Urban Airship: Non-payments are key to the mobile wallet

The list of reasons why the mobile wallet continues to fail to gain much traction despite a tremendous amount of hype is long. A variety of competing systems and technologies serve only to confuse consumers; mobile payments are often more cumbersome and time-consuming than using credit cards or cash; security concerns remain; and retailers have historically done a poor job of educating both their customers and their employees how to use mobile payments at the point of sale.

Perhaps the most obvious reason users haven't flocked to mobile payments is that they rarely add any value to the transaction. Consumers for decades have turned to plastic or cash to pay for goods and services at the point of sale, and mobile payments systems simply haven't given them sufficient incentives to embrace new systems.

A new report from Urban Airship expands on that topic, examining whether non-payments might be the key to unlocking the mobile payments market. Mobile payments providers and retailers can add value to their offerings by serving as a single source for storing and retrieving loyalty cards, for instance, and for keeping and retrieving coupons.

Urban Airship has a dog in this fight, obviously, and providing incentives to use mobile payments addresses only one of several major challenges the market faces. But if mobile payments are ever going to gain mass-market traction, it will be largely because providers give customers a reason to use them. Article