My Day Using Mobile Wallet: The Good, The Bad, And The Huge Opportunity

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This weekend, I was fortunate enough to get a break from my normal routine and take a trip to Chicago for the Street League Skateboarding Super Crown Championship at the UIC Pavilion. While the event was awesome, it’s not what I want to talk about. What I want to talk about is the experience I had using the mobile wallet throughout my day. And what I have to tell you is that while my experience was both good and bad, what I really saw throughout my day, was loads of opportunity.

The mobile wallet experience

Let’s start from the beginning. First, I received an email from Ticketmaster about 5 days before the event letting me know that my tickets were ready. I had two options, either print them out or use a mobile version. Not wanting to waste paper, time, or be burdened by the inconvenience of keeping track of paper tickets, I chose the mobile version(the fact that I blog about mobile wallet every week also had a miniature effect on my decision).

After deciding I was going to select the mobile version, I scanned the email looking for an Add to Passbook button. Only to find that one didn’t exist. I then clicked the mobile ticket link which prompted me to download the app. Reluctantly, I downloaded the app, to which I then found the Add to Passbook button on the mobile version of the ticket. Which brings me to the good, bad, and the opportunity.

Using Mobile Wallet-The Good: Allowed mobile tickets

The fact that they did actually allow for my tickets to be on mobile and for them to be in Passbook/Wallet. I saw in the FAQ that if an Add to Passbook logo isn’t shown, it is because the arena does not support mobile tickets. Like really? I could write blog posts for a month talking about how ridiculous it is not to accept mobile tickets. But instead I’ll let the rest of the post take care of that.

Using mobile wallet was extremely convenient. Both of my tickets were stored next to each other so I simply had to slide over to use my other one. No fumbling around with any paper.
Using mobile wallet was extremely convenient. Both of my tickets were stored next to each other so I simply had to slide over to use my other one. No fumbling around with any paper.

Using Mobile Wallet-The Bad: Making me download an app

There was no reason at all, other than that they wanted another app download, to make me download the app. I didn’t use it for anything other than adding the tickets to my mobile wallet. Then I never opened it again. Next time, just allow for me to add the tickets straight to my mobile wallet from my email. That’d be perfect.

Why put the ticket on the app when most people still added it to their mobile wallet? This is a waste of time, money, and resources for Ticketmaster.
Why put the ticket on the app when most people still added it to their mobile wallet? This is a waste of time, money, and resources for Ticketmaster.

Using Mobile Wallet- The Opportunity: Don’t make the customer work hard

Ticketmaster made it far more difficult for me to add my ticket to my mobile wallet than it needed to be. I had to download an app, then find my tickets, then add them to Passbook. I could have added them to Passbook straight from the email if they would have given me the link.

Now, I realize that they are trying to get me to download the app. But many people are tired of downloading apps, taking up storage and space on there screen and would rather just click print and be done with it. Ruining Ticketmaster’s chance of developing a long term relationship. The opportunity here is that by giving me a simple, quick way to add to Passbook, they will remain in connection with me until I delete the pass. Which 72% of people never get around to doing. It is important to make it very easy for me to put my tickets into Passbook. And the reason why it is so important that I do add my tickets to Passbook will be discussed in a later opportunity. But for now, lets carry on with my journey.

The Arrival and the convenient use of Apple Pay

So now that I had my tickets, I took off to Chicago. Once I arrived, I decided to park my car in a lot for the day and get lunch. Then I would simply take Uber to the Arena where the contest was being held.  So after lunch, I called for my Uber and was prompted to simply scan my Touch Id and pay for my Uber with Apple Pay. No logging into PayPal or entering more credit card information. It was a fast, easy experience.  I don’t have a particular opportunity for my Apple Pay X Uber experience. I just wanted to share it with you because I’m happy to see Uber accepting mobile payments and because my Apple Pay experience was throughly enjoyable.

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My Uber X Apple Pay experience made using the mobile wallet even more enjoyable.
My Uber X Apple Pay experience made using the mobile wallet even more enjoyable.

Using the tickets in my mobile wallet.

Now that Uber has successfully dropped me at the arena it was time to put the tickets to the test. I was a bit early so I had to wait around with everyone else for the doors to officially open. This is where I observed something interesting. I saw an incredible amount of people with their tickets on their mobile devices. But not only were the tickets on their phone, they were in their mobile wallet. This means many people found more value adding the ticket to Passbook or Wallet than using the ticket within the app. Therefore making it even more important for Ticketmaster to start utilizing the power of Apple Wallet.

Once I did gain entry using my mobile tickets, I ran into some slight issues. The issue was nothing major. It was simply that my ticket had never registered the fact that it had been scanned. So about a half an hour after I gained entry, I received a push notification letting me know that my event was about to start. Completely unaware to the fact that I was already in my seat.

