Digital wallets are now hugely popular, which is perhaps unsurprising, given the pandemic and the need to keep a distance from fellow human beings in everything we do. But was Covid-19 the only reason for their spectacular growth? Neil Martin took some time with John Rutledge of HolyWally to look at how the digital wallet has come of age and what lies ahead.
It would be easy to cite the pandemic as the main reason for the phenomenal growth of digital wallets, but not so, says John.
“Looking at the data, the use of digital wallets grew by over 18% in 2018, but even before Covid-19 really hit us, in 2019, there was an amazing 40.6% growth. One year further, when Covid struck, growth leapt again, showing a 46% increase in use.
“What Covid did was to provide a further boost to what was already being welcomed by the financial consumer. Even without the added stimulus of people coping with stores and restaurants being closed, and online shopping becoming the norm, digital wallets were the right product at the right time.
“And now, as people break out of the lock down, the idea of contactless payments makes perfect sense. There’s no going back.”
Total mobile wallet transactions
The latest figures from ACI Worldwide support this argument. The total mobile wallet transactions amounted to US$102.7bn in 2020 and it is expected to touch the US$2.58 trillion mark by 2025.
So what is about digital wallets that everyone is so keen about?
John has no doubts. “They are convenient, reflect how we increasingly live our lives and are empowering for the consumer.
“And I don’t use the word empowering lightly. Digital wallets are apps that both respects privacy and offer a safer experience.”
What’s more, their high level of use is driving and shaping the market.
“For example, retailers, e-commerce merchants and companies will have to adapt to the shift and make consumer-friendly changes, driving acceptance of digital wallets which will grow their businesses. Afterall, digital wallets allow the consumer to escape the hassle of credit and debit cards, and the machines needed to enter their pin numbers.”
Digital payments through digital wallets are instant, offering customers a great way to breeze through the checkouts and escape the boring entering and re-entering of information, again and again.
So, a question for John, where does HolyWally come in with all of this? What role have they played as the use of digital wallets has dramatically escalated.
“We solve the worries for retailers and companies who want to start using digital wallets. HolyWally is a white-label digital solution provider for companies who want to offer a customised and efficient digital wallet, providing customers with a safer and convenient experience.”
So what of the future for digital wallets? A crucial factor is that they are not just the plaything of millennials. Older generations are happy to get in on the act as well.
A recent survey showed that over 50% of consumers surveyed in the 18-29 age group and 43% of customers in the 30-59 age group had already used, or would prefer to use, digital wallets in the upcoming years even when the pandemic disappears.
Contactless payment options
What’s more, consumers, especially millennials, will increasingly refuse to buy goods from a merchant, or retailer, that does not offer digital, or some contactless payment options.
“We have lots of different apps that work as digital wallets for companies, doing grunt work such as easing payments, simplifying insurance payments and bank transfers. These apps include Apple Pay, Google pay and Amazon pay, and they even offer loyalty discounts and various offers to attract customers to use their newly launched services.”
According to a further study, by 2024 four billion people will be using digital wallets of some kind across the globe. This doubles up the mobile wallet market size and is expected to hit a whopping US$3.6 billion value.
So is there anything out there that might stop the rise of the digital wallet?
John is unequivocal. “To be honest, I can’t honestly see anything out there which will hinder the growth of digital wallets. They are user-friendly, timely and up to the job. And the pandemic has acted as an endorsement, a super-heated turbo boost, if one was indeed needed.”
So what is HolyWally and John doing for the progress of digital wallets?
“The whole reasoning behind digital wallets is that they exist to make payments manageable and totally effortless. So the design has to reduce friction at the checkout. And those elements are totally dependent on a customer’s requirements and vary according to their website.
“You can attract masses by introducing new offers and loyalty discounts at first. And once they log in they will find their digital wallet convenient in so many ways that will make them love it and use it on a regular basis. After all, who doesn’t want hassle-free transactions and less stressful instant payments?”
When it comes to digital wallets, keep an eye out for the name HolyWally because when it comes to paying, they are going to make your life a lot easier.