Mobile Wallet Leaders? Or Is It Too Early to Call?

  • By Vince Kadar
  • Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Management and technology consulting firm Carlisle & Gallagher recently announced a list of the early leaders in the mobile wallet market. The financial services focused firm assessed a group of 20 mobile wallets from across the industry including NFC, QR Codes and cloud technologies.

The study rated the offerings based on the customer experience and payment options, and named LevelUp, PayPal and Starbucks as the leaders. These, and all of the services reviewed, are solid offerings. However it is so early in North America, it’s tough to call a leader. The lesson from these three offerings is that the customer experience is paramount and will ultimately make or break the adoption and acceptance of mobile wallets.

Right now, ISIS is only in the early stages has completed trials in Salt Lake City and Austin. While the data shared from ISIS has been positive showing an increase in repeat visits and overall purchases, the jury is still out on the real success of the trials as analyst Jordan McKee in from Yankee group points out in this article from Billing World.

And meanwhile, MCX has added more merchants with Dick’s Sporting Goods and Hobby Lobby joining ranks in January. MCX is switching gears moving away from NFC and now focusing on cloud-based applications meaning the app will work on more phones.

Clearly, the promise of mobile wallets is there for North America, however, as these big players in continue to work out the infrastructure and the biggest issues such as ease of use for customers, including who pays for the service, mobile wallets will be far from the mainstream. As this article in Canadian Business points out, consumers aren’t going to use mobile wallets if they have to shoulder the cost. Only time will tell who the leaders in the mobile wallet game in North America truly are.