More and more land-based businesses are advertising that they have or are going cashless. In fact, the $1.2 billion Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, where NFL games now regularly go for the International Series in London, was built with going cashless as one of its main selling points. Of course, the last couple of years has also accelerated peoples’ desire for as little contact as possible when making payments.
The intended usurpers to the usual way of exchanging money, cash, haven’t quite been able to get the staying power that was once hoped. Now, most cryptocurrencies available are seen as investment vehicles as opposed to new ways to pay. Even if some are in parts of the world, it seems unlikely that the somewhat complicated scene would be able to go mainstream in major markets as a primary payment method.
Instead, a different form of hyper-secure digital payment method is continuing to make gains around the world: eWallets. With mobile wallets included under the umbrella, eWallets continue to grow in adoption, but what’re the driving forces for the increased trust in these services, and who are the major players?
Convenient, secure, and trusted
Initially, some saw eWallets as somewhat of an inconvenience and a service that hadn’t proven its trustworthiness. As you’re inputting your bank details and trusting them to relay your payment data online, while seemingly protecting it, it’s understandable that people were standoffish with the new technology at the time – preferring the tried-and-trusted method of just inputting card details. Now, having eWallet options is both sought after by customers and builds trust in platforms.
Consider the world of online entertainment, for example. Nowadays, whether it’s betting on sports online, purchasing goods, or even gaming, eWallet deposit, and withdrawal options are as commonplace for users as the traditional credit/debit card options. For instance, if you wanted to play live roulette online, you’d have PayPal, Skrill, Neteller, and EcoPayz available to support gameplay. The diversification of digital payment methods generally ensures universal access, more secure transactions, and therefore a more inclusive service for users. In supporting numerous eWallets, gaming websites and online platforms stand to attract a wide demographic of users.
Convenience is a big draw for these digital payment services. You only need to sign up, link your bank account to your eWallet account once, and then just use an email and password to make use of your bank account online – rather than needing to get your card out and type it all in. The additional layers of security have also become a more appealing element, with eWallets keeping all payment information highly secure. Following scandals of peoples’ payment information being stolen online, more are skeptical of typing in card details now.
Those ruling the increasingly competitive eWallet world
Most who use online payments in the English-speaking world will be very familiar with the biggest player in the eWallet game: PayPal. The company’s partnership with eBay at the start of the millennium put it on the map and helped to make eBay a much more user-friendly platform, but it’s become a much more powerful entity in its own right since.
Research into digital payment platforms finds that around 60 percent of the population makes use of eWallets, and that PayPal is most used as the primary pick. With 22 percent of respondents saying that PayPal is their primary eWallet, the company that merged with Elon Musk’s X.com in 2000 outstrips its closest main opponents significantly. Apple Pay was next on the list at 12 percent, followed by Venmo at ten percent, and the seven percent of Google Pay.
Of course, as the competition heats up and the likes of Apple Pay and Venmo make ground, leaders like PayPal need to further their service. While you’d think that offering secure online transactions is about as far as an eWallet can go, PayPal has actively enhanced its total offering. For example, in September last year, the company acquired Paidy – a Japanese buy now, pay later service – for $2.7 billion to integrate the form of payment into its service.
eWallets are very much here to stay and only look to rise in prominence with more platforms accepting their core payment methods and new expansions like buy now, pay later.