There are many recent advancements in merchant services and credit card processing, but one in particular that is gaining significant interest is mobile wallets. Once considered only a niche service, mobile wallets have greatly expanded and are now widely used by consumers. In fact, 24% of consumers use mobile wallets for their transactions daily. Mobile wallet transactions exceeded $4.250 billion in 2018 and are expected to reach $13.979 billion by 2022. Innovations and improvements will only continue with advancements expected in security and ease of convenience. Below are the top five mobile wallet trends that merchants, credit card processors and consumers should keep an eye on.
The first mobile wallet was created by Apple with their Apple Pay mobile wallet. Other companies came up with their own mobile wallets, like Google Pay and Samsung Pay built by competitors. Banks and other financial institutions are adjusting to cashless transactions and are creating their own digital wallets with notable names like Zelle and Venmo in the industry.
Biometrics have been available for many decades, but were mostly included in high security access systems. The component costs of this technology have dropped significantly making it easier for product manufacturers to include biometrics in smartphones. Fingerprint scanners and facial mapping are now available features in many of today’s phones. This technology helps provide additional layers of security to facilitate mobile wallets and seamless transactions.
NFC, or Near Field Communication allows two devices, one a POS system and a smartphone to communicate. Upon checkout, a customer will hold their phone near the terminal and the NFC chip will facilitate the transaction without revealing any card numbers. This technology has enabled greater acceptance of mobile wallets and cashless transactions.
While Artificial Intelligence (AI) has had little impact in mobile wallets thus far, the promise of automating and enhancing customer experience is sure to become mainstream. AI can be used for chatbots to help facilitate transactions and to interpret users’ voice commands like with Siri or Alexa. Mobile wallet providers will take advantage of AI to interact with customers in a smarter way and reduce the need for additional staff at businesses.
Blockchain and Cryptocurrency
Blockchain technology is used to let people share valuable data in a secure way that can’t be tampered with. While blockchain is the foundation of cryptocurrency, it can also be used separately to facilitate more secure transactions. Broader acceptance of blockchain will drive the enhanced security that leaves many consumers wary of using mobile payments to begin with. Numerous mobile apps already support cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and their inclusion into mobile wallets is nearly inevitable.
Customers always appreciate loyalty programs and business love them for customer retention. Mobile wallets will continue to incentivize consumers for frequent purchases at their favorite restaurants, coffee shops and other retail stores. Look for this trend to definitely continue with broader acceptance of mobile wallets.
These are the top mobile wallet trends to expect over the next few years. Consumers will continue to become more technologically savvy and demand that business take mobile wallet payments.