So What’s the Real Truth About Mobile Wallets?

Apple Pay Used By 42% Of iPhone Owners

Awesome!  That’s the headline on Ubergizmo, dated July 29th of this year.

Consumers Aren’t Adopting Digital Wallets

Oh, wait a minute…  that’s a headline from Gallup, which is from July 8th, so are we really to think that in 21 measly days that the world has changed its collective mind?

[Tweet “I find a polar shift in usage over three weeks hard to believe. “]

With that said, I also want to take a minute to talk about how surveys are set up, how they can be biased – both subconsciously and deliberately – and what all of this numbers crunching really means when you get right down to business.

My business is the mobile wallet. 

If you weren’t clear when you saw the page title, the front page headline (hey, maybe this is your first time here, who knows…), I want to be really specific.  We deal in mobile wallet products.

[Tweet “Mobile wallet products, yes; mobile wallet payments, no.  Not at the moment, anyway.”]

Here are a couple of things that we’ve established, with our own stats and counting of opens, installs and deletes, the numbers we use to track usage of OUR mobile wallet products.  We install through Apple Passbook (soon to be Apple Wallet) and Google Wallet (though we’re probably going to shelve that until Google decides just what they intend to do with the product and how they’ll implement it). 

  • Users are curious, they’ll click on links to wallet installs, but in about the same amount as they click on any other well written headline.  If you can write a compelling headline, your numbers in the next paragraph go up as well as the click throughs initially.  (All half decent marketers know that it’s all about the headline, no news here!)
  • Users that click install about 30% of the time with most passes.  That’s a better rate than anything we have ever seen in the app stores – except maybe Angry Birds or Words with Friends during their most furious installation pace.  I’m not counting Facebook Messenger, or YouTube, or that sort of thing in this list, since that would be unfair.  Both of those companies were already well established by the time you could watch a video with any sort of quality bandwidth on a phone.
  • Users that install, well, they stay installed.  Right now, it’s running at about 90% in the keepers column.  Not every pass will maintain that, and the day will come soon enough when almost no pass will maintain that; for today, however, that’s the figure.
  • Cloud storage of passes means that they go from Jane Doe’s iPhone 5s in her pocket today to her 6+ in her purse tomorrow.  Yeah, it’s like magic.  Bada-bing, we have a winner!

So what are these people doing with their mobile wallets right now?

We believe that most people are testing the waters when it comes to using the phone to make payments.  The sales figures for the Apple Watch, for instance, aren’t being released, but the ‘guesstimates’ at total units sold, by those who can do much more complex maths that I can – every report has the Watch running at better than the iPhone did in its first few months in the wild.  Some people aren’t impressed with that number, but my gosh, did you see how many iPhone 6 and 6+ units were also sold in the same time frame that the watch has been released?

[Tweet “People are using their mobile wallets to receive notifications, deals, messages, offers and advertising. “]

Geo-location, beacons, push notifications, phenomenal response rate to messaging

—–these are all features of the Passbook/Apple Wallet system, as well as integration with the Watch from day one.  While SMS is still the king of response rates (and might stay on top of the hill even after the upcoming FCC crackdown on bad apples sending messages where they shouldn’t), the bottom line is that mobile wallet messaging is about 15X — yes, fifteen times — more effective than email.  Let me say that again –

Messaging response from mobile wallets is roughly 15X better than that of email marketing.

Watch this short video, then find out more –


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