New research indicates credit unions need to get into the digital wallet game

by. Georgann Smith

A recent Javelin Research study provides some interesting data on digital wallets and the role financial institutions (FIs) could play regarding this emerging payments solution.

Javelin found consumer awareness and interest in digital wallets is on the rise. Interestingly, the study also concluded consumers are looking to their FIs to provide digital wallet capabilities.

According to the study, 43 percent of consumers interested in having a digital wallet would choose their primary FI as their preferred provider. Compare that to 34 percent who say they would pick PayPal and 24 percent who would choose Google.

Specifically, Javelin analyst Mary Monahan calls the digital wallet arena “…a fight for credit unions to win — or lose. [Consumers] trust their financial institutions (FIs). Whatever wallet their [FI] comes up with is the one they will adopt.”

The report points out FIs have been slow to begin offering digital wallets, while non-traditional players, such as PayPal and Google, have seen continual growth in digital-wallet usage. As Javelin Research Associate Daniel Van Dyke puts it, “The financial industry narrative is that nobody wants a mobile wallet, but that is not true. There is a strong incentive to get into this now. The mobile wallet space is not static.”

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