November 11, 2011 by Leave a Comment
Over recent months, there has been a considerable increase in the buzz around mobile and electronic wallets in the developed markets. New wallets have been launched (e.g., Google Wallet, Amex Serve), with many more companies announcing intent to compete in this space (e.g., Visa, PayPal, Isis, and others). A number of industry leaders proclaimed (again) the end of physical wallets. Are all these new wallets fundamentally the same? If not, how do they differ? What challenges do they face? What does it take to replace a physical wallet? Who are most likely to emerge as leaders in this space? How will they compete? What does it mean for the payment industry incumbents? These are the questions I am exploring in my new report “What’s in Your Mobile Wallet? Winning the Battle for Mobile at the Retail POS,” published yesterday. One of the insights of the report is that retail POS is not just about NFC. And actually, despite all the challenges to implement NFC-based solutions, they might just offer the banks an opportunity to remain in control of merchant and consumer relationships. The alternative vision of commerce promoted by cloud-based mobile wallet providers, such as PayPal, is a lot less appealing to banks and other incumbents. The report defines the four major domains along which players will compete to bring mobile solutions to retail. It also describes the requirements mobile wallets should fulfill in order to succeed in the market and how specific features are likely to evolve. Finally, the report offers predictions on how the market is likely to develop and makes recommendations for financial institutions. Let me know if you agree with my conclusions.