Op-Ed: Check, Please! — The Rise of Mobile Wallets

Op-Ed  Check, Please — The Rise of Mobile WalletsThe following is guest contributed post by Deidre Bakker-Riches, owner of a boutique marketing firm and consultancy, Twlv31 Marketing, and the Head of Communications for Las Vegas advertising agency, Up All Day Creative Solutions (originally published by Mobile Leaders Alliance).

We’ve all been there — you go to a store, gas station or restaurant to discover they only accept certain types of credit cards, or even worse, only cash. Incredibly frustrating! But nowadays, our world has fortunately evolved to accommodate our never-ending digital needs and the yearning to eliminate an unnecessarily thick and bulky wallet. This is where mobile apps have once again proven themselves to be increasingly valuable while working with something most us always carry around, our smartphones.

The world of mobile wallets has already made an impression in today’s society and is only expected to gain more traction with brands like Apple and Google leading the charge. In fact, the global mobile wallet market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 127.5% by 2020 according to Allied Market Research. Rather than trying to stuff all of your various credit and debit cards in your wallet and bringing them everywhere you go, your mobile device can store all of your payment information securely and conveniently in one single app. With this technology, customers can easily make purchases without needing to pull out your credit card for each and every sale. You can also store all of your gift cards, coupons, bank information and other information in certain apps to make matters even more convenient. Though, when utilizing a payment app, it is imperative you select a reputable and secure company.

Here is an overview of some of the top mobile wallets available today:

Apple Pay

Launched in September 2014, Apple Pay is a mobile payment feature that runs only on the iPhone 6. Apple Pay uses Apple’s Touch ID pared with NFC technology to process transactions. Apple Pay works by tapping your phone on a payment terminal and putting your finger on the home button for Touch ID. Users can see the credit cards they’ve added in the Passbook app where the information is stored in the iPhone 6’s new Secure Element chip. When you add a card, Apple doesn’t store the information on its own servers or give it to the merchant.

Apple Pay is currently accepted at a variety of grocery stores, shops, restaurants, hotels, and in the App Store.

Google Wallet

Launched in September 2011, Google Wallet allows users to store all debit, credit, gift, and loyalty cards in their Google accounts — meaning you can access these cards and make purchases through your phone, tablet, or desktop. Google Wallet users can also send money to friends and pay for apps in the Play Store.

Google Wallet can also be used to pay at physical locations using the Google Wallet at millions of Debit MasterCard® locations or with the “Tap and Pay” feature with Android phones. You can also use the card to withdraw cash at an ATM and you’ll received instant notifications directly to your phone. More importantly, Google Wallet comes with 24/7 fraud monitoring in the U.S. to help make it secure.

Android Pay

Recently announced at the Annual Developer Conference in June 2015, Android Pay took its cue from Apple Pay. The new digital wallet will soon let users add credit or debit cards into the app and then you can use Android Pay in stores or through apps for purchases. With Android Pay, you just unlock your phone, place it near a contactless terminal, tap and then pay. Your loyalty points and offers are also automatically applied at checkout through certain merchants.

As a new product, the list of participating retailers is still growing, but Android’s website states Android Pay will soon be accepted at hundreds of thousands of stores and Android apps.


LoopPay can store thousands of credit and debit cards from all banks and issuers, along with gift, loyalty and private label cards, such as Starbucks, Target, Macy’s and more. Unlike Google Wallet and Apple Pay that use NFC to process transactions, LoopPay allows users to store all of their cards on phones and pay using either a small key fob or a charge case designed specifically for the iPhone.

LoopPay’s technology works at most places because stores and restaurants don’t require special equipment to accept payments with your LoopPay enabled smartphone or device. To view all of LoopPay products and pricing, click here.


Created by Merchant Customer Exchange, a group of retailers that includes 7-Eleven, Best Buy, CVS Health, Lowe’s, Michael’s, Target, Walmart and more, CurrentC allows customers to use their smart phones to pay for things through your checking account, and select merchant gift cards, credit and debit accounts. You can also add your existing merchant reward programs and you’ll continue earning loyalty points through your purchases.

CurrentC processes every transaction across multiple secure checkpoints and your financial data is never stored or shared during transactions. One caveat, CurrentC is currently invite-only, but you can sign-up to be added to the waiting list.

This just scratches the surface when it comes to the mobile wallets available and the list is just expected to keep growing as technology continues to advance. While mobile wallets and other payments apps won’t necessarily replace all of your credit and debit cards, this latest evolution in mobile technology certainly provides you with freedom and convenience, while also freeing up much needed space in your purse and wallets.