This blog post began as a mission to compare and contrast mobile wallet systems. Instead, it became a survey of why mobile wallets are not more popular. The reason is not that we’re lacking choice in the mobile wallet economy. We can choose from Amazon Wallet, Apple Pay, Coin, Google Wallet, LoopPay, and Verizon’s Softcard, among others.
Why Aren’t Mobile Wallets More Popular in the US? and The Future Of Mobile Digital Wallet Technology in the UK: Lindsay Konsko at NerdWallet speculates on why the United States lags other countries in adopting virtual wallet technology; then Kristopher Arcand at Forrester explains why the UK lags the US.
Why Mobile Wallets Are Failing and Will Keep Failing: Kyle Chayka at Pacific Standard Magazine maintains that mobile wallets won’t be universally accepted by smartphone users until they are universally accepted by merchants.
The Mobile Moments of Opportunity (Or Why Mobile Wallets Haven’t Caught On): Ron Shevlin at Snarketing 2.0 has a different theory about what’s holding back adoption. He says, mobile wallets are “digitizing the existing set of capabilities” and missing opportunities to help consumers make smarter decisions about how they spend their money before the payment and manage their money after the payment.
How Apple Pay Works and Why It Matters for Developers: John Beatty at Clover Developers Blog says that mobile wallet technology has reached a tipping point. With Apple Pay, a popular operating system can make payments a platform service for real-world transactions in a way that is compatible with mainstream payments processing.
Bringing Mobile Wallets to Nigerian Farmers: In a success story for mobile wallets, Bolaji Akinboro at the CGAP Blog (the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor) describes a mobile wallet network developed by Cellulant that extends to 8 million farmers across thousands of villages in Nigeria. Less than 10% of these farmers have bank accounts, so the mobile wallet transfers government fertilizer subsidies directly to them.