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RETAIL ENVIRONMENT

Digital wallets 'are the near future', suggests research

Retail sales using smartphones look set for a major increase in the next 12 months, according to the latest research.

Over two billion consumers worldwide will use a mobile wallet to make a payment or send money in 2019, up by almost 30 per cent on the 1.6 billion recorded in 2017.

The study from Juniper Research found that contactless card payments remain far more prevalent than mobile payments in most markets, but leading wallets are seeking to redress the balance by enabling both online and offline payment options.

Juniper also found that a number of wallets, including Orange in France, have implemented augmented payments offerings with banking services in a bid to deliver more engaging financial options for customers.

The report assessed the capabilities of nearly 20 leading mobile wallets around the world, ranking them in order. PayPal, which has recently begun offering contactless payments in-store in the US, was rated as the leading global mobile wallet provider by Juniper, closely followed by China’s Alipay. Weixin Pay/WeChat Pay ranked as third.

With regards to QR code-based payments, the study found that the payment method had seen ‘astonishing’ growth in China, while successful use cases in Europe and North America remain limited to ‘closed loop’ wallets such as those deployed by Starbucks and Wal-Mart.

Windsor Holden, author of the report, commented: “QR code based payments are likely to have significant growth in markets such as India and sub-Saharan Africa, due to the negligible implementation costs. However, their greater susceptibility to alteration to include viruses and phishing scams is likely to act as a major deterrent elsewhere.”

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