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How the Mobile Wallet Can Transform Hospitality Brand Engagement with Consumers

Mobile wallets aren’t just for payments; brands can use this tool to digitize everything from membership cards to room keys. Plus, it can be used for marketing via lock screen notifications.
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Nearly half of respondents in a recent survey stated that they spend an average of five to six hours per day on their phone. This mind-blowing metric represents a big opportunity for hospitality brands to connect with consumers on their personal device in ways that create unique value and lasting trust.

That’s where mobile wallet comes into play. While mobile wallet is often associated as a payment method, it can offer much more than that. Brands can use mobile wallet to digitize everything from membership cards and offers, to receipts and even room keys.

Once downloaded, brands can then send timely updates, personalize guest content, and other messages as lock screen notifications, creating an entirely new channel of guest communication. As a content channel, brands can increase loyalty and improve satisfaction by providing better experiences and delivering timely, relevant information directly to a guest’s mobile phone.

For hospitality businesses, in particular, providing mobile wallet passes for items like personalized offers, loyalty cards and reservation reminders with quick check-in ensures easy access, secure storage and more convenient interactions with the brand. In addition, consistent engagement through mobile wallet can completely transform how brands build relationships with guests — even before they come through their doors.

Relevant promotions for precise targeting

Mobile wallet gives brands the data they need to monitor the effectiveness of messages, offers and other marketing programs through direct attribution of guest actions in-person or online. With this first-party data, brands can send relevant promotional content that motivates guests to spend. For example, if a hotel guest has never been to the spa and a last minute cancellation happens, the hotel can send a mobile wallet offer with a discount for their first massage.

As brand knowledge about their guests increases, hoteliers can engage in more precise, targeted marketing. Every mobile wallet notification sent and every update made to saved passes will be more personalized and relevant for the guest— driving more purchases, while also building trust and value with guests

Loyalty information goes digital 

Seventy-nine percent of U.S. consumers are more likely to join a loyalty program that doesn’t require them to carry a physical card. If you pair this with the fact that 75% of loyalty program members would engage with a rewards program if they could easily access it from their phone, then mobile wallet is the obvious answer for brands who want to enroll, engage and retain loyalty program members.

Mobile wallet makes it easy for members to access their loyalty ID and other relevant details. For restaurants in particular, this can mean displaying a point balance and available awards in real time, immediately after they make a purchase. What’s more, with mobile wallet, guests can pay for their purchase and earn points in a single transaction. Mobile wallet can also be used to conveniently remind loyalty members about their rewards status and how to redeem exclusive rewards, all in an environmentally friendly and convenient way.

Interaction during the entire experience

Mobile wallet is also a powerful tool for helping hotels drive a great guest experience. Before, during and after a guest’s visit, mobile wallet can improve engagement, eliminating missed expectations or a surprise change. Brands can help guests plan ahead for their trip and notify them of important changes, such as upgrade availability, or current COVID-19 safety protocols.

During their stay, guests can easily check in as they have direct, convenient access to their reservation details and can even use a QR or bar code to immediately bring up the reservation at the front desk. Hoteliers can also now deliver room keys on mobile wallet, making the check-in process even more seamless. Even before COVID-19, 67% of guests preferred a smartphone key for their room over a traditional card key — a number that’s only increased as the demand for contactless options grows. To enhance the overall experience even further, mobile wallet can send personalized welcome messages, as well as make recommendations throughout their trip, such as where to dine or sights to see.

Then, once a guest has checked out, engagement doesn’t have to end there. Mobile wallet makes follow-up messages or customer satisfaction surveys easier to access by putting a one-click link directly on the pass. Imagine a room key with its own customer satisfaction survey built in.

Providing guests with the convenience of always having their details accessible at a moment’s notice, offering a more seamless check-in and checkout experience, and delivering relevant travel recommendations for later trips, improves the customer experience and fosters trust and loyalty.

Mobile wallet finds its place in hospitality

The modern-day consumer expects two things to have a great experience: convenience and instant gratification. With mobile wallet, brands can reduce friction and instantly reach guests on their phones throughout their entire visit.  

With a mobile wallet strategy in place, hospitality brands are equipped to accommodate guests’ needs in the ways that they have come to expect. As they unlock the full potential of mobile wallet, hospitality brands can reap the additional rewards of better consumer engagement and lasting customer loyalty.



Alex Campbell has long been recognized as one of mobile marketing’s original pioneers, working tirelessly to educate marketers on the value of mobile as a viable discipline. A true entrepreneur at heart, Alex oversees Vibes’ innovation strategy – always looking for the next great mobile technology brands can leverage to drive deeper customer engagement and untapped revenue opportunities.

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