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The mobile wallet goes mainstream in 2016


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As features become more robust and related technology becomes more widely available, we’ll see Canadian consumers and retailers using mobile wallet and payment solutions even more.

Worried about security and privacy? That’s so 2015. We’re starting to hear more about mobile payments from our technology-savvy friends and we’re also beginning to understand that mobile payments are just as secure, if not more so, than using tap and pay on our credit and debit cards.

So, what does 2016 have in store for the mobile wallet?

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It’s hard to believe that the original purpose of the mobile wallet is to help us pay for our purchases at the till. In 2016, you can expect more than just tap and pay functionality from your mobile wallet.

15_00188-07EN_04It’s all about making everyday life easier. Take transit as an example. Riders taking Montreal Transit will be able to conveniently catch the metro by scanning their metro pass using their mobile wallet app and easily reload it using payment cards stored on their mobile device. Not a public transit rider? Perhaps you use Uber. Getting a lift with Uber is as simple as pulling out your smartphone and dropping your pick-up pin on a map. Similarly, making a payment is as easy as selecting a card from your mobile wallet and making the transaction. In 2016, more companies will follow suit and allow you to use your mobile wallet to pay for purchases directly in-app, saving you the hassle of carrying around physical cards, keying in your passcode or setting up a new credit card in every app you download.

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What will drive the increased use of the mobile wallet in 2016? Well, it certainly doesn’t hurt that key players in the mobile commerce industry have recognized the importance of the mobile wallet and are stepping up.

There are a number of mobile wallets in the global marketplace today, including Apple Pay, suretap, Samsung Pay and Android Pay, to name a few. However, not all of these wallets are available in Canada. Similarly, each wallet is partnered with different financial institutions and payment networks, making it confusing for Canadian consumers to select the right mobile wallet. For example, while Apple Pay is available in Canada, it currently only works for Amex customers. In 2016, expect to gain some clarity as more and more financial institutions partner with mobile wallet providers.

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Going forward, the mobile wallet won’t only be about making payments. In addition, brands will use the mobile wallet to offer us better customer service and personalized experiences.

15_00188-07EN_08Nearly 60 per cent of Canadians want promotions sent to their phones from nearby stores. So, retailers are responding. In 2016, we’ll be able to receive opt-in messages within our mobile wallet apps while we shop. For instance, while walking by H&M, you might receive a coupon for 25 per cent off just in time to purchase your much needed New Year’s Eve outfit.

Not only will we get personalized offers based on our location, but we’ll also get them based on our interests. Thanks to the loyalty programs we choose to sign up for, retailers know a little bit more about us. As these programs advance and are augmented by mobile technology, things will get really interesting. For example, if you’re a Best Buy-loving gamer, you might be given an invite to an exclusive in-store video game launch event or an offer to pre-order a game before anyone else. In 2016, your smartphone will light up with personal, relevant messages from your favourite retailers.

As we ring in the New Year, advancements in mobile technology will make the mobile wallet a must-download app for all Canadian consumers in 2016. If our predictions prove true, the mobile wallet will add a lot of convenience and simplicity to our lives this coming year. We think the mobile wallet may even become – dare we say it – mainstream.