and the ability to tip digitally through both apps starting next summer. Dunkin’ Donuts also announced their first mobile app this August, which you can use to make purchases and send gifts to other users.

With the rapid spread of smartphones and increased awareness of their unique security concerns, it’s only a matter of time before even more businesses start using mobile payment systems. After all, they’re a time saver at the register and are more convenient for everyone involved. Maybe it sounds like mobile payment apps might just be convenient for consumers, but there is a benefit involved for the businesses as well, particularly for their marketing departments.

That benefit is mostly in customer data. Businesses that accept mobile payments will be able to gather, track, and analyze customer data coming from app users, including spending habits and personal demographic information. This will provide invaluable insight into your consumer base that can be used to market more effectively. For example, mobile payment app users are going to be tech-savvy, smartphone-using individuals, so why not take advantage of their demographic information you’ll collect to create mobile ads with a more specific direction?

We’re wallet-bound for now, but do you think we’ll eventually make the mobile switch? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter @BlueWaveBuzz!