In an earlier post, I said that usability at multiple touch points was imperative to the success of the digital wallet. But there's more to it than just putting a multi touch point strategy in place.
Let's take a look at the other things wallet providers need to focus on.
First, they must decide how they will distribute their digital wallet. This will depend on many things, especially the importance of different touch points in the typical consumer life cycle in a particular market. Hence, in markets like Kenya where mobile
penetration is much higher than that of banking channels, it makes sense to leverage the mobile distribution network to push the digital wallet to consumers.
In fact, this is exactly what Safaricom has done by building the M-PESA digital wallet into its SIM cards. On the other hand, it might be a good idea to sell a digital wallet through an app store in developed markets.
User experience is another important consideration. My previous post stressed the need for seamlessness between all the touch points though which a digital wallet was accessible. It is equally important to deliver consistent experience on all touch points
and enable customers to transition from one touch point to another, even during the same transaction. This is because the lines between different touch points as well as between the real and virtual worlds have begun to blur. Digital wallet providers must
be ready for the day when it is routine for a purchase initiated online to be fulfilled inside a store, and vice versa.
The digital wallet must also satisfy the security and regulatory compliance mandates applicable within its region of operation. Customers will resist adopting the digital wallet, regardless of its advantages, unless they are sure of its safety.
Given the number of contenders, digital wallet providers need to find ways to differentiate their offerings from their rivals'. They can do so by enhancing their wallet with value added content, such as tools to help manage personal finances or apps enabling
end-to-end mobile transactions.
Last but not least, it is vital to make the digital wallet as open as possible, so that the same wallet can be used across a variety of establishments and channels. At present, there is little cross-compatibility between wallets from competing providers,
which is sure to create consumer dissatisfaction. In my view, a wallet that is closed and isolated has little chance of surviving.