How many loyalty cards do you have in your wallet right now?
While you fiddle around and have a rummage in your wallet/purse, let me tell you how many I have:
A teenage incarnation of myself did carry around a GAME card. I would have been better off getting a t-shirt that said 'I like video games'. It was a badge for my pubescent spotty identity, before it was any kind of money-saving loyalty card. It was rubbish:
"Sure kid, just buy five £40 games and you will have built up enough credit to get £2 off your next game"
Maybe I was scarred by my worthless experiences with loyalty cards in the early noughties, but I've never been compelled to sign up for another since.
Okay, time's up. How many you got?
Five? 10? How many do you use on a regular basis? How many did you entirely forget you had at all? Or are you closer to my end of the spectrum, maybe only owning one or two?
Loyalty cards may have passed me by, but I'm sure there are plenty of you out there reeling off a list of the cards you regularly use and have found valuable. No doubt, Nectar, Boots and the coffee-shop-of-your-choice cards are in plenty of your hands right now.
Maybe I am too close to my impoverished student days but I spend as little as I can. And when I do have disposable income, I certainly don't have any brand loyalty. I go where it’s cheapest or if it has been a long day, whatever's closest.
I'm probably doing myself no favours, a loyalty card might save me a ton of money, but it's not that I haven't tried at all. I must have lost a dozen half-completed stamp cards. Somewhere in a landfill site, you can bet a fully-stamped Subway card with my name on is going to waste.
"How many loyalty cards do you have in your wallet right now?"
Loyalty cards have passed me by - and I don't think I'm the only one in my generation who has not been entirely enamoured by loyalty cards. I can't recall too many times, friends pulling out their Tesco club points card when we went to stock up on beer for the weekend party.
I've always wanted payments to be fast and hassle-free and stopping to fill out a form or sign up for a card is not that.
And that is because identity is at the heart of Onescan. The platform knows who I am and where I’ve shopped before. At the payment stage, without me having to think, it can handle loyalty entirely for me in the background. It knows all the deals I’m entitled to and counts up all my precious points for me.
If a mobile solution can get me on board for a loyalty solution, I’m pretty sure you active loyalty card users should be pretty excited for a future where you can’t miss out.
I’m already totally sold on mobile payments. Now mobile payments are selling me on loyalty.
Of course, I fully recognise that it's the other way round for most people. Marketing Sciences' recent survey of 1,500 smartphone users about mobile wallets, asserted that it was the added benefits of loyalty systems that would drive adoption of mobile wallets and payments more than the payments themselves.
"It’s immediately obvious that your smartphone handling all your loyalty is better than having to carry 10 different cards on your person at all times"
The report suggest this is partly because people are less hesitant about putting their faith in a mobile loyalty solution than payments. It’s not that people don’t see the benefits of mobile payments, but quite rightly, solutions need to earn their confidence and trust when handling their money. Loyalty is, in a sense, viewed as lower risk.
The report suggested for example that £20 pound was the maximum people feel comfortable spending over mobile. However the benefit to loyalty was 'win-win'. It’s immediately obvious that your smartphone handling all your loyalty is better than having to carry 10 different cards on your person at all times.
My point is, loyalty is an essential part of the drive for mobile payments. It strengthens the experience for those already happily and willingly enjoying Loyalty schemes and introduces it and makes it unmissable to an audience that it was maybe by-passing before. Well, me at least anyway.
By Matthew Taylor 18th July 2014
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