Several big banks, including Wells Fargo, U.S. Bank, and PNC, are developing a digital wallet using Early Warning Service’s platform, which also runs Zelle. It will be launched later this year and aims to “address longstanding payment problems in e-commerce.” What’s more, there will be roughly 150 million Visa and Mastercard credit and debit cards connected once the digital wallet is launched. Additional card networks will be added in the future.
This new initiative will enable consumers to pay securely, without having to enter their card numbers—which can increase the risk of fraud. Increased incidences of fraud translate into an increase in rejected payments, which can negatively impact sales.
Late To the Digital Wallet Game?
The introduction of this new digital wallet poses a question of whether these banks are late to the digital wallet arena, especially since digital wallets including Apple Pay and Google Pay have been around for years. According to Jim Marous, co-publisher of The Financial Brand and host of the Banking Transformed podcast, it’s “too little, way too late. Financial institutions may participate, but it is the consumer who drives scalability.”
Many customers have already entrusted their credentials to the likes of Apple, Google, PayPal, and Amazon. And customers who heavily use mobile wallets and mobile payments have already made their choices of payment partners.
At the end of the day, it’ll come down to convenience and potentially, rewards. Marous suggested that perhaps the wallet can beef up its security and incorporate rewards into the wallet.