mobile app development

Mobile Wallets. What do App Developers Need to Know?

According to JuniperResearch.com, “A new study from Juniper Research has found that the number of mobile wallets using contactless technology is expected to reach 200 million by the end of 2016, representing growth of more than 100% from the end of 2014.”

According to NFCWorld.com, “Almost one in six US consumers (15%) have used a mobile wallet in the past six months, up from 9% in the same period in 2013, and an additional 22% are likely to adopt mobile wallet functionality in the coming six months, a study released by market research and consulting firm Chadwick Martin Bailey has found.”

These figures clearly indicate the rapidly growing usage and adaption of mobile wallet services. At present, users also have option to choose from a wide range of mobile wallets including Apple Pay, Android Pay, PayPal and Samsung Pay. Some of these mobile wallets services like PayPal are accessible on any mobile device, while others can be accessed on specific mobile platforms or devices. But each mobile wallet app is designed with features to convert the user’s smartphone or tablet into a digital version of physical wallet.

A user can download the specific mobile wallet app to make their mobile commerce transactions fast, convenient and secure. In addition to carrying digital information about the user’s debit and credit cards, the mobile wallet app can also store coupons, vouchers and loyalty cards. That is why; it becomes essential for mobile app developers to understand the important aspects mobile wallets to create robust apps that enable users to carry out mobile commerce and social commerce transactions without using cash, net banking or debit/credit cards.

Understanding Important Aspects of Mobile Wallets

Kinds of Mobile Wallets
The users have option to choose from four distinct types of mobile wallets, i.e., open, closed, semi-open and semi-close. In addition to making payment for products or services purchased by him, the user can use the open mobile wallets for ATM cash withdrawals and money transfers. On the other hand, the closed mobile wallets can be used for making payment for goods or services purchased from a specific web store or retailer.

Both semi-open and semi-closed mobile wallets do not allow users to withdraw cash from ATMs and banks. But a user can use his semi-open mobile wallet to make payment to the merchants who are in partnership with the issuing company. The semi-closed mobile wallets can be used only for making payment to only to listed merchants and at listed locations. So it is important for mobile app developers to ensure that the user can make payment using any kind of mobile wallet.

Primary Functionality
The latest mobile devices come with built-in mobile wallets. However, the user also has option to download and install various mobile wallets on his device. Once the mobile wallet is installed, the user has to add his debit/credit card information to the application. Also, he can directly transfer funds to his mobile wallet account through net banking or debit/credit cards. While making payment, the user has option to choose the debit/credit card or access the mobile wallet directly. He can further make payment at conventional retail outlets and stores by holding the mobile device at the merchant’s payment terminal. Thus, the mobile wallet is designed as a container to store the specific digitalized information of users.

Authentication
Each customer can use his mobile wallet to make payment at both web and local stores. But he has to go through an authentication process before accessing the digitalized values stored in the container. He will be required to enter a pin, password or fingerprint to access the digitalized values and make payment through the application. So the mobile app developers must allow users to choose from a number of authentication options. Also, they need to ensure that each authentication option identifies the user accurately.

Security
As a digital vault, a mobile wallet stores a variety of sensitive user data. The information stored inside the container can be used for performing both online financial frauds and identity thefts. So the security wallets are designed with robust security features. The app developers have to use encryption techniques to ensure that the sensitive information of users remain fully secure and inaccessible. Also, they need to add features to the app to hide the full card number from merchants. It is also important for programmers to add an extra security layer to the application to gain the trust of customers within a shorter amount of time.

Loyalty Program
The users also have option to store their merchant loyalty program card in the mobile wallets. So the app developers need to ensure that the customer can take advantage of the merchant loyalty program without any hassle. They must design the app with features to make it easier for users to collect, redeem and manage their loyalty program points. The feature will contribute towards making the mobile app popular by delivering richer user experience.

Digital Coupons
Like merchant loyalty program cards, digital coupons are also hugely popular among modern customers. Many customers even store these digital coupons in their mobile wallets. So the developers must include features in the mobile apps to enable merchants offer coupons, discounts, promotions and daily deals to customers. At the same time, the app must enable customers to redeem these coupons in a secure and convenient way. However, the app developers must focus on matching the digital coupons to specific card issuers and targeted customer segments.

Additional Features
The app developers also need to explore ways to make their mobile wallet application different from similar applications. They can include some simple features to make the app deliver distinct and rich user experience. For instance, they can include features in the app to generate virtual receipts and send the digital receipts to customers through emails. The feature will speed up the checkout process, while making the paperless transactions. Likewise, the developers can use the mobile wallet service as a tool to identify the exact location of the customer, and encourage him to visit the nearest retail outlet through in-store promotions.

However, the developers also need to understand the features of each kind of mobile wallets. While creating an app, they have to check if the mobile wallet is open, closed, semi-open or semi-closed. At the same time, they also need to focus on the security features of the app to keep mobile transactions 100% safe and secure.

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