Brands At MWC Eye AI For Personalized User Experiences

Artificial intelligence in on display at Mobile World Congress as brands shift focus to creating a personalized customer experience.

While AI has become one of the biggest buzzwords of the year, its use as a marketing tactic has some in the industry raising eyebrows. Just as marketers stretch the limits of what constitutes VR versus 360-degree video, they should be cautious about misusing AI as a sales tool and focus on experiences instead.

“From the perspective of consumers, they are not going to buy AI,” Ben Wood, chief of research at CCS Insight told CNBC. “They are going to buy products which use AI and deliver a fantastic experience.”

The AI products on prominent display at MWC are focusing on customer engagement as a central value proposition.

Mercedes-Benz placed a heavy emphasis on mobile integration and AI, unveiling a line-up of vehicle features that learn and adapt to each driver’s behavior and preferences. A new chatbot called “Ask Mercedes” allows users to ask questions and view augmented reality functions using the mobile app.

Telefonica launched AI-powered digital assistant called Aura in six countries during MWC and announced a new smart home device, Movistar Home.

Asus unveiled its ZenFone 5Z and ZenFone 5 smartphones that feature dual-camera systems that use AI to adapt and learn.

As AI is a tool proven to make sense of data, some marketers have been left to wonder about their job security. During a panel at MWC, Google technical lead manager Behshad Behzadi claimed that many jobs will be complemented by AI, while new jobs will be created.

“For sure there is some shift in the jobs. There are lots of jobs which will [be created which don’t exist today]. Think about flight attendant jobs before there were planes and commercial flights,” said Behzadi. “No one could really predict that this job will appear. So there are jobs which will be appearing of that type that are related to the AI.”

“I don’t think there’s any profession in the world that will not be hit by artificial intelligence in the coming years,” added Bob Lord, IBM’s chief digital officer during the panel.

As the deadline for GDPR guidelines looms, and brands are feeling the pressure. With AI able to process so much helpful information, data privacy is throwing a monkey wrench into the aspirations of many.

IBM executive partner Jessica Douglas called on marketers to look at data privacy not as a challenge, but as a way of life. Data privacy, she said, is “fundamental in the future of the digital world: transparent, truthful and fair.”

Cutting Ad Slots, NBCUniversal Seeks To Modernize TV Advertising

Working on giving everyone what they want, OTT platforms have been offering fewer—or zero—ads to consumers and modern targeting options for brands. So far, everyone’s been winning—except for the TV networks losing out on viewers.

But NBCUniversal has a plan to plug the leaks. By the end of this fiscal year, the network, which owns and operates NBC, Telemundo, E! and numerous other channels, will cut the number of primetime hour ad slots by 20 percent and primetime ad time by 10 percent.

“There are more and more consumers, whether it’s from Hulu or the Netflixes or Amazons of the world, who are liberated via technology,” said Linda Yaccarino, chairman of advertising and client partnerships for NBCUniversal, to Variety. “TV networks would be crazy to believe that anything other than commercial overhaul was anything other than inevitable.”

Reducing ad clutter is just the tip of the iceberg for NBCUniversal’s modernization efforts. The network has also introduced a product it calls a “prime pod,” a 60-second ad break available to a maximum of two sponsors, offering advertisers the chance to air different ads that better align with the show’s mood and themes. Prioritizing scalability, Yaccarino promises that “prime pod” themes will be powered by artificial intelligence.

Other ad products NBCUniversal hopes to offer soon include displaying real-time commentary from advertisers, blurring the line between TV ad and Twitter account, and using its AI theme-detecting platform to play a brand’s ads during relevant sections of the programming itself.

These new ad products will focus on driving consumer recall, engagement and purchase conversion. “These are performance metrics that matter,” Yaccarino said, claiming many viewability metrics currently used by the industry don’t accurately reflect an ad’s effectiveness. “This is a whole sales effort to adopt a new vocabulary and conversation.”

Despite NBCUniversal’s efforts to push television toward a quality-over-quantity mindset for ads, the industry has generally been pushing in the opposite direction. According to Variety, TV networks have added more than 400,000 new ad slots over the past five years, and the average length of ad breaks rose by 3.9 percent in January alone.

5G Offers New Possibilities, But Marketers Wonder What Those Are

The dawn of 5G promises to solve a number of problems for marketers, but as the launch of the technology looms sooner than expected, brands struggle to find the most profitable use cases.

