Why eWallets Will Rule 2016 – And Which Ones Are The Best
The ewallet, or digital wallet, is increasing in popularity and for good reason – it’s a lot easier to walk out of the house with your phone and keys and not have to lug around a big bulky wallet with cards you barely use and a handful of other stuff you stashed in there at one point or another, not to mention cash!
The digital revolution we are currently experiencing managed to shake up the financial industry in a way that drastically shifted how financial exchanges are perceived, and more so, the direction where consumers want the financial industry to go.
If years ago ‘cash was king,’ today’s consumers carry far less cash and rely more on credit card and digital transactions, making ewallets the champion (and soon to be king, some might say emperor). As consumers continue to de-clutter their lives and consolidate their cards, it is likely that digital wallets will continue to increase in popularity – especially with the major tech-players investing heavily in mobile wallet solutions (but more on that later in the article).
As the internet of things dominates our lives and interconnectivity of devices becomes a given and less a novelty, it is only natural that consumers expect their wallet to be connected to their other devices.
While it’s important to jump on the digital-wallet bandwagon early on, it’s equally important to consider the features and functionality of a digital wallet and truly understand what’s in it for you as a consumer, and more importantly, what your ewallet can do for you.
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What Does the eWallet Actually Do For Consumers?
As the use of digital wallets is integrated into society, each solution tries to differentiate itself slightly, in order to appeal to a particular niche. Whether FinTech need is for merchants looking to accept payments from a mobile phone, or for people to pay back friends and family, or if securely hold all a person’s financial information in one place, it’s important to understand which features can potentially enhance the payment experience and which limitations can restrict usage.
From the outset it is clear that the main functionality ewallets have, is the ability to store credit card information and enable payment with a mobile device instead of the inconvenience of carrying around physical cards.
For consumers with local store cards or loyalty cards, a digital wallet that includes the ability to pay with loyalty/rewards cards will be a significant improvement in their daily shopping routine. By offering consumers the chance to collect points for a certain brand without requiring them to carry their loyalty card with them at all times, consumers will likely increase their use, therefore increasing their overall membership point value and driving them back to their selected store in turn boosting loyalty.
Merchants and small business are particularly interested in accepting ewallet payments since they simplify the payment process (and any marketer will tell you that to convert a client, a business must do everything they can to simplify the payment process by reducing decision friction and increasing seamless activity).
Beyond storing your information, digital wallets tend to increase the security steps surrounding sensitive financial data. Stealing a bag or wallet is easier than stealing a phone, and most phones have additional safety features preventing access to sensitive information and payment functionalities.
Top 5 E-Wallet Payment Solutions Today
So which digital wallet solution should you use? There is no right answer! Below are a few of the leading digital wallet payment solutions available today:
Paypal is by far the most well-known digital wallet solutions. A pioneer in the digital payment arena, PayPal has close to 200 million users in over 200 countries, making it the most widely accessible one worldwide. Since PayPal has the longevity advantage, they have had the most time to focus on maximizing security features and enabling integration with multiple banks and credit cards.
ApplePay, in true Apple fashion, entered the digital wallet scene with a bang and has been credited with making digital wallet use mainstream. Apple Pay not only stores sensitive credit card and debit card information and enables in-app and online purchases, but it enables tap-payment in stores and restaurants that accept Apple Pay. The main benefit of Apple Pay is their shift toward contactless sales. With Apple Pay, consumers can make complete purchases from start to finish, at the store location, without needing human contact. Apple pay requires fingerprint identification and works with NFC terminals and in app payments only.
Google Wallet – Google Wallet started off as the payment solution for android users, however with the introduction of Android Pay, Google Wallet shifted and became a person-to-person payment app that can be used to send payments to anyone in the U.S. Since Google Wallet is able to easily integrate with gmail, it is an easy solution to adapt for the 1-billion Gmail users currently in the Google network (although Google Wallet is still U.S focused, knowing Google, that will change soon).
Android Pay – Not to be outdone by their arch-nemesis (Apple), Android Pay is another game changer in the digital wallet scene, granting android phone users the ability to tap pay and make in app and digital purchases with their secure Android Pay account. Android Pay is the next generation solution for Google Wallet and has one of the largest pools of supported devices – a great perk for people who want to enjoy digital wallets but still like their old phone.
Samsung Pay – Initially launched in South Korea, Samsung Pay recently entered the U.S market with big plans to expand the accepting countries list quickly. The unique benefit of Samsung Pay is the ability to work in most brick and mortar shops since merchants do not need to opt in or integrate their systems with Samsung Pay (this includes the magnetic stripe payment option). While only available with the newer Samsung phones, the fact that Samsung Pay can be used at almost any point of sale will likely increase their market penetration and share since it will offer consumers the most comprehensive payment solution.
What’s Next for the eWallet?
With the major players in the tech field well immersed in the digital wallet scene, it’s no wonder that all forecasts predict an increased rise of digital payments. The initial catch-22 situation where merchants didn’t adopt digital payment solutions because few consumers demanded it (because so few merchants offered it and so on) has been alleviated by the likes of Samsung Pay and other smaller e-wallet companies that enable merchant acceptance without prior integration.
Dozens of enterprise level companies have already put open calls for ewallet solutions on the prooV platform and the expectation is that they are all seeking partnership from startups to improve their overall digital wallet offerings.
Whether you are a startup with a new idea that can change the way digital wallets are used, improve security, usability, features, or are a company that wants to offer your own type of ewallet solution, there is no doubt that 2017 is the year digital wallets will increase in popularity and be the next big thing.