My Apple Watch would not dismiss these Wallet notifications because my tickets didn't register when they were scanned.
My Apple Watch would not dismiss these Wallet notifications because my tickets didn’t register when they were scanned.

Using Mobile Wallet-The Good: I had no problems gaining entry and plenty of people were also using Apple Wallet to gain entry.

It shows that the future of the mobile wallet is promising when people are using it even after they’ve downloaded an app. The convenience of the push notification and having your ticket easily accessible is something consumers want. Seeing the amount of people using it really proved that to me.

Using Mobile Wallet-The Bad: The pass didn’t register.

Unfortunately, the pass didn’t realize I had already been admitted into the event. So instead of acknowledging my entry, I kept receiving notifications on my lock screen, as well as my Apple Watch. No matter how many time I dismissed the notification it was still there, waiting to be scanned. The thing is, it is actually rather difficult to make a pass from scratch and get it to work to its full potential. That’s why here at PassKit we recommend letting us take care of the technical side for you so you can spend more time on the opportunity. Which brings me to my next point.

This lock screen message could have read; The event starts in almost 15 minutes, grab your concessions before it starts. Then it could have presented me with a mobile coupon for the concessions.
This lock screen message could have read; The event starts in almost 15 minutes, grab your concessions before it starts. Then it could have presented me with a mobile coupon for the concessions.

Using Mobile Wallet-The Opportunity: The pass could have transformed into another form of mobile wallet content.

The passes within the mobile wallet are actually capable of many different things. One of the most amazing features is that when a pass is scanned, it can automatically transform into another pass. For example, my ticket could have transformed to a mobile coupon for the concession stand or a discount on merchandise. At the very least, the pass can thank me for coming and let me know when the event starts. But even that would be letting its true potential go to waste. The ticket should have been interacting with me throughout the entire event. Sending me different places through enticing offers. I look forward to the day where the mobile wallet is integrated into my experience.

Using Mobile Wallet- The Apple Pay Opportunity: Except Apple Pay and stop dealing with cash.

The arena really should have been Apple Pay enabled. This would have allowed the employees who walk around and sell food throughout the venue to have much quicker transactions. The people behind me bought beer and were fumbling around with cash the entire time. The employees could have a small NFC reader hooked up to a smartphone, making transactions much faster and easier. Sales would also be likely to increase by accepting mobile payments.

My Day using Mobile Wallet: The Good, The Bad, and The Huge Opportunity- Overview

Overall, my experience using mobile wallet was a positive one. It was convenient, it was easy, and I never had to worry about my tickets. But I still want more out of my experience. I want a full closed loop experience from the moment I put my tickets into my mobile wallet until the event is over and I’ve left the stadium(unless they are going to give me a coupon for dinner using Chain Pass).

There was a huge opportunity to engage me as a consumer once I entered the stadium and it pretty much went to waste. Both Street League and the UIC Pavilion could have developed a relationship with me and enhanced my experience throughout the event. As previously mentioned they could have started with turning the ticket into a mobile coupon. But going even further, they could have set up beacon integration so that I would receive contextual information based on my location within the arena. This could be as simple as pushing a URL straight to my phone that shows the event schedule or even allowing me to pre-order from the concession stand so that it’s ready when I arrive.

The real issue is that accomplishing this type of closed loop experience is difficult. It can be a daunting task that takes time and energy to set up. But luckily, it is getting easier. With Apple Wallet, the mobile wallet is becoming more efficient and able to do more things on its own. With Eddystone, beacons no longer require an app and are now able to bring the Physical Web to any location.

What I would like to see is for businesses to not miss strong O2O opportunities like this one. While at first it may seem like a difficult task, it is very doable and the benefits are unprecedented. A strong O2O channel within an arena will not only make for a more unforgettable experience, but will help build a relationship with the consumer throughout their time in the event. Consumers are going to start wanting more interactive experiences, and nothing can beat placing it right on their phone screen.

Have a mobile wallet experience of your own? Feel free to share it with us!

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  • Paul Tomes

    I love using Passbook (wallet) when travelling. Many of the more innovative airlines across the world now offer a Pass for boarding. Following your article – the good is the convenience of having the Pass on my phone (and now wasted paper) as well as the timely location based lock screen messages so I can easily access my Pass when passing through immigration and boarding the plan. The bad is that many of the airlines are not using dynamic push updates to change the pass and let me know when the Gate is confirmed, or remind me to proceed to the Gate. i.e. I still need to check the boarding screens – when it would be much much better delivered to my smartphone (which is always with me). The opportunity, is for the Pass to provide me even more information and utility than just “entitlement to board”. It could easily act as a booking confirm, before I check-in and then turn into a boarding pass when I check-in. Furthermore, I could use the pass when I land at my destination to find out useful relevant information about the new location. e.g. change the boarding pass to a coupon for car hire, or a loyalty pass to spend at various retailers in the city. There is so much opportunity to use this channel beyond the simple utility of boarding a plane.