Earlier this week, Amdocs released the results of a survey of 1,800 customers, as well as 42 mobile financial service providers, about the use and effectiveness of loyalty programs. These programs are supposed to give incentives to customers for using branded mobile apps while doing business. The results were troubling: Amdocs found that many brands are not utilizing their loyalty programs to their full potential, and failing to educate customers about their programs.
The biggest disparity was found in customers who do not use mobile banking through their bank. Eighty percent of these customers are not enrolled in any sort of loyalty program, and are often unaware that the brands they patronize offer any sort of loyalty program. Clearly, brands need to do a better job of making customers aware that they have a loyalty program and all of the benefits that they could yield from taking part in it.
“MFS providers who employ loyalty programs to engage and retain customers are better placed to increase usage and adoption of their mobile wallet service, thereby driving revenue growth,” said Eden Zoller, principal analyst at Ovum. “However they must still address the gaps that exist between what customers want and what they are being offered.”
One of the biggest gaps that needs to be addressed is the integration of loyalty programs into a single wallet application. In recent years, mobile
payment applications like Apple Wallet and Google Pay have grown increasingly popular, as people enjoy the convenience of being able to pay with their phone and have all of their payment methods consolidated in a single location.
The issue that this presents to loyalty programs is that these programs are often hosted in a native app that is separate from the mobile wallet. Many customers do not want to take the time to open an app to get credit for their loyalty programs and then have to go to another app in order to actually pay. The simplest way for marketers to remedy this issue is to work to get the virtual “cards” associated with their loyalty programs to also appear in customers’ mobile wallets. Doing so would help bridge the gap to customers who want to take advantage of loyalty programs but who have also found them too tedious in the past.