LevelUp, PayPal and Square take early lead in mobile wallet marathon

Mobilewallets

Increasing consumer interest

Carlisle & Gallagher Consulting Group (CG), a management and technology consulting firm serving the financial services industry, has released a mobile wallet review. CG assessed a representative group of 20 mobile wallets from various industries including: financial services, tech titans, merchants and card associations. The mobile wallets were evaluated based on depth of payment capabilities and ease of the overall consumer experience. The 20 wallets also included various transaction technologies, i.e., NFC, Quick Response (QR) barcodes and cloud transactions.

According to a national consumer survey conducted by CG in April 2012, “48% of U.S. consumers are interested in using a mobile wallet.”

Mobile Wallet Front Runners:

  • LevelUp – Easy set-up, easy-to-use, ability to tie rewards to payments, ability to attach a credit or debit card, accepted at over 3,800 participating retailers.
  • PayPal – Easy set-up, easy-to-use, ability to attach a credit or debit card.
  • Square Wallet – Easy set-up, easy-to-use, ability to attach a credit or debit card, accepted at over 200,000 businesses.
  • Starbucks – Easy set-up, easy-to-use, enhanced consumer shopping experience with rewards, downloads and eGifts.

“The new mobile wallet enabled by smart phones is more than just a payment card – it will improve your entire shopping and transaction experience,” said Peter Olynick, CG’s Card & Payments practice leader. “Within the next 3-5 years, 50% of current smart phone users will utilize their mobile wallet for typical, daily transactions.”

Wallets that ranked high on CG’s list met the following criteria:

1. Payment Capabilities: 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 checkout experience (i.e., purchase, receipt, returns).

2. Customer Experience: Each wallet was evaluated for the ease of the initial set-up process, device compatibility, application management, shopping enhancements and other functionality intended to improve the overall shopping experience.

“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,” added 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.”

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