In February 2015, Forrester predicted that the future of mobile wallets would go beyond mere payments. We argued that within five years, mobile wallets would become marketing platforms in their own right — a new channel where marketers mixed their offline and online marketing efforts.

Despite the growing adoption of wallet solutions from Apple, Google, and Samsung, few brands outside Asia are borrowing mobile moments on these new platforms to engage customers. Let’s face it: The US and Europe dramatically lag Asia in mobile wallet marketing. Alibaba and WeChat’s wallet solutions are massive success stories with hundreds of millions of customers, and Alibaba’s finance arm, Ant Financial, has invested in Southeast Asia. They offer a glimpse of what will come next in the US and in Europe in the next 18 months.

Consumers’ Pain Is Mobile Wallet’s Gain

Sluggish US and European adoption of mobile wallet marketing doesn’t reflect consumers’ ongoing desire for better shopping experiences. Mobile wallets will grow in appeal as consumers struggle with loyalty reward programs, face irrelevant and cumbersome in-store experiences, and become comfortable with mobile wallets’ nonpayment features.

It is thus no surprise to see that consumers are not after payments but a combined checkout experience where they can benefit from coupons and special offers as well as from loyalty program points and rewards (see graphic below).

Outside Asia, mobile wallets are an emerging marketing tactic and will grow in importance because they enable markets to borrow mobile moments, offer a highly effective way to increase in-store conversion rates, and are a channel for future engagement. For example, mobile wallet’s dynamic nature means marketers can reactivate or update a pass remotely once it’s installed; they can add the latest offers or notify users of a flash sale.

Clients willing to know more about how brands are taking advantage of this emerging marketing tactic today can download the full report here.