There have been a number of announcements recently around eWallet and payment apps.
Google wallet for iOS launched late last month. No NFC on iPhones, so the real focus of the app is to send payments from party to party with email, get local deals, and store all of your loyalty cards on your phone. The app is a bit underwhelming without payments. In Canada, we’ve been sending cash to each other via Interac email transfers for years. They go directly from your bank account; no need to load money into an account, and why would anyone stash cash anywhere other than a bank account? Many banks in Canada offer Interac email transfers for free and even via SMS in the banking mobile apps. via engadget.
PayPal released PayPal Beacon last month to simplify mobile payments for consumers. To drive other options on mobile, PayPal also updated their app with a new service called Payment Code. This service works with the PayPal mobile app. At point of tender, the app provide the user a 2D barcode retailers can scan for payment to be transferred from customer to retailer. The code is apparently readable by retailers on the Discover network or with certain banks. Sites without a scanner-imager can type a 4 digit code provided instead. Great to have so many options, but will consumers and retailers alike be able to wade through yet another tender option? Time will tell. In the right market and demographic it could work.
Making Amazon kind of an eWallet for the Internet, Amazon recently released Pay with Amazon. Using this service, eCommerce retailers can leverage the massive user database and payments engine of Amazon to enable payments on their own website through Amazon. That means that you can login to an eCommerce website with your Amazon login, and pay the same way you do with the Amazon eCommerce site. Looking at the economics, setting up payments and leveraging the Amazon infrastructure may seem like an appealing idea to smaller eCommerce retailers initially, but do they really want to let Amazon know that their eCommerce site is growing by leaps and bounds. Would they like Amazon to have a list of all of their customers and what they buy to expand their database of understanding? That could be a tough sell.