Who’ll win the battle of electronic vs. traditional wallets?

As electronic wallets become more widely adopted and convenient payment methods for consumers, many analysts are questioning whether traditional payment types will become obsolete in the future. And the experts say, “Not without more incentives.”

The development of new electronic wallets is in full swing, with Google already creating a mobile wallet last fall that uses near-field communications technology to allow users to make contactless payments. The Internet giant teamed up with Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover to make this product available to credit cardholders, and there are a variety of terminals across the country that are now equipped to handle this payment method, according to BankTech.com.

AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon have also teamed up to form the electronic payments platform Isis, which is set to launch this summer and provide some competition to Google, the news source reports. Although consumers are likely to have more electronic wallet platforms to choose from, experts say that incentives, and not variety, will drive Americans’ adoption of mobile payment systems.

Kumail Tybegee, Infosys’ mobility and digital practice senior principal told BankTech that Americans are less likely to adopt these mobile platforms without incentives because their current payment methods work now.

“Our system is not broken,” Tybegee told the news source. “It works really well. I can take out a card, swipe it and in an instant can transmit funds to a merchant.”

He notes that in order for widespread adoption to occur, developers, small businesses and other service providers will need to provide benefits to consumers, such as tying electronic wallet purchases to loyalty or rewards programs, offering discounts and even using them as e-tickets for sporting and entertainment events.


Comments are closed.