by Ron Shevlin
Credit card marketers are well versed in the concept of the “top of wallet” card. The idea is simple: With so many Americans walking around with multiple credit (and now debit and prepaid) cards, issuers want their card to be top of wallet — the one that consumers pull out most often when paying for something.
Although current interest in digital wallets among US consumers is pretty low, there’s a new competitive dynamic that will emerge over the next few years: The desire among providers to be the “top of phone” (digital) wallet.
Digital wallets will try to influence consumers’ choice of payment mechanism, as well as what they buy and where. The development of the digital wallet ecosystem — the FIs, merchants/retailers, telcos, and technology companies — will be a critical determinant of what functionality will be provided, how effective the wallet is, and who will and won’t succeed with their digital wallet offering.
If you’re developing a digital wallet today and expect that card emulation is the goal here, you should go back to sleep. If your digital wallet simply stores card numbers, and passwords/IDs and things like that, lean in a little closer so I can smack you upside your head.