In this era where smartphones, tablets and apps seem to rule our everyday lives, mobile wallets aren’t far behind in making consumer lives easier. Mobile wallets allow users to ditch the use of cash or cards, as one can pay for items by just tapping their phones on special devices that recognizes your mobile chip. It’s a trent that’s growing around the world, as the monetization potential of smartphones and their software becomes more imminent across markets, industries and institutions.
Here are just some of the recent participants in the mobile wallet race:
Google Wallet was formed via the partnership of Google with Citi and Mastercard Worldwide and was launched last May. Google Wallet uses Near Field Communication to transform one’s phone into a virtual card.
“If it’s simply ‘I can tap my phone instead of using my card,’ it’s moderately more convenient,” Edward Mclaughlin, chief emerging payments officer at Mastercard said. “But if we can take advantages of smartphones’ capabilities to change the information available to you, the feedback you get — that’s what’s going to be key.”
Tyfone, the mobile financial solutions provider will be exhibiting its secure mobile banking technology iCashé at the Symitar Educational Conference (SEC) in San Diego, CA, on September 20-22, 2011.
“Tyfone’s mobile wallet services provide direct Symitar Episys core integrated mobile banking, commerce services, enhanced strong ID authentication mobile security and NFC contactless payment technology,” said Mark Miyamoto, Tyfone’s director of mobile banking.
“Not only does Tyfone provide mobile banking solutions that are able to be deployed quickly by credit unions but also gives revenue through iCashé and a roadmap to the future of mobile commerce. As the lines between mobile banking and digital wallet services begin to blur, Tyfone is well positioned to bridge the gap with an extremely secure and integrated service offering that can help credit unions serve their members’ needs.”
Mogley is a mobile wallet, loyalty rewards tracking and marketing platform that is available to download for free in the iTunes App Store. Once downloaded, users have to create an account and add a credit card. The app allows the use Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover even if the retailer doesn’t. After signing up, all you need to do is press Queue Up(TM) button on your iOS device to let the retailer know you’re in their store. Then just shop or place your order and confirm the transaction from your phone.
“Mogley makes loyalty tracking seamless,” says John Butler, owner of Condesa Coffee in Atlanta. “Mogley is not just another way for Condesa customers to pay, but it has actually sped up transactions. At first we were concerned it would take away the connection to the customer, but it has actually freed us up to connect more. We are excited to be working with this new technology and look forward to more people getting on board.”
As you can see, the trend is going global, infiltrating across cultures and economies by targeting the growing masses of smartphone users. The Directorate of Bangladesh Post Office (BPO) will introduce post-e-pay, a mobile wallet that would enable people to transact money or buy anything across Bangladesh with the use of their mobile phones. The service will be available starting this month.
“All preparations have been completed. A local company is giving us technical solutions to set up equipment and develop software to run the system. The company will maintain the server and set up another mirror server at the head office of the department,” Director of the Directorate M Mobasherur Rahman said.
Though mobile wallets seem to be the next best thing, analysts don’t really see consumers immediately shifting to use such technology, aside from security and privacy issues, is that mobile wallets seem to require more steps compared to just fishing out cash or card.
“The key reason why most consumers will not bite immediately on N.F.C. is, it doesn’t actually solve any immediate need,” said Gilles Ubaghs, senior analyst for cards and payments at Datamonitor, “and in most instances is likely to involve more steps to do an act they can already do with relative ease.”