For marketers, a faster network opens the door to interactive ad strategies that would not have been possible on slower networks. The use of embedded AR and VR ads, for example, may become more common as 5G would be able to handle the load.

On mobile devices, 53 percent of users will abandon a page if it takes more than three seconds to load, Google found recently.

Much like the IoT and VR, marketers can dream up any number of possible use cases for 5G, but the “next big thing” may not have been invented yet.

“There’s going to be a new class of companies that are going to show up because of this transition,” Drew Henry, senior vice president and general manager of infrastructure at ARM told Venture Beat. “There’s going to be big IPOs, maybe some of the biggest we’ve seen. It’s going to be fun.”

The communication technology industry desperately needs something new and exciting to boost consumer adoption. Smartphone sales dropped for the first time ever in the fourth quarter of 2017, according to Gartner. As phones get more expensive and offer more features, consumers are holding on to them longer, resulting in a drop of 5.6 percent for smartphone sales.

By extension, brands and retailers that partner with handset manufacturers feel the pinch as well—and shiny new 5G options could be just the thing to get customers back in the stores.

Handset manufacturers are looking for a 5G hook beyond speed alone.

“The big issue is if 5G can make money for us,” KT executive vice president HongBeomJeon said during an Intel event at MWC on Sunday. “It’s not only the technical issues. It’s the business issues. At the Olympics, we demonstrated many interesting applications. But we don’t know what is the killer application for 5G.”

Massive amounts of data being processed is good news for AI providers—and for marketers as well, depending on what information is gleaned from that data. Targeted marketing efforts stand to benefit from new information gathered, but only if marketers know what to do with all that data.

Targeting Consumers During ‘Personal Prime Time’ Varies By Generation

Consumers are creating their own “personal prime times” to engage with media throughout the day, according to a report by The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB). Understanding this behavior across age groups and devices creates opportunities for marketers to cater their targeted marketing strategies.

Released during Mobile World Congress on Tuesday, Personal Prime Time looks at the customer journey on a typical workday across episodic shows, music, news, podcasts, short videos, social media and weather.

All three age groups studied—millennials, Gen X and Baby Boomers—share a common trend in that they engage with the example media types several times throughout the day. The difference, IAB found, is in times of day, devices used and reasons for engagement.

“In the age of ‘big data’ it makes no sense for advertisers to place their focus solely on big numbers, when they can take advantage of insights that can help them pinpoint the right customer, the right way, at the right time,” Anna Bager, executive vice president of Industry Initiatives at IAB said in a statement.

For this study, millennials are defined as between the ages of 18-34, Gen X is 35-54 and Baby Boomers are over the age of 55.

While 82 percent of millennials and 66 percent of Baby Boomers report checking social media during various dayparts or all day long, motivations for doing so are different. Respondents were provided with a list of “need states” to choose from that best describe their reasons for engaging.

For millennials, social media is used to “pass the time” and “be entertained” while Boomers are looking to “connect with others.” Younger consumers turn to their mobile devices to check social media, while older generations use a desktop computer.

Among the 69 percent of consumers who regularly check social media, 45 percent report the highest concentration during the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. This is also the time period in which all respondents perceived the highest value of the information they were receiving.

“Brands should no longer expect a single, universal moment of greatest engagement,” said IAB alongside its findings. “While audience size might shift between different times of day, every daypart is ripe for meaningful consumer connections.”

Among respondents that engage in media on a regular basis throughout the day, popular activities varied by generation.

Consumers 55 and over check news and weather most frequently. Gen X listens to music and checks the weather most often, while millennials listen to music and check social media. Among all three age groups, podcasts were the least popular in terms of being conducted on a regular basis.

Seventy percent of consumers who say they regularly post on social media do so multiple times during a typical weekday.

All generations studied check news most frequently in the early morning hours at 38 percent, followed by the early evening at 36 percent. The least popular time is during late night at just 10 percent.

One Year Later, Instagram Stories Ad Strategies Decoded

On March 1, Instagram Stories celebrates the one-year anniversary of its official advertising rollout, which combines Snapchat-like aesthetics with Facebook’s audience-targeting capabilities. Over the past year, marketers have used the short-form video platform for a wide range of campaigns to varying levels of success.

