Mobile Wallet: The Future of Humans’ Purses

How much cash are you carrying today?

In my daily life, I have hardly spent any cash. More than 95 per cent of my spending have taken place on online systems. I can pay bills and transfer cash over the Internet, after all. There is no need for me to travel to banks. I thus can avoid time-consuming trips to banks, some of which taking hours. When I want to buy stuff, I can order it from websites and pay by my credit cards. Restaurants and department stores are now willing to accept such form of payment. In some urgent cases, I can rely on mobile banking too. This means I need cash only for small stuff like a cup of coffee.

Given such lifestyle, I believe that “mobile wallet” is becoming an important payment trend. Its potential is huge in the face of growing mobile-phone boom. According to the National Statistical Bureau, there were more than 23 million smart-phone users in Thailand in 2015. The number also looks set to soar further partly because of the increasingly better network services. Mobile applications, as a result, prove more efficient when delivering financial services. Consumers, meanwhile, have embraced online payment systems like never before.

Most Mobile Wallet service providers are mobile operators. In South Korea. SK Telecom has provided the Smart Wallet. In the United States, Mobile Wallet service is known under the name of “ISIS” through the joint venture of three mobile operators (AT & T, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless). In the Thai market, three mobile operators have also offered Mobile Wallet Services. Reports by these operators and the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) show Mobile Wallet applications have already attracted about 16 million users. The number of fintech start-ups is also rising. As these app developers have noticed new opportunities from Mobile Wallet, large financial institutes have actively been adjusting themselves. They have set up a special unit or fund to capitalize on the emergence of such start-ups.

Today, virtual debit cards are also available making it even more convenient for consumers to pay for products and services they want online. To use these cards, consumers only need to fill credits in their accounts. Then, these virtual debit cards will be able to pay for online stickers and various physical items.

Thanks to quality network services, smart phones, related applications and easier-to-use payment systems, Mobile Wallet becomes a key tool to transform the world’s financial system. With Mobile Wallet, Thailand will head towards being a cashless society.

Although Mobile Wallet is getting increasingly popular, app providers will be able to keep users only when they know how to reward loyalty. With so many similar apps in the market, providers should offer loyalty programs or discount coupons for Mobile Wallet users. Android Pay, for example, has joined hands with Coca-Cola in giving awards to people who have spent a certain amount of money at Coca-Cola vending machines via their Mobile Wallet. Samsung Pay has also created a special button for its users to collect payment points. Various other brands, including Gap, McDonald and Sephora, moreover have developed marketing campaigns particularly for Mobile Wallet users.

It is important to strategically create marketing campaigns that will win consumers’ hearts. Through such strategies, the providers of Mobile Wallet services will be able to keep their users with them.

Source: Krungthep Turakij