The relationship between consumer and vendor is going to change, and mobile identity is at the heart of what is driving this transformation. Thanks to hard authentication on smartphones in the form of fingerprint sensors – whether they be on the iPhone 5S, or an Android device in the next six months – and open universal standards that will allow for device interoperability, mobile wallets are going to be a common reality in real life in-store transactions. Just look to MasterCard and PayPal, both of whom are members of the FIDO Alliance and have alternate payment methods in the works that leverage post-password authentication in smartphones.
But mobile wallets and pay-with-your-phone applications are set to change more than just the length of holiday checkout lines. During a panel at Money2020 last week in Las Vegas titled “Location-Based Marketing,” which brought innovators and early adopters in mobile wallet technology together to discuss the opportunities present in the current mobile landscape, added another major factor of change on top of the mCommerce-ready world of the near future: the always connected customer.
Though built-in fingerprint sensors are ready to streamline the process of major adoption of mobile based payments, there is a second factor in the equation, and that is connectivity. Thanks to the always-on nature of mobile devices, not only can strong authentication happen wherever a purchaser might be leveraging physical location as a secondary verification factor, but purchases and customer interactions produce useful marketing data, controllable methods of promotion and most importantly: efficient tools for communication.
Location based marketing takes place on the local level. The most common applications of it involve a geofence that can trigger the app of a customer in the perimeter of the area and inform her of daily promotions or provider her with mobile coupons or credits. From an efficiency level, this is a time and money saver on the business’s side.
Representing the retail-side of the equation, Timothy Kraus, senior interactive marketing manager at Quiznos spoke about the time saving nature location based mobile marketing allows.
“Location based marketing is really important for us.” said Kraus. “We’re 99 percent franchise owned, so each store kind of is responsible for its own marketing area. With mobile, it gives our franchise owners a great tool to reach specific customers in specific areas at specific times with specific offers that they can then report back, know what’s working what’s not working.”
Going on to explain that traditionally franchise owners rely on print-drop direct marketing campaigns that cost more and take more time than what is possible through location based mobile strategies, Kraus said, “What we’re seeing from mobile is redemption levels that are killing traditional print drop.”
Mobile marketing doesn’t end with sandwich sales though. Nyla Ahmad, vice president, local digital at Rogers Communications, shed some light on the vertical market the Canadian company is targeting with its local mobile campaigning: real estate.
“We offer a service [in the real estate market] to connect buyers and sellers of homes with agents,” she said, speaking of Rogers’ Vicinity service that is strategically identifying the value of enabling local services through location based marketing.
“If we connect someone who is looking to buy a home with an agent, and if that results in a sale or the purchase of a home, we get that referral fee from the agent, we pass the rebate onto the consumer. We are now sitting on a situation where we know who has bought a home in what area, we know what neighborhood they moved into, so our local level loyalty business could be ‘Welcome to the neighborhood, here are all the businesses in your area.’”
She described another way that mobile can potentially aid in this:
“They could be walking their dog in the park on the weekend, we know what kind of house they’re looking for, there happens to be an open house: we use a geofence to tell them about it”
The overwhelming tone of the panel was that of strategy and openness to possibility. Though mobility is not new, the ubiquity of advanced smartphone hardware, combined with the strong authentication provided by biometric sensors is turning this form of marketing into a new, viable way of communicating with consumers. When mobility is tied with your finances through mCommerce, and that is protected by your identity, then you are what you buy. When businesses know what you buy, they can get to know you better too.