Platform Successes

It’s worth noting that while Instagram Stories advertising is a relatively new format, it’s one the industry can wrap its head around: it’s a hybrid between traditional Instagram post ads—which itself is a young platform, only rolling out large-scale in late 2015—and YouTube/Facebook-style pre-roll advertising.

While not a perfect platform, Instagram Stories gives marketers an opportunity to reach a large audience with video for a relatively small financial investment. And when done right, it can reap considerable benefits.

Nike and Laundry Service had one of the earliest marketing successes on Instagram Stores through the Jumpman23 account. The Michael Jordan sneaker-centric Instagram feed was an established favorite with sneaker- and sport-loving Instagram users, Nike used the Jumpman23 account to debut a new Michigan football jersey in Instagram Stories in the summer of 2016 before Stories advertising launched globally.

According to AdAge, the short video racked up 800,000 views in 24 hours. To put this into perspective, Instagram Stories had approximately 100 million daily viewers in October 2016, two months after the ad aired.

Although a campaign video with viewership level this high is an outlier, it gives a good idea of reach. As of November 2017, the most recent month for which data is available, Instagram Stories have 300 million daily active users.

Airbnb has also found some success using the platform, seeing a double-digit increase in ad recall from an Instagram Stories campaign, according to a post on Instagram’s business blog.

Many marketers will find Instagram Stories advertisements familiar, as the ads resemble vertical-oriented versions of traditional preroll. Instagram Stories ads just takes this a step further. For instance, campaigns can leverage Instagram-native elements.

For a campaign in late 2017, McDonalds Malaysia worked with agency IDOTYOU to target two animated video ads promoting McFlurries and McCafe drinks to Malaysians aged 18-44 with an interest in desserts and coffee. The firm integrated a timing bar made out of coffee beans into the ads and animation to differentiate it from conventional ads. According to Instagram, the campaign successfully reached 60% of the target audience and tripled in-store sales.

Overcoming Usability Challenges

While marketers are often fascinated by new technologies, they aren’t always perfect fits for their brands or campaign needs.

When it comes to Instagram Stories advertising, “skip swipe” is one of its most challenging aspects, said Alec McNayr of Fullscreen, as users are hypersensitive and can tell the difference between a friend’s amateur work and a “professionally-produced vertical spot.”

“An Instagram Stories view is one of the hardest views to earn in social media—but worth it,” McNayr told AListDaily. “You have to advertise while not looking like an ad. Instagram Stories is a much more private experience for people—much more than other social platforms, or, for that matter, the main Instagram.”

This may be a challenge for Instagram Stories to tackle in hindsight while the platform focuses on competing with Snapchat. As a selling point, Facebook offers its Instagram marketers considerably more detailed analytics than its yellow-ghost adversary—marketers can craft Instagram Stories campaigns around view counts, traffic, conversions and mobile app installations.

These abilities compensate for shortcomings in placing advertisements on Instagram Stories. Stephanie Cartin, co-CEO of social media firm Socialfly, noted Instagram Stories has a shorter call-to-action window for marketers compared to other formats.

“The user can’t go back to the Instagram Story ad once it’s played,” Cartin said. “This means they can only choose to take action, such as swipe up, within the time period the ad is playing. The length is also relatively short, from 1 to 15 seconds, which may not be preferable to a brand that doesn’t have a simple message for their advertising campaign.”

To maintain the platform for future use, Facebook regularly rolls out new tools for marketers to use within Instagram Stories campaigns. In February of 2018, Instagram debuted Carousel Ads within Stories—a new technique which allows up to three photographs or videos to be inserted within a single Stories ad. Corporate customers like The Gap are already using the new functionality.

‘Pikachu Talk’ Markets Pokémon Day With Zero UI

In honor of “Pokémon Day” on February 27, which honors the franchise’s 22nd anniversary, the Pokémon Company has released Pikachu Talk—a new skill for Amazon Alexa and Google Home that allows users to have a “conversation” with the famous Pokémon character.

The skill follows a trend of using celebrity and fictional character voices for zero UI marketing, which creates opportunities for brands to get creative with consumer interaction. Over the past year, marketers have experimented with uses for voice interaction that range from video game integration to cocktail recipes.

