The pandemic has prompted many companies to re-examine the interactions and processes that are performed throughout the course of their day. COVID-19 has resulted in a never-before-seen emphasis on technology that can bridge the social distancing gaps. Companies in all sectors, along with government agencies, schools, healthcare providers and others are focused on finding new, innovative ways to transact in a safe, secure and touchless manner.
Virtual wallets — also called mobile wallets — are seeing a marked rise in popularity thanks to the versatility and usefulness of this technology. As more and more business leaders turn to digital transformation in this new post-COVID world, we’re seeing some clever mobile wallet uses. So let’s examine how virtual wallets work and the benefits of mobile wallet functionalities in an app platform.
What is a Mobile Wallet? – Uses and Overview
A mobile wallet works in a fairly simple and straightforward manner. A mobile wallet can send and receive information using near-field communications (NFC) technology, although it’s also possible to use QR codes in place of NFC. Near-field communications allow data to be securely transmitted between two devices in relatively close proximity.
The mobile wallet stores information — such as credit card numbers or a rewards account data — in an encoded and highly-secure manner. When it’s time to perform a transaction, the user simply passes their mobile device over a transmitter or scans a QR code and relevant data is transferred between the mobile wallet and the other party. When receiving data, a “card” can created in the user’s virtual wallet, allowing for easy access to the information.
In a COVID-19 world where the slightest touch of a public surface immediately prompts most individuals to frantically grab for the hand sanitizer, it’s easy to see why this touch-free payment solution would gain tremendous popularity. But payments are just the beginning! There are lots of other ways to use mobile wallet technology, whether it’s as a stand-alone mobile app or as just one of many features in a multi-feature application.
Mobile Wallet Uses for Coupons and Rewards
Retailers and restaurants are increasingly turning to touchless point of sale processes, which commonly include the following.
- Providing loyalty or rewards account info;
- Presenting coupons or promotional codes at point of purchase;
- Presenting a discount card or club membership card;
- Paying for a transaction with your credit card.
As the name suggests, mobile wallets were first invented to streamline the payment process. But savvy mobile developers quickly realized that the potential extended far beyond financial transactions. In fact, you may find it beneficial to integrate virtual wallet functionalities into your next mobile app! Below, we’ll look at some of the other common mobile wallet uses.
Mobile Wallets for Ticketing & Reservations
Retailers, restaurants, airlines and hotels were amongst the first to integrate virtual wallet functionality into their mobile apps. These businesses frequently need to issue tickets (or other information) to an individual; then, that party needs to present that ticket or repeat information back to the business at a later time. In the interim, that data needs to be stored on the party’s device in a highly-secure manner. Virtual wallets fulfill these three key needs.
Common uses include:
- Storing your virtual hotel room key and travel itinerary;
- Presenting a ticket or entrance pass at an event, airport or bus / train station;
- Checking in for a flight, hotel or restaurant reservation;
- Sharing membership or account info;
- Presenting coupons or promotional codes at point of purchase;
- Transferring a boarding pass onto a traveler’s device for expedited boarding; or
- Transferring luggage tags to the traveler’s device for verification of ownership at the baggage claim.
Mobile wallets are very well-suited to the restaurant, travel and hospitality industries, as there are many scenarios where you might need to share information in a quick, convenient manner. So we can expect to see even more clever uses arising from these business sectors in the coming months and years.
Check-ins and Appointments Using Mobile Wallets
The medical field has seen some of the most dramatic impacts during the COVID-19 pandemic. Fortunately, there are a few mobile wallet applications that have proven to be very beneficial during the pandemic.
Here are a few ways in which the medical and healthcare industry is using mobile wallet technology:
- Patients can check-in upon arrival to a doctor’s office or medical facility:
- COVID-19 test results can be transmitted to the patient’s smartphone for easy reference and proof of negative status;
- COVID-19 vaccine appointment information and related personal data can be shared between the patient and healthcare workers;
- COVID-19 vaccination records / proofs can be provided to patients who may need to show evidence of vaccination;
- Healthcare providers can send questionnaires and forms to the patient for completion;
- Prescriptions and care instructions can be beamed to a patient’s mobile device;
- Doctor’s appointment information can be transmitted to the patient’s smartphone; and
- Patients can easily share Insurance card information with healthcare providers.
Virtually any information-sharing process can be streamlined with a mobile wallet application. Virtual wallets hold lots of potential for the healthcare and medical sectors thanks to the contact-free, secure and reliable nature of this COVID-19-friendly technology.
Other Mobile Wallet Uses
The potential is really limitless when it comes to virtual wallet uses. You’ll have the ability to share information in the blink of an eye, and that data can then be easily accessed by tapping a card in the user’s mobile wallet. Here are a few additional ways to use virtual wallet technology:
- Distributing information and documents at a networking event;
- Sharing business cards, brochures or rate cards virtually; and
- Providing students with access to handouts or assignment information.
It’s clear the mobile wallet benefits are many and varied, so if you’re in the process of developing a new mobile app, take some time to consider whether you could integrate this technology to streamline the user experience.
At 7T, our development team enjoys working with emerging technologies, as we strive to solve problems and drive ROI through digital transformation. An innovative Dallas software and mobile app development company, 7T integrates cutting-edge solutions into virtually every development project, whether it’s mobile app development, custom software projects such as CRM platforms, SaaS solutions or ERP development, we’re ready to deliver collaborative, multi-phased software development services.
7T maintains offices in Dallas, Houston, Chicago, and Austin, but our clientele spans far beyond Texas and the midwest. If you’re ready to harness the power of a mobile wallet in your next mobile app, contact 7T today.