E-wallets: more than just a means of payment

Improving the customer experience has always been a key focus for retailers, and perhaps even more so since the end of the global health crisis, when paperless payments became more widespread. Indeed, users are gradually moving away from traditional payment methods in favour of more innovative ones. The mobile wallet, with its integrated payment system, is one solution that stands out from the rest. In fact, payments made with a smartphone have increased 12-fold since 2019.  

A user-centric approach

An e-wallet is an application that allows users to shop online, pay easily in shops, transfer money between individuals, or store identification information. It makes the payment process almost seamless for the customer and enhances their shopping experience by incorporating a range of features (pre-ordering, personalised offers, etc.).  Practical and secure, the e-wallet has everything you need (and more), and is becoming increasingly important in everyday life. 

Although there are a variety of digital wallets available with different features and uses (Apple Pay, Google Pay, PayPal, Lydia or Scan&Go), they all have one thing in common: they aim to replace what people currently put in their ‘physical’ wallets, allowing brands to digitise any medium, from payment cards to loyalty cards. The e-wallet also boosts customer engagement by sending push notifications to mobile phones to advertise promotional offers. The use of QR codes also helps to increase purchases.  

According to the 2021 Mobile Wallets Report, e-wallets will continue to grow in popularity, with an estimated 60% of the world’s population using them by 2026. 

E-wallets of the future

Technology plays a key role in the evolution of shopping and, more specifically, digital wallets. A new generation of e-wallets based on artificial intelligence, digital identifiers and smartphones, is set to emerge. AI-powered financial assistants will offer ultra-personalised solutions and budget automation. Mobile wallets will become digital IDs and a place to store documents. 

But with intense and ever-changing competition, mobile wallet providers will have to design and develop new services to stand out while taking into account the unique characteristics, expectations and environment of their end users. For example, the integration of BNPL (Buy Now, Pay Later) services can provide lower cost payment splitting options for users, while the advent of connected speakers (e.g. Amazon Echo, Google Nest) opens the door to new possibilities in the field of voice-assisted payments (e.g. Alexa or Siri). 

Payment should therefore not be a source of concern when making a purchase, but rather a key tool to be leveraged. And this is where the e-wallet comes into play.  Its strength lies not only in the digitisation of payments, but also in its ability to create smoother, more seamless shopping experiences, while enabling retailers to develop value-added services through the use of data. 

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