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September 29, 2017

The e-Wallet Explained

Some think of an e-wallet as the digital equivalent to the traditional leather wallet, where all you plastic cards are stored.

Others think of an e-wallet as a stored value account for a digital currency, which requires a licence. In this article, we refer to e-wallets as an app or software used by consumers to store the credentials of their:

They allow the consumer to make electronic transactions, in store or online. The payment experience is much quicker and more user-friendly way than typing in all of their payment details with every purchase.

Who Provides e-Wallets?

Technology Companies: Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Google Pay and Android Pay are all mobile e-wallets. Although they are perfectly integrated with mobile devices, consumers often find that they don’t add enough value to become their payment method of choice. 


 Limited to individual retailers, there e-Wallets are very popular in the UK and US. Starbucks is a great example that adds huge value to the user experience by allowing their customers to order in advance through their ewallet app 


Some banks connect their wallets to their customers bank accounts and cards. Examples include Paylib from a collaboration of several banks in France, MobilePay from Danskebank in Denmark, Chasepay from Chasebank in the US. 

Credit Card Providers: 

 In an effort to stay relevant, Mastercard has now launched Masterpass, whilst Visa competes with Visa Checkout. 

Social Media: 

In China, WeChat, the country's most popular social media platform has launched WeChat Pay. It easily integrates with the app to allow users to order food, make in store payments, book tickets and more.


Whether independently or collaboratively, fintechs are now offering a broad spectrum of e-wallets and other services. SEQR is one which offers exclusive deals to attract customers, or Yoyo Wallet, which connects with members loyalty card schemes.

What Does The Future Hold For e-Wallets?

The e-wallet market is still in it’s infancy stage: it is relatively new, fragmented and unpredictable. There is no clear winner out of all the products on offer. They have taken off in Asia rapidly due to:

In Europe, things have been slower to to take off. European countries love contactless cards, which are quick, convenient and never run out of battery like smartphones. In the US, the problem is mainly due to the low acceptance rates from merchants when compared to credit cards. 

Whilst it is still unclear whether any e-wallet will become as prevalent in retail as cards, they continue to develop new features frequently. Perhaps a development in the making will be able to cement e-wallets position firmly into the financial world.

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