More Than Money: Exploring the Expanding Role of Mobile Wallets in Customer Engagement

Australia has witnessed a rapid change in customer payment preferences in recent years. Over 15.3 million cards were registered to mobile wallets in 2022 with 2.4 billion transactions in the same year – that’s an astounding 8,200% increase in under 5 years! As the popularity of mobile payment solutions like Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay continues to grow, today’s “mobile wallets” have shifted far beyond merely storing payment cards—these ‘digital companions’ can also now hold IDs, transit passes, event tickets, rewards cards, and more. For businesses, this has meant massive new opportunities to connect with customers through integrated loyalty programs, targeted offers, and gamified experiences in a single omnichannel space – their smartphone!

In this article, we take a closer look at the functionality of mobile wallets, what opportunities they bring for retail businesses and how Litecard can help you integrate their features with your brand.

What Can Mobile Wallets Store?

While Pay apps offer the basic functionality of integrating credit and debit cards for easy payments, mobile wallets offer far more. In Australia, popular wallets allow storage of digital transit cards like Opal in Sydney, Myki in Melbourne and go card in Brisbane, enabling tap-and-go travel on public transport systems. Event tickets are also widely supported, whether for movies, sports games or concerts from platforms such as Ticketek. Flight boarding passes from major airlines including Qantas, Virgin and Jetstar can conveniently be stored in mobile wallets as well. You can even store digital keys to your car or the access card to your workplace!

Everyday essentials like student IDs and branded loyalty cards can be integrated with wallets to provide added value for users. New South Wales and South Australia have even rolled out digital driver’s licence, with pilot programs being tested in Victoria and Queensland. As continued innovation optimises digital verification nationwide, wallets may serve broader identification needs. Overall, Australians rely on these versatile mobile companions as virtual strongholds for all daily transit, entertainment and engagement needs.

Popular Mobile Wallet Functionality in Australia

Let’s take a look at some of the leading mobile wallets in Australia, offered by Apple, Google and Samsung, and what functionality they offer beyond basic payments and transactions.

Apple Wallet Functionality

Apple Wallet has made navigating public transport effortless for Australians by seamlessly incorporating popular transit cards right into the wallet. It has also established itself as the go-to place for storing entertainment tickets like movies, sporting events, or concerts. With over 44% of the population owning an iPhone, retailers have recognised the opportunity that Apple Wallet presents to deliver targeted promotions, clearly displayed loyalty point balances, and membership information directly to customers. As one of the early pioneers of the mobile wallet space, Apple continues refining and strengthening the Wallet experience to create safer, simpler everyday-convenience features.

Google Wallet Functionality

Millions of Australians rely on Google Wallet in their everyday lives. It simplifies tasks like paying for transit, storing tickets and boarding passes. As digital needs advance, the wallet now houses keys, IDs, vaccine cards and more seamlessly. Integrations with Maps automatically update your transit balance when trip planning or allow topping up directly from the app if low on funds. Android users also have flexibility and choice through an open ecosystem of innovation that allows for integration from third parties, giving merchants an opportunity to promote their offers and reach out to loyalty program members amongst the wallet’s extensive audience.

Samsung Wallet Functionality

While offering many of the same functionality as Apple and Google Wallets, Samsung truly differentiates with Magnetic Secure Transmission. This emulation of physical magnetic stripes enables payments virtually anywhere that takes cards, even outdated terminals lacking modern capabilities. As the second biggest market shareholder of smartphones in Australia (lagging just behind Apple’s iPhone), Samsung Wallet has huge potential to integrate into business and government sectors where the brand is most popular.

Mobile Wallet Marketing Opportunities for Brands

Through Litecard’s centralised integration platform, merchants can seamlessly connect POS systems and loyalty programs with all major mobile wallets, allowing for opportunities to engage customers wherever they are. Coupons, deals and rewards cards can be effortlessly placed and discovered within customers’ preferred digital wallets for contextual and timely offers. Leveraging transaction data shared in real-time from POS to loyalty platforms also allows personalised promotions based on purchase histories. Customers enjoy a simplified experience earning and redeeming points at checkout using their mobile wallet. 

Younger generations are most receptive to this convenience of a consistent interface to stay connected to their loyalty accounts. With Litecard powering these integrations, merchants see increased customer retention through an omnichannel loyalty experience optimised for today’s mobile consumers.

Retail Customer Engagement Capabilities with Mobile Wallets

Litecard enables retailers to take customer engagement further through innovative in-app features. Mobile wallet check-ins unlock personalised rewards and gamified experiences right on merchants’ retail floors. Click-and-collect orders can be seamlessly placed and paid for using saved wallet payment details, expediting pickup. Proximity marketing via beacons can guide customers intuitively in-store with wayfinding, product recommendations and timely deals. 

Through APIs connecting POS systems to loyalty platforms, spending and points are accurately tracked and updated in real-time within customers’ wallets. This level of cohesion and transparency builds strong affinity, with 75% of Gen Z and 86% of millennials more loyal to integrated brands. Research also shows that personalising outreach using purchase data increases revenues up to 2.5 times faster. By powering such omnichannel experiences, Litecard can help merchants maximise their lifetime customer value in a digital landscape. 

Mobile wallets have evolved into powerful tools for customer engagement, extending beyond payment storage, providing brands and retailers with unprecedented opportunities for personalised marketing and enhanced customer experiences. By leveraging platforms like Litecard, businesses can seamlessly integrate loyalty programs, targeted offers, and gamified experiences into mobile wallets, maximising customer engagement and loyalty. With over 15 billion mobile wallet transactions annually in Australia alone, the potential for customer-centric innovation has never been greater.

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