KEY POINTS

  • Retailer-based mobile wallets are apps developed by stores to make it easier for their customers to pay, and to deliver valuable perks like loyalty rewards. They differ from so-called universal mobile wallets, like Apple Pay and Samsung Pay, which can be used in any store with the necessary technology, because they are tied to a specific retailer, not a platform like a smartphone brand or mobile OS.
  • BI Intelligence forecasts that $6.2 billion of in-store purchases were made through retailers' mobile wallets in 2016. Slow merchant adoption of near-field communication (NFC) technology, coupled with weak offerings by universal mobile wallets like Apple Pay and Samsung Pay, has made proprietary offerings much more lucrative for retailers with a lot of addressable users who are loyal, repeat visitors. 
  • While growth will eventually slow down, sales volume will reach $83 billion by 2021. This reflects a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 68%. 
  • Loyalty programs will be a significant driver in retail mobile wallet adoption. Companies like Starbucks and Dunkin' Donuts have been able to leverage their loyalty programs to acquire mobile wallet users, which, in turn, has driven store traffic and conversion rates. 
  • By 2020, adoption will begin to decelerate as a result of increased competition. As universal mobile wallet players begin to add loyalty programs and coupons to their offerings, adoption for retailer-based mobile wallets is likely to slow down because these offerings are their main marketing points. Universal mobile wallets will eventually be able to offer way more, and have the added convenience of being able to be used in more locations. 

Introduction

Even though tech gurus have been predicting that the rise of mobile payments would put us on the road to a cashless society since the advent of the cellular phone, adoption of mobile wallets is still relatively low. However, some retailers are having much better luck in this space with their retailer-based mobile wallets, which can be described as a retail mobile app that utilizes smartphone technology to allow users to make in-store payments in some capacity without having to physically use debit or credit cards. 

Two prime examples are Starbucks and Dunkin' Donuts, both of which have received a lot of traction with consumers. Joined by offerings from CVS, Kohl's, and Walmart, their success heralds strong growth in the space. These companies have [...]