Fulfilling the childhood—and in some cases, adulthood—fantasies of interacting with a character such as Pikachu can create a sense of closeness with the brand. Parents can use the Pikachu Talk skill to introduce a “childhood friend” to their own children using their voice. Interacting with a celebrity-voice AI can also make consumers feel connected to someone they admire and by extension, the brand they represent.

Eric Bisceglia, vice president of Go-To-Market at Voysis—a voice AI platform that enables natural language instruction and search—says that this emerging technology creates opportunities for more than just Google and Amazon.

“Just like with mobile devices in the early 2000s, voice AI is revolutionizing how we interact with technology as well as how we discover and consume content,” Bisceglia told AListDaily. “As usage of voice continues to skyrocket, it’s critical that marketers develop a voice strategy now.”

Brands are noticing and taking advantage. In December, Activision and developer Bungie launched an official Alexa skill that integrates directly into Destiny 2. The Ghost skill—so named for a player’s companion AI in the game—uses voice recognition to equip loadouts, provide details about a player’s progress or connect with other players through Alexa.

For the September debut of Star Trek: Discovery, CBS created a feature for Amazon Echo. Users can change the wake word to “computer,” as if they are speaking to onboard computers in the Star Trek universe. Consumers can also try out different sayings to prompt Star Trek-themed responses from the AI assistant, such as “Alexa, red alert” and “Alexa, beam me up.”

Last April, Hearst—publisher of O, The Oprah Magazine—teamed up with Amazon to create an experimental project called “O to Go.” The skill for Amazon Echo features Oprah Winfrey reading 90 snippets from her book, What I Know for Sure when prompted by the user.

First released in Japan, Pikachu Talk is now available for Amazon Alexa devices in most countries and Google Home devices in the US. Fans can ask Alexa or Google Home to speak with Pikachu and he will respond. Users can then ask questions or have him tell a story, all the form of “pika” or “pikachu.”

Further celebrating its holiday beyond the Amazon skill activation, The Pokémon Company has also introduced Snapchat filters and special events inside its hit mobile AR game, Pokémon GO.

Consoles Fueled Nearly $9B Worldwide Digital Game Sales In January

Gamers spent $8.9 billion on digital games and add-ons in January, an increase of 11 percent year over year. According to SuperData Research’s monthly digital game sales report, digital console sales grew a staggering 57 percent year over year thanks to some high-profile game launches.

A large release of triple-A titles including Destiny 2 and Star Wars: Battlefront II propelled digital console sales over last year. Call of Duty: WWII is still going strong compared to its predecessor, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare. Activision’s yearly Call of Duty installment maintained the number one spot on digital console revenue charts for January.

Mobile and Free-to-Play MMO segments continued to grow at 11 percent and one percent, respectively, SuperData reported. Social and Pay-to-Play MMO segments, however, continued to drop. Social game revenue dropped five percent and Pay-to-Play MMO income dropped nine percent in January.

Monster Releases

Dragon Ball FighterZ is the most successful fighting game digital console launch of all time. The hit title from Bandai Namco was the number six best-selling console game for the month of January, despite launching late in the month.

SuperData says that many factors attributed to the game’s success, but Dragon Ball‘s worldwide popularity was the primary reason. When Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite failed to deliver the team-based fighting game fans had come to expect from the franchise—including a number of graphical issues—a well-polished Dragon Ball FighterZ filled the void. As always, marketing played a major role in the game’s success, as well.

“Bandai Namco handled [Dragon Ball FighterZ] marketing to the western audience very well, leveraging Game Informer and E3 (winning several “Best of E3″ awards) to build hype months prior to the game’s release,” Reginald McKim, market analyst at SuperData told AListDaily.

Bandai Namco announced that over 2 million copies of Dragon Ball FighterZ had been shipped as of February 2.

Capcom’s Monster Hunter: World is traditionally a Japanese-heavy IP but found international success, reaching the number two spot for digital console sales in January—no small feat considering the game launched January 26.

SuperData estimates that Monster Hunter World and Dragon Ball FighterZ sold over 1.5 million digital console units last month.

Watch Out For Overwatch

Activision Blizzard’s breakout hit Overwatch held its number 10 spot for digital PC revenue. Combined additional content revenue across both platforms doubled year-over-year, SuperData noted. With over 15 million MAU in January, the game is in a strong position as Overwatch League (OWL) continues into March.

Blizzard’s World of Warcraft held its number seven spot on the PC list. Digital revenue for premium PC grew 24 percent last month overall.

