When Apple introduced Passbook — its native digital wallet app – in June of 2012, it was clear that restaurants and retailers would soon realize that the future of mobile lies in native digital wallets, not their own apps.
It took Google two years to catch up with Apple, and now Google Wallet offers the same benefits of Passbook including a geolocation-based placeholder of digital coupons, loyalty cards, passes, and more. Google has just struck a deal with Verizon, AT&T, and T Mobile; Google Wallet will now come pre-installed on all Android phones (Source:CNN) and like Passbook on iPhone, it cannot be deleted.
June 2012 – Apple announces the launch of Passbook
Soon, your customers will stop carrying their physical wallets. Their cards, money and coupons will be stored in iPhone Passbook and Google Wallet. As digital wallets evolve, consumers will abandon retailer and restaurant apps at an even higher rate than today. When you launch an app, you struggle with user adoption because there are over 1 million apps available; there isn’t enough incentive for users to download and keep your app on their phones. It’s also expensive to update apps, which is necessary as technology evolves. With digital cards in digital wallets, you get all the benefits of apps without the technical, marketing, and financial challenges of creating and maintaining your own.
The digital card market is growing fast. Three years from now, all major brands will have a presence in digital wallets. Now is the time for you to start thinking about where you fit in the digital wallet world. You can experiment, test various promotions, and build a relationship with your customers now. The 200-location chain New York Fries has done a fabulous job of achieving this in the past few months. Don’t wait for the digital wallet market to become crowded and difficult to penetrate. Start building relationships now!
My company, Virtual Next, is on a mission to help restaurant chains of all sizes build relationships with their customers using digital wallets — without apps. To learn more about Virtual Next’s platform and how we are helping restaurant chains build personalized, data driven, and easy-to-manage relationships with their customers, you can email me at email@example.com or call +1.877.894.7631. To learn more, visit www.virtualnext.com.