Digital wallets were first created back in 1997, with Coca Cola allowing customers to purchase a can from a vending machine in Helsinki by sending a text. Unsurprisingly we have come a long way since then. As the number of mobile users exploded, so did the amount of digital payments being made via the cellphone.
In 2011, using NFC technology, Google launched the first mobile wallet – enabling consumers to pay, earn points and redeem coupons directly from their phone. Even though only a limited number of merchants accepted this novel payment method with only one specific phone model, its popularity spread quickly, leading to the launch of Apple Pay in 2014.
Since then, digital wallets have rapidly evolved including PayPal, Samsung Pay, GrabPay and many more, with 2.7 billion consumers predicted to be using a mobile wallet globally in 2022.
So, what’s the magic behind these digital wallets?
Contactless payment technology allows you to pay with your mobile device instead of your physical wallet, where your credit card or virtual card is on your smartphone. For example, in the case of Apple Pay, your iPhone or Google Pay, your Android. These mobile wallets support a number of credit card companies, including your very own Mesh card. All you need to do is enter your virtual card information into your e-wallet and you can go ahead and make payments with your phone.
How Do They Benefit My Company?
Probably the biggest advantage to using digital wallets is reducing the security risk. The user doesn’t have to give out any personal information or bank account details to the merchant, as these details are stored in the e-wallet. Most mobile wallets are protected with passwords and biometrics, making it difficult for anyone else to make payments.
Furthermore, card details are replaced with a number or token so that the retailer never has direct access to your cards. In the case of Apple Pay, the device account number is assigned, encrypted and securely stored in the secure element, a dedicated chip in the iPhone and Apple Watch. This token is passed on to the merchant when a purchase is made. Finally, you are less likely to lose your mobile device compared to your wallet or credit card.
Living in a Covid-19 era, minimizing physical contact has never been more important. The buyer and the retailer don’t need to pass the card back and forth or touch any buttons. You simply swipe your phone and the purchase is done.
Ease of Payment
Consumers can leave their wallets at home with mobile payments. Making a transaction is immediately followed by the transfer of money and the retailer can process the order and send it out straight away. The payment process is over in a matter of seconds.
How do virtual cards work with mobile wallets?
If your organization is using virtual cards, any employee can make a corporate payment, such as buying food in a restaurant or office supplies, without worrying about waiting for approvals or collecting hoards of receipts. All these payments will easily be tracked and controlled so that you won’t need to chase after anyone at the end of the month. You can also set limits to the virtual cards and tag them so that only specific transactions can be made, avoiding misuse of cards.