Mobile wallets are a convenient alternative for consumers pulling out their credit cards when they're ready to pay. The Thanx platform has a very nuanced relationship with these payment solutions.
The main takeaway of the outline below is this: The Thanx platform is designed to capture data for your business and deliver consumers value that inspires their loyalty. Accepting mobile wallets for digital purchases ultimately results in less data for you and less reward value for customers. By using digital ordering as a vehicle to enroll their payment card both for purchases and to track in-store activity (even when the in-store purchase is made with a Mobile Wallet like Apple Pay, which Thanx does support), Thanx offers the highest continuity of data on the market with the least effort for you and your customers. The result is that Thanx does not implement digital wallets (e.g. Apple Pay) in the applications we author, but does capture such payments made in-store automatically. Read below for details on this nuanced approach.
Earning reward credit for in-store purchases with Mobile Wallet payments
The Thanx platform is tightly integrated with Visa, Mastercard, and American Express in a manner that allows consumers to earn loyalty progress (and you, the merchant of record, to gain insight) when they make purchases. Customers who enroll a card with the Thanx platform will get near-realtime reward credit when they pay with that card. This single moment of friction (typing in the card one time) means they don't have a lifetime chore of scanning receipts or punching in account numbers every time they pay. One of the magical things of this system is that it works out of the box with mobile wallets.
When a customer pays with Apple Pay etc, a unique token for that payment is generated (not the credit card number) – this is part of what makes it more secure. That token is sent up through the processor to the card networks. The card network (Visa, etc) is actually the party that de-tokenizes it to the original card number, which is necessary for them to rout the request to the issuing bank (the consumer's bank). This is why when a customer enrolled a card with Thanx and then pays with Apple Pay etc that the credit comes through automatically, because the card network is also the party that sends the purchase data to Thanx to accrue progress and increase your visibility into the value of that customer. It's important to note that enrolling a card means typing in the actual card number – Mobile Wallet tokens cannot be enrolled in their place.
In short, Apple Pay / Google Pay both make in-store payment more convenient, and Thanx supports that convenience automatically, allowing for in-store data to accrue with these purchases.
Mobile wallets in Thanx-built applications
When it comes to apps that Thanx authors for merchants, our nuanced approach takes a different tack.
When a customer pays for a mobile purchase by entering their card, that card is stored for future purchases – so it's a single point of friction for all future purchases – AND the card is tokenized to track subsequent in-store spending. As noted above, while we do receive purchase data from the card networks when a payment is made with a mobile wallet, we cannot enroll a payment token generated by Apple/Google Pay, only a card number itself.
Accepting these payment mechanisms in the apps and web experiences we build would create some awkward user experiences and actually increase the effort of using the platform. Remember, to get credit for their in-store purchase requires typing in their card number at some point. While the digital purchase created in the experience can be added to their account for reward progress, their next in-store purchase would not, as the payment token can't be enrolled. This creates a strange user flow of accepting their Apply Pay payment and then asking them to type in that card number for loyalty benefits.
Further, while paying with Apple Pay in-store is a convenient time saver (compared to fishing out the card, swiping it, etc), in digital ordering it means re-authenticating the device on each payment – pay with apple, double click, unlock with face or code, etc – while storing the actual payment for re-use means less friction for each subsequent purchase.
The net effect is that by NOT accepting mobile wallets in apps, Thanx's proprietary card linked loyalty solution is significantly less effort for consumers after they type in their card one time.
Finally, when customers make digital orders, more than 90% of them choose to enroll their cards for in-store data tracking. It's this value and the long term convenience it produces that guides our product decision not to accept Mobile Wallet payments in the applications we author.