A New Recipe for the Success of Mobile Wallets

In September last year TechRadar wrote an article in preparation for Apple Pay that was due to launch in the following month;

Apple pay

“With Apple’s long anticipated adoption of NFC in the iPhone 6 and Apple watch, ApplePay is likely to spur the mass adoption of mobile wallets into everyday use. iOS retains over 30% of market share in the UK alone, and the trusted relationships Apple has built with its user base should encourage them to finally embrace wallet technology.” 

The real obstacle obstructing mobile wallet adoption has been proving any significant benefits to consumers. The aura around Apple has probably made them the most successful and influential company in the world with respect to marketing, an opinion which is certainly not original and one which Gx has voiced before in our recent State of the Industry Report for example. But is it purely Apple’s marketing prowess which has brought mobile wallets back to the fore or the ability they have to integrate it so seamlessly onto the iPhone?

Earlier this month Samsung got in on the action purchasing LoopPay “the most accepted mobile wallet on the planet”. A press release on the LoopPay website quotes JK Shin, President and Head of IT and Mobile Division at Samsung Electronics;

samsung

“This acquisition accelerates our vision to drive and lead innovation in the world of mobile commerce. Our goal has always been to build the smartest, most secure, user-friendly mobile wallet experience, and we are delighted to welcome LoopPay to take us closer to this goal.”

Apple, seemingly, have become the unsurprising trendsetter with a relationship between mobile wallets and mobile operators beginning to emerge as the strategy to get consumers in on a resurgent mobile wallet revolution.

It doesn’t stop at Samsung, this week brought news of Google’s deal to acquire Softcard. Originally under the brand name Isis, Softcard were founded in 2010 by AT&T Mobility, T-Mobile USA and Verizon Wireless to create an NFC based solution in the form of a mobile app. Their acquisition is Google’s move to fight back against Apple Pay. Since a relatively stagnated adoption of their initial wallet launched back in 2011, now aided by close relationships with the mobile operators, Google are making a comeback. Google’s press release said yesterday;

Google wallet

“Under this relationship, the Google Wallet app, including the tap and pay functionality, will come pre-installed on Android phones (running KitKat or higher) sold by these carriers in the US later this year. We’re also acquiring some exciting technology and intellectual property from Softcard to make Google Wallet better.”

So, with previous wallets failing to gain any real traction in the market and companies the stature of Amazon dropping their wallets by the wayside, is there now an emerging recipe for the success of mobile wallets? A relationship between the payment technology and telecommunications companies could have the potential to push adoption of mobile wallets by improving user experience and making wallets more widely available.

by Connor Bigland                                                                                                                                        @GxResearch_CB