Customers want to use their wallets to pay for the items or services they buy in physical stores, according to a recent study Blackhawk Network. But physical store retailers are still sluggish to adopt and set up the right tech to incorporate such capabilities.
An entire, 7 in 10 consumers interviewed said they’d gladly add cash to a digital wallet or app, like Netflix, Uber, iTunes, Amazon, and PayPal while in a brick store.
Speaking in a National Retail Federation seminar held in early January, Talbott Roche, Blackhawk CEO, and Boss blamed the gap between digital payments and in-store POS as the obstacle to mobile wallet adoption in brick stores.
“The adoption rates for Mobile Wallets are skyrocketing. And by 2021, we look forward to transactions worth $190 billion in the United States alone. But there’s still a cut off between digital payments and physical store POS,” says Talbott.
What’s the gap between customer needs and retailer offerings?
According to Blackhawk’s study, a whole 3 out of 5 people who use smartphones in the United States have a mobile wallet.
Still, retailers won’t offer the right tech to enable customers to pay for items using this method. The study cites that as of Oct. 2018, only 1 in 2 retail shops and restaurants were ready for mobile wallet payments.
“Mobile wallet adoption in brick-and-mortar has seen slower than anticipated in the United States compared to other areas worldwide—primarily because of the obsolete hardware and outdated check-lane terminals still common in many stores,” said Talbott.
Study Detects Overlooked Revenue
The Blackhawk research also tied the slow adoption to lots of overlooked revenue.
Of the interviewed shoppers, 68 percent admitted they’d buy items from a brick store that offers mobile wallet capabilities, more often than usual. Another 57 percent confirmed they’d spend more than usual on the shop.
Nearly 6 in 10 customers interviewed said they’d like to buy items (with mobile wallets) from a brick store using the points won in their loyalty programs.
Lastly, 47 percent of the consumers interviewed said they would readily enroll in a loyalty program only if they could pay for items with the accrued points.
A wakeup call!
These findings are not new in a payment world where more modern and customer-convenient payment methods surface, and adoption rates threaten to exceed retailer preparedness.
In essence, it is a wakeup call for brick-and-mortar retailers to change their perspective on the mobile wallet.
Author Bio: Blair Thomas has been a music producer, bouncer, screenwriter, and for over a decade has been the proud Co-Founder of eMerchantBroker, the highest-rated high-risk merchant account processor in the country. He has climbed in the Himalayas, survived a hurricane, and lived on a gold mine in the Yukon. He currently calls Thailand his home with a lifetime collection of his favorite books.