Non-bank competitors are winning the race to provide consumers with easy-to-use mobile wallet and payment applications according to a comparative study conducted by the US-based Carlisle & Gallagher Consulting Group.
CG assessed a representative group of 20 mobile wallets from various industries including: five of the top ten US banks; tech titans such as Apple, Google, and Isis; merchants, including Amazon and Starbucks; and the four top card schemes.
The competing technologies - which tapped distinct paradigms in NFC, QR codes and cloud-based services - were evaluated based on depth of payment capabilities and ease of the overall consumer experience.
Peter Olynick, CG's card & payments practice leader, says: "CG does not believe there is just one technology that will win the mobile wallet race. We believe the long term winning wallets will have the ability to use multiple transaction technologies,"
Each wallet was examined for merchant acceptance, payment options (single vs. multiple cards), transaction range including peer-to-peer (P2P), online, and point of sale (POS) functionality, as well as the speed and simplicity of the checkout experience covering purchase, receipt, and returns. From the consumer perspective, the ease of the initial set-up process, device compatibility, application management and shopping enhancements were considered.
The front-runners selected by CG were LevelUp, PayPal, Square and Starbucks, who were praised for their ease of use, wide acceptability and loyalty enhancements. Competing applications from the nation's biggest banks and each of the four card schemes, American Express, MasterCard, Discover, and Visa, failed to make the cut
"Within the next three to five years, 50% of current smart phone users will utilise their mobile wallet for typical, daily transactions," says Olynick. "Wallets that see the highest level of adoption will be those that create an intuitive experience while mitigating consumer concerns about privacy and identity theft."