Mobile financial service providers should look to add loyalty services to engage and retain customers, a new study by Ovum concluded.

In a survey examining the usage habits of 1,800 mobile money users across nine markets – comprising developed and developing economies – the company found many consumers value loyalty services, but don’t always have access to them.

Of those surveyed, 56 per cent were not members of any loyalty scheme linked to mobile money with a third not offered access to one. Among unbanked populations, the figure using loyalty services reduced to 20 per cent.

The study found younger participants had the highest demand for these types of services. Ovum found 91 per cent of the 16-24 age group ranked the ability to manage different loyalty cards within their mobile wallet either “important” or “very important”.

Ovum principal analyst Eden Zoller said: “[Mobile financial service] providers who employ loyalty programmes to engage and retain customers are better placed to increase usage and adoption of their mobile wallet service, thereby driving revenue growth. However they must still address the gaps that exist between what customers want and what they are being offered.”

The research company quizzed consumers in the US, Singapore, Russia, Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, the Philippines, Bangladesh, and Vietnam, in partnership with vendor Amdocs.