Technology is changing the world, day by day. And with each day, its reach broadens -- now, the smart phone has been introduced to two-thirds of American adults. And with those smartphones, the world of technology is reaching into an enormously consequential domain: finance. The flow of money across the globe, between individuals, institutions and vendors is incredibly lucrative for many, but there is an upstart in the traditional models of payment. Now, instead of swiping a credit card when paying for something, customers can use mobile wallets instead.
A mobile wallet, even though linked to a bank account, often is administrated by an outside source -- for example, Apple Pay. A customer paying with Apple Pay will draw money from their bank account, but use an app on their phone at the register. The upside to this is that customers no longer have to lug around all of their credit or debit cards; the downside, for financial institutions at least, is that companies that create and administrate these apps (like Apple, Google, et al.) charge fees to the banks.
Thus, banks are at a huge disadvantage -- and with the growth of mobile wallets, they stand to lose even more. If banks do not act to catch up to third-party mobile wallets, they stand to lose out on the important stream of money across the globe. However, some banks are slowly working on developing competing mobile wallets -- but they may not work, or may come to late.
For the financial institutions that are really aware of the importance of mobile wallets (like Danske Bank's MobilePay), they are taking advantage of turnkey solutions -- easily implementable systems that can help them make up ground and maintain their bottom line. Danske Bank, a leader in the field with 30,000 merchants across Scandinavia, has opted to use a solution called mBeaconPay by Netclearance. And it's working: the mobile wallet is among the top three mobile apps in the region.
So the question is really whether banks want to invest in their own success. If they use turnkey solutions like that offered by Netclearance, they stand to make up ground against third-party mobile wallets. If not, they have a long road ahead of them.