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The increasing adoption of digital payments by consumers globally marches on, are varying rates and typically in fits and starts. Mobile devices seem to have a solid position to capture a broad aspect of the market, with smart-phone affinity estimated between 75% and 85% of the wireless phone market in the U.S., but there are alternatives. Spendwallet is the latest in a list of devices (Plastc, Coin) being developed released to the consumers that consolidates and emulates your payment (credit, debit, prepaid) and loyalty cards in one device. Spendwallet and its peers hope to gain traction while there is anemic velocity in the market for uptake of NFC payment schemes.
While there have been many developments in payment technology over the past few years, including Apple Pay and Android Pay, none have truly broken through to attract the masses. Consumers want control of their credit and debit cards, total security and the ability to use their cards no matter where they shop. With Apple Pay and Android Pay in a limited amount of locations, consumers still need to carry all of their cards the majority of the time, so these have not been great options for most users.
Spendwallet uses technology similar to that of Samsung Pay, whereby the magnetic stripe is emulated to register on a legacy POS endpoint device. Its peer Coin has a similar approach, while Plastc is creating a modular magnetic stripe and a reconfigurable EMV chip with NFC capability as well. In many ways, the devices are filling a gap in the progression to digital payments, but how big the gap is and the need for another separate device to fill the space remain in question.
Overview by Joseph Walent, Senior Analyst, Emerging Technologies at Mercator Advisory Group
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