Since they first appeared as an extension of pre-paid cards for specific merchants, the idea of the mobile wallet has been seen as a presenting an opportunity to maintain contact with regular consumers and generate more comprehensive understanding of their habits and peculiarities. Individualized product package offers and personalized recommendations based on both online and in-store behaviors drawn from in-house and third-party data sources provide merchants revenue generation engagement opportunities.
Chinese digital companies such as Alipay and WeChat have started to create rich customer engagement platforms, morphed from their mobile wallets. These platforms offer reach and opportunities for marketers to borrow mobile moments to better serve their customers. Alipay and WeChat have aggressively added sophisticated engagement features to their mobile wallets. The two feature-rich wallets support the entire customer lifecycle and have evolved into lifestyle platforms for Chinese consumers. WeChat’s social nature and Alipay’s commerce functions have created different wallet innovations that apply to different stages of the customer lifecycle. Chinese B2C marketing professionals are using the following functions to enable their marketing strategies.
Mercator Advisory Group recognizes the decidedly less consolidated organization of the digital service providers and e-merchants in Europe and the U.S. has kept similar “all-in-one” mobile payment platform development delayed. Financial institutions are well positioned to take advantage of this more fragmented eco-system acting as a conduit for merchants to consumers that have financial life profiles that have affinity with the merchants target personas, while preserving the consumers identity.
Overview by Joseph Walent, Associate Director, Customer Interactions Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group
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