Mobile Wallets Begin to Bulge
Hungry? No cash in your pocket? Not a problem if you were an employee at SEFCU, the $2.4 billion upstate New York credit union, during an ambitious pilot it ran last summer and fall to test an FIS mobile wallet product at Zia Maria’s Cafe at the SEFCU corporate headquarters in Albany.
The pilot met with such success that SEFCU decided to continue it beyond an initial 90 day test run.
Big benefits, said Monahan, included “the lowered interchange fee. They could process it as a PIN debit. Reduced fraud will also be a benefit.”
She acknowledged that hardware-based wallets, likely involving NFC. will probably prevail, if only because they sidestep the connectivity issues. In the meantime, said Monahan, “You will see a lot of cloud based wallets, until we have the terminals and phones with NFC chips. Cloud-based wallets will get people used to using their phones for payments. Chips make more sense; they work regardless of whether you are connected or not. But cloud-based wallets are a good interim solution.”