We are seeing a profusion of smart wallets and digital mobile payment methods. Boosting usability is the main focus, now that the technological breakthroughs have occurred.
The Wallet Card launched by Visa and Dynamics on Jan 9 will be multiple cards in one. In the same shape as a normal VISA card, this Wallet Card can access multiple cards, whether contactless, magnetic strip-based, credit or debit. It also incorporates coupons which can be sent to the cards antenna. Visa is strong in its stance that there remains much innovation and practicality in the ‘card-based experience’ of payments.
TransferWise has launched its borderless account where consumers can store up to 28 currencies. Money can be automatically exchanged into the correct currency if needed. TransferWise has been very successful by winning customers with much lower costs that the foreign exchange fees charged by banks. It is now one of Europe’s largest financial technology firms.
Android Pay has become Google Pay. The Google wallet saves payment information securely in your Google account to then reproduce payment details across all Google products. This streamlines the payment process and potentially will both mobile payments, which are lagging behind mobile banking.
A report released last week by Federal Reserve Bank of Boston found that while 89% of FI respondents offer mobile banking, only 24% offer mobile payments services. To bridge the gap, financial institutions are adding support of mobile wallets such as Apple Pay and Google Pay (with Android). Both merchants and consumers can feel frustrated with the inability to use mobile payments. This is either consumers struggling to adopt the new payments methods of merchants not having the technical capacity to accept payments.
By Grace Appleford, Research Analyst at Holland FinTech.