Mobile loyalty applications can provide a rich user experience, but their proliferation threatens to make them as unappealing to consumers as the physical cards they seek to replace, causing some marketers to explore alternatives such as wallet-based programs, which have a more limited set of benefits.

The ability to save a digital loyalty card to a mobile wallet is not new, but the strategy held little appeal for marketers until recently because the adoption of wallets was so low. While this is starting to change now that a number of Android phones will soon come with Google Wallet preloaded on them and use of Apple Passbook continues to grow, this option offers a minimalistic loyalty experience that may not be right for all marketers.

Sean Claessen, executive vice president of strategy and executive creative director at Bond Brand Loyalty comments.

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