Will You Use an E-Wallet on Your Mobile Phone? If so, whose?

Posted Friday, August 31, 2012 in Online, Mobile & IT by Patricia Seybold

Starting this fall, e-wallets will become available for our mobile phones. When I use the term “e-wallet,” I’m talking about enabling consumers to pay for things using their mobile phones and to pay each other via mobile phone. No cash, no plastic credit cards, no checks needed. You carry your money, credit cards, debit cards, rewards points, and loyalty cards around with you digitally. At the point of sale, you choose which payment type you want to use: take cash from your checking account, use money you’ve pre-loaded on a stored value “card,” charge it to your phone bill, charge it on a credit card account and pay later, and so on. Like a physical wallet, you can put things into it and take things out of it. And you can carry it around with you wherever you go.

Which Player(s) Will Become the Mobile E-Wallet of Choice in the U.S.?

The competition is heating up. Here are the e-wallet players I think are likely to be jockeying for marketshare:

  • Amazon 1-Click, possibly delivered on an Amazon phone
  • Apple’s credit card payment add-on to Passbook (i-wallet?), expected to debut with the iPhone 5
  • eBay’s PayPal
  • Google Wallet
  • Microsoft Wallet Hub on Windows 8
  • The mobile carriers: AT&T/T-Mobile/Verizon Wireless
  • Isis (Retail Consortium)
  • The credit card companies: MasterCard, Visa, American Express, Discover or other financial institutions (e.g., Bank of America, Chase, Citi, Wells Fargo)

Which of these players would you trust to host and manage your credit cards, bank accounts, loyalty cards, and rewards? Which one(s) would protect you best if you lost your phone with all that information on it? Whom do you believe would have YOUR best interests at heart (not the interests of the advertisers who want to make you the target for their offers)?


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