With the arrival of Apple Pay and Facebook reportedly mulling peer-to-peer payments, the established system of exchanging currency for goods and services is experiencing disruption.
A new study by JWT said that tech giants and startups, retailers, phone carriers and others "are jockeying for position in a bid to capture a piece of the huge payments market, along with a mass of consumer data and the chance to boost customer loyalty."
In addition to apps and other payment methods, different forms of currency—like bitcoin—are being tested, the study notes: "Marketers have been more creative in bypassing the currency system, turning everything from social media shares to mobile minutes into forms of value exchange."
And by taking a closer look at these trends in the context of the millennial mind-set, JWT offers suggestions for brands that want to stay ahead of the curve or begin acting as intermediaries between consumers and their money.
Here are some of JWT’s main takeaways:
1) Brands must prepare for a cash-limited future.
2) Companies need to cater to millennial desires for expediency and ease of use.
3) It’s important to compel consumers to opt in.
4) Personalized marketing channels can increase communication with customers in a meaningful way.
5) Security and privacy protection are essential considerations.
6) Bartering can reinforce the value of a product as currency.
7) Social currencies such as offering free products or services in exchange for social shares can drive engagement.
8) It's important for brands to embrace alternative currencies.