Battling For Supremacy

The ultimate battle royale is taking place between Epic Games’ Fortnite and Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds as both titles compete in the popular genre. The two leading battle royale titles earned over $200 million in digital revenue from console and PC last month. While PUBG defended the number five spot for digital PC, Fornite: Battle Royale rose three spots in January to number five on the digital console charts.

Epic recently announced plans to abandon its MOBA Paragon in order to divert all resources to Fortnite, which hit record high engagement in January.

Inclusive Internet Index: Connectivity Hurdles Persist In Developing Nations

Low-income and emerging nations are expanding their internet infrastructure almost ten times faster than the developed world. But despite the triumphs of higher connectivity and cheaper access, many problems still persist, the Inclusive Internet Index reveals.

“Connectivity gives people a voice and helps them find and share knowledge, strengthen their economies, and improve their communities,” write Robert Pepper and Molly Jackman, Facebook’s head of global connectivity policy and public policy research manager, respectively. “Bringing people online can offer life-changing opportunities, but there are still approximately 3.8 billion people without internet access.”

Facebook and The Economist Intelligence Unit’s second annual Inclusive Internet Index has revealed that the developing world has increased internet access by 65.1 percent over the past twelve months. Despite this impressive growth, the absolute numbers are less impressive: low-income-nation access to the internet is still only 13.2 percent of households.

Expanding and improving access to 4G mobile internet networks is picking up the slack, nearly doubling in availability for low-income countries.

“In some countries, fixed-line internet access is too expensive or inaccessible — that’s why mobile services are critical,” Pepper and Jackman write. “In fact, the average 4G coverage rate for low-income countries increased year-over-year from 9.1 percent to 17.3 percent, with particularly rapid expansion in Guatemala, Indonesia, Thailand, Zambia and China.”

This increased access to the internet is driving consumers in developing and emerging markets to earn more, spend less and feel more independent. Almost 70 percent of internet users in Asia, the Middle East and Africa claim that internet access has made them more empowered and independent, while 67 percent believed that internet access is a human right. In the same regions, the average price for broadband plans dropped by 17 percent.

Not all of the Internet Inclusivity Index’s findings were positive, however. Despite reduced costs, the price of internet access is still too high for many, especially in developing countries.

“People are still devoting too much of their earnings on internet access relative to their income level,” write Pepper and Jackman. “In too many low-income countries, it is still not as affordable as the UN 2025 target of less than 2 percent of GNI [gross national income] per capita.”

Additionally, concerns over privacy and security have caused many to limit their internet use. Fears over “creepy” messaging isn’t limited to the first world: less than half of all internet users feel at least “somewhat” confident that their online activity is private, and 85 percent of European users claim that privacy concerns have caused them to use the internet less.

This fear can hit brands, especially ones focused on e-commerce, directly in their wallets. Only 62 percent of global Inclusive Internet Index respondents reported feeling safe and secure while online shopping, costing e-retailers potential customers through no direct fault of their own.

The push for a more inclusive internet is making significant progress, but work remains to be done if marketers hope to expand their share of global prosperity.

“Private companies can continue to extend the internet’s infrastructure and invent new technologies and applications that increase access to connectivity and amplify its relevance,” Jackman and Pepper write. “There is still more to do.”

TV Ad Spend Grew In January Despite Digital Domination

Digital advertising revenue experienced double-digit growth in January, but TV held its own thanks to entertainment award shows like The Grammys.

The US ad market grew 10.8 percent in January 2018 compared to January 2017, according to a new report by Standard Media Index. Growth was driven by significant gains in National Television and digital platforms. Other ad mediums didn’t fare as well in January. Radio declined 6.1 percent, out of home went down 2.1 percent and print dropped 3 percent year over year.

It’s not surprising to hear that digital advertising is still on the rise, growing 16.8 percent year over year in January. Digital ad spend has been on a steady increase of around 12 percent since October. Social media saw the largest growth last month at 42 percent overall. Facebook and Twitter saw the most ad revenue growth in January at 55 percent and 30 percent, respectively.

National TV grew 7.1 percent year over year, with 11.1 percent growth in Cable and 2.7 percent in Broadcast. Scatter TV volume—ads purchased outside of Upfronts—saw a 50 percent increase over January 2017, thanks in part to the timing of entertainment award ceremonies. Several college football games and the annual Grammy Awards were both moved to January, which certainly helped. Standard Media Index notes that even without these events, underlying growth was still 5.3 percent.

