The odds are you’ve heard about many online wallet solutions. These systems let customers link their credit or debit cards to a wallet setup. The customer can then complete a transaction through one’s phone or another NFC-enabled device. It offers a convenient way to handle payments. It ensures people can complete transactions with physical cash or with a credit or debit card.
There are two mobile wallets that are more successful than the others. Apple Pay has become a staple in the mobile payment industry, while Samsung Pay has also been growing in prominence.
There’s also one unique app that is rising in prominence. The Starbucks coffee chain has a dedicated app people can use when purchasing items from various Starbucks locations.
eMarketer writes that there are about 25 million Apple Pay users and 12 million Samsung Pay users in the United States. These totals are based on how many people have completed at least one transaction with these wallets in the last six months. The Starbucks app has an even greater user base of about 28 million.
But what makes these three payment solutions more popular than other mobile wallets? Let’s take a look at what makes these so prominent.
First, let’s look at Apple Pay, the most prominent of the online wallet programs around. Apple Pay was one of the first such wallets out of the gate, as it was introduced in 2014.
Apple Pay uses NFC technology to transfer payment data. A user can waive an Apple Pay account over an NFC reader to transmit funds. The system can work on many Apple devices, including the iPhone and Apple Watch.
Apple Pay offers many positives:
- Customers don’t need online connections to use Apple Pay. All payment data stays in the cloud, ensuring the content can move forward as necessary.
- Apple Pay uses a biometrics-based system where the user can touch a specific part of one’s phone or watch or another device that uses the setup. The two-part ID system ensures only the right person will initiate the transaction.
- Most payment networks and banks support Apple Pay. The system ensures people can use the wallet in more places.
The immense popularity of the iPhone and other Apple devices will also ensure that Apple Pay will become more accessible in the future. As more people use the latest Apple devices, more retailers will accept Apple Pay payments.
Like with many other Apple features, this only works on Apple devices. But Apple’s products are still popular enough to make Apple Pay a highly sought-after solution for managing payments.
Samsung Pay has also been around for a while, as the system started in 2015. It is slightly different from Apple Pay in that while it stores payment data in a cloud, the tokens it produces will go from the cloud to the device when the purchase is made. An online connection will be necessary in this case.
What makes Samsung Pay useful is that it is easier to use it in more locations. Samsung Pay uses a Magnetic Secure Transmission or MST system to transfer data. It can work in more POS readers, including non-NFC magstripe readers. MST technology is easier to find on devices than NFC technology.
An MST system uses a few steps to work:
- The device will produce a magnetic signal like what you’d produce on a traditional magstripe card when you swipe it.
- The card reader will identify the signal. It will find the card number and other pieces of security data.
- The POS terminal will read the card data and process the transaction from there. You’ll get a note on your phone through a cloud network after the transaction is complete.
Samsung Pay doesn’t have as much of a reach as Apple Pay, although it is still a prominent choice of note. The Samsung S6 and S6 Edge phones will make the system more popular.
The Starbucks App
The idea of a single company’s app being highly popular among mobile wallets sounds surprising. But there aren’t many companies that are as widespread as Starbucks.
The Starbucks app lets people load money from a separate credit or debit card to the app. The customer can then use the app at any Starbucks location to pay for the coffee or whatever else someone orders at the location.
The app features a useful setup and is ideal for people who frequently visit Starbucks. But there are many other reasons why the Starbucks app is so popular. These points may help show other retailers why starting their apps might be a good idea:
- The Starbucks app provides rewards to regular customers. People can earn points they can use for various free purchases, giving them an incentive to return for future purchases.
- There’s more loyalty attached to the Starbucks app. Since it isn’t preloaded on the phone like the other wallets for specific devices, people can choose to download the app if they tend to do business at Starbucks more often.
- The app gives Starbucks regular customer insights and data. The company can use this data to provide rewards and other features to its customers. Starbucks also keeps the data to itself, ensuring its security.
- The app also supports various debit and credit cards. This feature may be thanks to Starbucks’ immense reach and power, but it does help the company take in more money and handle payments well.
- Since the transactions come through physical devices, it is easier for Starbucks to manage these deals without risking chargebacks and other common concerns.
All three of these mobile wallets are very popular for different reasons, but they all have one thing in common. They make it easier for people to complete their transactions. It is no surprise that they are all prominent in today’s online world and continue to be useful to many people.