With the rise of Apple Pay and near-field communication (NFC) technologies, the idea of a mobile wallet is becoming more widely used and accepted. Mobile commerce is expected to grow into a $119 billion industry by 2015, as smartphone and tablet adoption continues to increase, resulting in more than half of all internet usage occurring on a mobile device. So how does all this relate to charitable giving, and how can nonprofits stay aware of these changes?
Let’s begin with a history lesson. In 2011, Google partnered with Citibank and MasterCard to launch Google Wallet, a service that stores a user’s payment information in the cloud and utilizes NFC technology to allow consumers to make a purchase with a simple tap of their phones at participating retailers. Since then, other major mobile carriers have partnered with top credit card companies to produce ISIS, a similar NFC-based mobile payment system, and Apple developed its own version, Apple Pay.
Benefits of such services include a simpler, more convenient user experience. People now have multiple payment options in one device that is already in their pocket. In addition, these services are more secure than traditional credit cards, are location aware and come with the ability to collect information on user purchase patterns. What this means for charitable giving is yet to be truly realized, but has enormous potential.
Imagine being able to send a personalized message to your supporters and potential supporters, asking them to donate to your cause when they are nearby a location that relates to that cause. For example, say a woman is walking down the street and she passes a homeless shelter that she has donated to in the past. She then receives a pop-up notification on her phone saying, “Hey Kristen, we noticed you were in the area and wanted to say thanks for your previous donation to the Austin Homeless Shelter. To make another gift, click here.” A repeat donation is then just one click away from Kristen, who is more motivated to give to a cause while standing in front of the very building it goes towards.
This is just one example of the possibilities that mobile wallet integration offers for nonprofit organizations. You don’t have to run out and integrate every mobile payment option into your website or app just yet, the technology is still relatively young, but staying aware of these kinds of changes will help your organization stay ahead of the curve. Learn more about mobile wallets and the future of mobile payments here.