What’s a digital wallet? Basically, it’s a virtual way to make electronic commerce transactions. What does that mean? Right now, it’s one of the safer ways for you to store your credit card information, make purchases using your mobile devices and reap the benefits of targeted discounts.
Digital wallets are being offered by traditional credit card companies – MasterCard (MasterPass) and Visa (V.me), banking institutions – CitiBank and Chase and big-boy tech companies like Google (Google Wallet), PayPal and recently rumored FaceBook, not to mention up-and-coming concepts like Square Wallet, Bitcoin and Isis. You don’t have to look too hard to find, and try, one of these digital wallet solutions.
Sign me up!
With all the talk about these digital wallet solutions I was all in, and was so excited, that I mentioned the concept to a friend. She said something that made me think about an adoption caution that was not on my radar. The conversation went like this:
Her: “It seems convenient and safe, but…”
Me: “But what?”
Her: “I spent way too much money on my Louis Vuitton wallet to not use it. I love it too much.”
The problem is some people are reluctant to give up their physical wallets just to keep their credit and loyalty cards in a cloud.
As with any interactive tool, the digital wallet needs to supersede the usefulness of the physical object it is replacing. It’s what the iPod did and it’s what Google Glass is trying to do. One way to help users give it a try, is to make it known that their favorite retailers accept the digital payment solution, and turn to a tried and true approach: Offers.
Give it a try…
Consumers gave Groupon and Living Social a try because they valiantly attempt to provide offers based upon a user’s preferences. Digital wallets take this model to the next level: they can deliver more useful offers based on user spending habits. They also sit in the same place as your credit cards, so you don’t forget about that handy coupon code when you go to check out.
The process is super simple: go into your digital wallet, see available offers and opt to use the offer. When it comes time to buy, just log into your digital wallet and it’ll be smart enough to know there is an applicable discount – that LV wallet looks pretty, but it can’t do all of that.
Form over Function
So, you’re not 100% sold on the convenience, the security and the ease of use offered by digital wallets. Discounts better aligned with your purchasing habits might start to get you excited, right? What if companies like MasterCard could team up with fashion brands like Louis Vuitton or Coach to create fashionable digital wallet wrappers or clothing with built-in digital wallet technology that offer form AND function? That could be the best of both worlds for consumers (and my friend).