The proliferation of digital payments has had a major impact on consumers, not only in their day-to-day activities but also in the major festivals they celebrate. This was evident during Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr this year, when using mobile wallets to shop, book travel and send gifts was very common.
In a recent blog post, Ericsson investigated this and delved into the changes in consumer behavior it had seen. Aamir Ahsan Khan, President and Country Manager, Ericsson Pakistan, noted, “The spirit of Eid shopping has not changed over the years, but what has changed is the payment method. Shoppers are switching from cash to mobile wallets, simply tapping their phone or Scan a QR code to pay quickly and seamlessly. All the hassle of carrying cash, counting bills and waiting for change is gone.”
For consumers, there are many benefits to using a mobile wallet. Many merchants may offer discounts and cash back on these purchases, making mobile wallets a popular choice among young people. What’s more, the mobile wallet can be used to donate to charitable organizations, making it easier to spread the holiday cheer. Many mobile wallet providers offer special promotions and gamification techniques to encourage their customers to use their services more.
Brands continue to leverage digital
Many companies have been embracing digital technology for special occasions, including holidays, for some time. In 2014, Chinese multimedia conglomerate Tencent launched digital red envelopes, also known as red envelopes, to encourage consumers to give gifts to friends and family during the Spring Festival. Four years later, the company reported that some 758 million people sent and received red envelopes through its third-party payment service, WeChat Pay. Today, the tradition continues as more and more brands use digital red packets for their Lunar New Year marketing campaigns.
Likewise, during one of the biggest holiday shopping seasons in the U.S. — starting around Thanksgiving and running through Cyber Monday — many brands are encouraging shoppers to shop digitally for even more discounts. Many even encourage the purchase of virtual gift cards for those last-minute gifts.
We expect digital and mobile wallets to continue to play an important role during the important holiday season around the world, especially as more consumers (of all ages) rely on mobile devices for their everyday needs.