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Posted by Brandon Carter on May 28, 2014 7:03:00 AM

Just 100 years ago the first cross-continental phone call was made. Now, you're reading a blog post while listening to music streaming from the cloud and texting with your spouse about dinner.

As remarkable as it seems, technological innovation and consumer adoption don't happen by accident. It's extremely rare that a technology debuts and immediately jumps from A (a concept) all the way to Z (finished product with mass consumer adoption) without some major bumps along the way. No, every item you use throughout your day is the result of years of learning, failure, feedback, trial and effort.

This conversation is relevant to mobile payments. The basic technology exists (A) but is far, far from mass adoption (Z). Whether it's five years or 100, there is quite a bit that needs to happen before society at large begins paying with their phones. And some companies are already getting in the game.

Posted by Brandon Carter on May 15, 2014 5:55:00 AM

There's a restaurant here in Salt Lake that has amazing cheesesteak sandwiches. They're nationally known for them, in fact. The place started out humbly enough, as a small kitchen serving up sandwiches in the back of a pottery gift shop. Eventually word got out about the sandwiches, and within a couple of years the pottery gift shop had to find a new space.

What was supposed to be a nice side benefit for those buying some pottery eventually became the entirety of the business. I'm sure the pottery was nice, but those cheesesteaks were...just...wow.

Right now, Farm Bureaus have millions of members. But many of those folks are unaware of the larger benefits of being a member, outside of insurance policies.

Based on our own informal research, as much as 90% of a Farm Bureau's clientele are there for the insurance. A large percentage of those members are entirely unaware that insurance is merely a benefit of membership with a farm bureau. They don't know about political outreach, education programs, community involvement, and the other myriad activities carried out by a Farm Bureau.

This shouldn't be thought of as a problem, but as an opportunity.

Posted by Brandon Carter on Dec 5, 2013 2:14:00 AM

If you've ever hung around our offices or gotten to know a few of our employees, you probably know that Team Access is a bit competitive. We're all great friends, but we also like to compete with each other. It's why you'll see our employees hopping into gyms on their lunch break or running a corporate 5K like it was the Boston Marathon.

Posted by Brandon Carter on Oct 9, 2013 7:13:00 AM

The battle is on for the local merchant.

Daily deals are calling them. Coupon marketers are calling them. Online marketers. Advertising agencies. Solution providers.

Everyone wants to get in with these merchants because people actually spend money there. It isn't hard to get a deal from a national .com brand, but over 90% of discretionary dollars are spent in-store at places within 20 miles of home. Get enough local places on your discount program and people will use it. Get places like those to accept your mobile wallet and you'll see adoption rise.

As our own Kelly Passey said in a Loyalty360 article earlier this year, merchants are the kingmakers. Where the merchants go, so goes the people who spend their money with them every day.

Posted by Brandon Carter on Oct 2, 2013 1:23:00 AM

I want a mobile wallet. Badly.

I'm suffering from a bit of "Costanza wallet," wherein the amount of cards, photos, notes and other detritus combine to create a giant meatball. It barely closes, and if I forget to take it out of my pocket while sitting or driving it shoots pain through my sciatic nerves. It's literally a pain in the ass.

BUT then there's my phone. So slim and tidy, and so useful. It's replaced dozens of devices for me - my camera, car radio, calculator, flashlight, GPS navigation system, and so on. I love my phone and, like most other millenials, it's within arm's reach at ALL times.

Why can't I use it to pay for things? Or a better question may be: why don't I use it to pay for things? The technology exists, after all.

Posted by Brandon Carter on Sep 19, 2013 1:25:00 AM

In what seems to be a growing trend, the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation has teamed with Access for a new member benefit. “Deals Advantage” will give VAFB members access to thousands of exclusive offers across the state.

They join dozens of other organizations who are looking to give back to their members with relevant, everyday benefits. Specifically, VAFB joins a growing list of farm bureaus that have teamed up with Access to build member engagement through exclusive discount programs. We recently announced a similar partnership with the Alabama Farmers Federation.

See the official Deals Advantage announcement here.

What's causing these organizations to look to companies like Access to help boost their member benefits?