• June 15, 2010
  • By Juan Martinez, Editorial Assistant, CRM magazine

Gold Mobile and Telcordia Find Mobile Rewarding

All shoppers have come face-to-face with an overaggressive salesman — the clerk who asks on more than one occasion if you need help, who pushes products you have no interest in buying, who follows you around until you want to run screaming from the store. With mobile commerce, however, retailers can supplant that pushy salesman, eliminating the awkward personal interaction while simultaneously collecting important customer data and providing an incentive to make the purchase.

GoMo Wallet, a recent collaboration between two New Jersey–based companies, Gold Mobile, a CRM and mobile solutions provider, and Telcordia, a mobile broadband and enterprise communications software provider, offers the mobile technology for retailers and marketers to deliver and track loyalty rewards and incentives while processing transactions in real-time, according to a joint press release.

"GoMo Wallet takes the entire customer experience into consideration," says Erin Raese, chief operating officer of Loyalty 360, a think tank specializing in "engagement marketing," which includes the loyalty and incentive industries. "It's a cohesive product that offers a cohesive strategy to the different marketers that will be implementing the solution."

The product will likely be of interest, Raese says, because of a real-time engine facilitating fast and secure transactions on mobile phones. In an era when companies are attempting to go mobile and learn as much about the customer as possible, the combination of CRM and mobility is emerging as one of the most compelling developments in the industry.

"This will enable a retailer to deliver relevant lifestyle incentives in the moment," says Bob Gold, chief executive officer of Gold Mobile. "We're delivering commerce and transaction functionality that heretofore only existed in the hands of carriers."

These functions include:

  • Friends & Family Commerce to manage spending limits, parental controls, monitor spending habits, transfer balances, and request spending approval on-the-fly;
  • Spending & Payment Policy Management of consumer or corporate expense accounts, allowed spending categories down to the SKU level, expense balances with expiration dates, real-time mobile alerts for over-the-limit spending, and policy-controlled bonus rewards based on customer usage;
  • Anywhere Approvals & Transactions that can be made directly from mobile phones to request approval for extra spending and instant access to account status; and
  • In-the-Moment Promotion & Merchandise Management with incentives based on time of day, inventory levels, event triggers, and customer profiles.

Traditional rewards programs are problematic, according to Gold Mobile and Telcordia executives, with delayed offer-delivery and difficulty in cross-referencing. The GoMo Wallet offers real-time delivery, customizations, and the ability for vendors to collaborate on joint incentives to customers.

Retail isn't the only sector Gold Mobile and Telcordia have in mind for the GoMo Wallet, with hospitality and automotive services also on the agenda. The two companies argue that the hospitality industry, for example, might deploy the wallet to drive consumer traffic during slow hours, increase orders, and lower customer-acquisition costs. The Mobile Ordering & Reservation features allow payment before arrival to save time and increase volume of orders and transactions. Businesses in this sector will be able to retain customers thanks to a faster ordering experience.

In another example, providers of automotive services will be able to offer customers a remote, real-time Estimate & Payment transaction capability that will reduce response time. GoMo Wallet will sustain patronage of manufacturer-certified service centers and deliver periodic service reminders with time-limited bonuses.

The two companies insist that security won't be a concern for GoMo Wallet customers. The technology includes three security measures that must be met before data can be accessed.

"The handset itself has a unique hardware identifier, so you have to have the physical handset itself to connect to the network," says Brian Edwards, executive director of SDS business development at Telcordia. "The second level of security is that you have to enter a password into the handset before you can do any transactions. And the third level is a PIN on transactions. So even if someone stole your handset, they'd have to be able to break into the handset, and then they'd have to know your PIN to do any transactions."

In addition, Telcordia claims that its Real-Time Charging solution, used by more than 200 million subscribers and 35 wireless carriers worldwide, has never had a security issue.

News relevant to the customer relationship management industry is posted several times a day on destinationCRM.com, in addition to the news section Insight that appears every month in the pages of CRM magazine.

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