What is Mobile Wallet Technology?
Mobile wallets use near-field communication (NFC) chips inside mobile smart phones and tablets
to transmit payment information. When a customer is ready to pay using a mobile wallet, they open
an app on their smart phone or other device. The customer then enters a PIN and selects the payment
account they wish to use, along with any special offers or customer reward programs they want to apply.
At the time of payment, they simply tap their device to an enabled payment terminal, and the payment
information is transmitted.
Competition within the mobile wallet space is just getting started. Currently, there are two notable
mobile wallet providers that have the potential to dominate the space in the near term – Google Wallet
and Softcard™. Google Wallet, which launched last year, has opened its acceptance to all major payment
brands to try to gain wider adoption. Softcard is a joint venture between AT&T™, T-Mobile®, and Verizon™.
Softcard's carrier backing is a key factor differentiating it from other mobile wallet offerings and could
make or break its success in the ever evolving mobile wallet space.