7 Digital Wallets for Credit Unions to Embed
The jury is still out as to which wallet technology will win the hearts of consumers and retailers. My gut tells me it’ll be a long while before we have one virtual wallet to rule them all. As the battle rages on, potential wallet providers are surfacing from some of the most unlikely places and industries.
An unintended consequence of the Durbin amendment is that many of the larger, national banks canceled their debit rewards programs as they no longer made financial sense for them. Credit unions have a unique advantage in this arena. If you offer debit rewards, that’s a great incentive to make your debit card the default payment card for your members.
Based on market research of the mobile wallet space, we think there is an opportunity for credit unions to get their cards embedded into as many of these wallets as possible.
While we know there are countless virtual wallet options available to members, we’ve highlighted seven of the more common opportunities in the market.
(1) Amazon. Let’s face it, Amazon is an e-commerce giant, and its reach just keeps growing. They’ve recently added “Pay with Amazon” that enables a payment button on partners’ websites for easier checkout. And their new mobile phone is built for easy mobile shopping. Add in grocery delivery as well as “Subscribe & Save” and you have a high-volume merchant.
(2) Starbucks. With more than 10 million active app users, this is arguably the most well-adopted and loved mobile wallet application that is currently available. You undoubtedly have members using it on a regular basis.
(3) Dunkin’ Donuts. A close runner-up to the Starbucks app, the Dunkin’ Donuts app is well-reviewed and incredibly popular among the chain’s loyal fans. Look for it to continue to grow in popularity and usage.
(4) iTunes. Every year, pundits prognosticate about if/when Apple will enter the payments space, and most agree that iTunes will be the hub for it. It is estimated that iTunes has 800 million user accounts (worldwide) and as many payment cards and account numbers tied to those accounts.
(5) Google Play. Google Wallet hasn’t quite taken off, but let’s not count Google out just yet. The Google Play store is its answer to Apple’s iTunes. As the center for Android apps, it seems like a logical pivot point for Google to expand its payments capabilities.
(6) PayPal. This one isn’t new, but its expansion to brick and mortar retailers is. Although their incentive for ACH is strong, there is untapped opportunity to get more credit union payment cards linked to members’ accounts.
(7) Direct Carrier Billing (Mobile Phone Carrier). Not often included in conversations about mobile wallets, the mobile phone carrier is playing an increasingly important role in how many consumers purchase digital content. While it may have once been relegated to games and ring tones, it is being expanded to real-world applications like event tickets and parking.
While this list may provide a good starting point, every credit union also can look for inspiration from their membership in these five ways:
- Dig into ACH and bill pay transactions to identify merchants that your members are using.
- Look for new opportunities to add your debit or credit card as a payment option.
- Exploit your competitive advantage in debit rewards programs.
- Talk to your members about these wallets. Educate them on how you can help.
- Look to your processor and MasterCard or Visa for marketing help around card-based recurring payments.
The battle is being hotly contested by a number of players in the mobile and wallet space. Hidden in the chaos is an opportunity for credit unions to get deeper engagement with their members, make their accounts a little stickier and to earn some additional interchange.