Loyalty programs and mobile payments may be integrated in the future
June 10, 2013

Mobile purchasing continues to be the hottest topic in the payment processing world, and small- and medium-sized businesses should be ready to see consumer engagement rise as the purchasing platform advances. One of the biggest innovations that may be on the horizon for payment processing is the integration of loyalty and gift card programs with the mobile point of sale, according to the Daily Herald.

Mobile loyalty programs on the rise
SMBs that accept mobile credit card payments and offer a loyalty program may have already noticed the increasing need for the two channels to connect. The Daily Herald reported smartphones and tablets may change how SMBs market their business, communicate with customers and receive payments. 

SMBs may not see the integration of both just yet, according to Kip Cassino, director of research at Borrell Associates, an online advertising company.

"Everything grows as mobile grows," Cassino told the Daily Herald. "By 2016, the tools will be perfected and it'll take off."

Borrell Associates projects investments in localized mobile marketing will represent 64 percent of total U.S. digital marketing spending by 2016. Just last year, local mobile digital advertising had a 33 percent market share of ad spending.

Integration will drive consumer engagement 
According to Fast Casual.com, a restaurant news service, consumers want to engage with their favorite SMBs through their smartphones. The site suggested the integration of the mobile point of sale and loyalty programs can increase the businesses' connection with customers. Fast Casual reported the payment platform will explode as a payment option of choice for consumers, and SMBs can take advantage of the trend my incorporating mobile use into their loyalty programs.

The Daily Herald recommended SMBs consider investing in mobile technology to ensure their ability to communicate with customers. Consumers reach for their smartphone or tablet more often during the day than they did before. Keeping in contact through mobile marketing and providing a point-of-sale option that allows consumers to use their devices helps SMBs increase sales and customer satisfaction.

Creating long-term loyalty may depend on how well SMBs integrate mobile payments into their transaction platform. Investing in mobile marketing may help SMBs stay relevant in consumers' minds. It may take some time before loyalty programs become fully integrated into the mobile platform, but SMBs can take the leap now by investing in the purchasing channel early.

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