In today’s market, companies are quickly learning that when it comes to customer experience, the old adage “less is more” rings true.
 
With more and more loyalty programs making the move to mobile apps, the thought of attaching one more physical loyalty card to the key ring is a step too far for many consumers: According to the 2016 Bond Loyalty Report, 57% of shoppers are looking to engage with loyalty programs on their mobile phones.
 
This trend of improving mobile loyalty capability can be applied to any vertical, but perhaps nowhere is ease of use more crucial than in the gaming industry. In an industry that is so dependent on providing guests with a completely seamless experience, the movement of a loyalty program to a mobile phone is an intuitive step forward. This is the thinking behind the latest move from MGM Resorts, which announced on Tuesday that its M life Rewards loyalty program would be available on mobile devices.
 
Beginning Q4 of this year, players at the MGM Grand Detroit will tap their smart phones instead of swiping a card. These machines will use similar technology to that of mobile wallets, which has been met with mixed results in larger mainstream markets.
 
“We are excited to partner once again with IGT on Cardless Connect,” said Jordan Salmon, VP of loyalty marketing for MGM Resorts. “IGT has worked side-by-side with us on many innovations over the years as we work together to continually improve our best-in-class loyalty program, M life Rewards. Cardless Connect is technology that provides ultimate convenience for our members and opens up many other ways to improve the guest experience in the future, such as mobile payments and real-time member communication.”
 
Beyond earning points, the app (available on both iOS and Android) also allows for cashless gaming, a feature that goes even further in giving players minimal friction during their experience.

In addition to providing increased convenience to customers, the transition will allow MGM to collect valuable consumer data, which can then be used to determine loyalty member behavior in regards to machine choice and spending habits. According to our 2015 Loyalty Landscape Report, only about 25% of brands are collecting data regarding customer preferences. 

 
The leveraging of mobile is something to which every brand must take a unique approach. Especially when it comes to younger demographics, mobile capability is a key factor in providing ease in allowing customers to both earn and redeem points with the brand. 

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