Staying “top-of-wallet” is now staying “top-of-phone”

Financial institutions have always had their work cut out for them trying to make sure that when a member or cardholder reaches for a card to pay with, it’s their card; in other words, being top-of-wallet. But using mobile apps to pay adds a new twist. Now, the mobile phone user needs to actively choose which card to add to the mobile app and most apps allow more than one card.

For example, you can use a corporate card when on business travel and a personal card when close to home. So, the challenge today is not how to stay “top-of-wallet” but rather “top-of-phone”. Importantly, how does a credit union ensure that their debit or credit card is being loaded into their member’s apps?

The first step is agreeing to participate in the mobile wallet. ApplePay, for example, requires each financial institution to sign a separate agreement in order to allow their card BIN range to be used in Apple Pay. Some credit unions and banks have either chosen not to or are sitting on the sidelines.

Next is incentives. If a member wants rewards points, they will want to load the card that gives them points. Will that be the card your credit union issued? Some issuers are taking extra steps with their rewards programs, offering double points or limited-time statement credits when their branded card is loaded into a mobile wallet.

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