The Grammys, excluding red carpet coverage, earned $61 Million in ad revenue for CBS, according to the report. This was 3.8 percent increase from last year. CBS reported a 40 percent increase in unique viewers of the show’s live stream over 2017. Despite 24 percent lower viewership overall, the cost of a 30-second spot increased 11.8 percent for the 2018 Grammys.

Riding high on public awareness of the #MeToo movement in Hollywood, the 75th Annual Golden Globes saw a 7.1 percent increase in ad revenue over last year, exceeding $32 million. A five percent drop in viewership didn’t stop a five percent increase in average cost for ad space.

“We see that even though audiences are falling, pricing for these major events continues to increase,” Standard Media Index CEO James Fennessy said alongside the findings. “We expect to see this trend continue as our research shows an impressive return for advertisers that support live programming. Premium video continues to be the powerhouse of ROAS and, given the fragmentation of audiences and safety issues on other mediums, this won’t change anytime soon.”

The automotive industry was the biggest ad spender on National TV last month, despite dropping three percent compared to January 2017. Insurance companies came in second in terms of spending and spent 22 percent more year over year. Rounding out the top five for National TV ad spending are Prescription Pharmaceuticals, Quick Service Restaurants and Food, Produce & Dairy with the largest spend in 2017. Standard Media Index predicts that advertising revenue for National TV will grow 1.6 percent in the first quarter, excluding the Winter Games.

Oath Looks To Compete In Mobile AR With Ad Platform

Oath launched new mobile ad formats at Mobile World Congress including mobile AR, full screen native and social interactive options. These new mobile ads were designed to compete with tech giants like Google, Facebook and Snapchat.

Brands in the US will now have access to interactive ads across Verizon’s network of mobile apps, with testing available in select international markets. The ads are linked to Yahoo Gemini programmatic marketplace, allowing Verizon to take full advantage of its recent acquisitions and all the tools thereof. First announced in December, these new advertising options are part of Oath’s plan to “simplify, strengthen and scale” its creative ad portfolio over the coming year.

Mobile AR Ads

Oath’s AR mobile ad unit can be embedded directly into mobile apps like Yahoo Mail. Selecting the ad allows consumers to visualize products within their surroundings. Home Depot, Williams-Sonoma and Pottery Barn were among the first to test the ads over the past few months.

Mobile AR finds a natural home in the worlds of retail and beauty, with brands like Ikea and CoverGirl utilizing the technology to aid in purchase decisions.

Visualization is becoming even more important to the buyer’s journey as consumers adopt AR into their daily lives. A recent study by DigitalBridge found that 74 percent of consumers say they now expect retailers to offer them some kind of AR experience.

Together with Apple’s ARKit and Google’s ARCore fresh out of beta, consumers’ AR shopping wishes can come true.

Full-screen Native Ads

Designed to compete with rivals Snapchat and Instagram, Oath’s full-screen native ad format will run across all of Oath’s mobile apps. This includes, but is not limited to, Yahoo Finance, Yahoo Sports, Yahoo Weather and HuffPost.

Just in time for tax season, online accounting software brand Intuit will be the first to try out the new full-screen native ad.

Mobile Wallet Coupons

Oath is also launching a mobile ad that allows users to save coupons and deals to their mobile wallet. The interactive ads are integrated into a brand’s social content, which translates directly to ROI measurement.

Coupons were named as a leading influence on purchase decisions by 74 percent of consumers aged 23-36, according to a June 2017 study by Lab42. Gen Z (ages 13-22) gave a similar response at 60 percent.

Adding new incentives to use a digital wallet may be the shot in the arm financial brands have been looking for, as well. Mobile wallets made up a paltry one percent of retail sales in 2016, according to Mastercard, but awareness isn’t the problem. Rather, a lack of loyalty programs and incentives may be to blame.

Mastercard analyzed a year’s worth of conversations—over 3.5 million—across social media that discussed online payments. The financial brand found that 75 percent of conversations involved digital wallets with 42 percent taking place in North America and 72 percent overall being of a positive nature.

Meanwhile, an Urban Airship study from 2016 found that 67 percent of consumers want loyalty functionality in a mobile wallet. Adding coupons would be a start.