How many digital wallets do I need to sign up to?

No primary category set

I can remember a time when Voice over IP (VoIP) was the most heavily fought over service on the Internet. Companies like Cisco and Motorola sold hardware costing tens of thousands of pounds and they had a ton of competition from smaller manufacturers. Consumers happily used instant messengers with voice capabilities from the likes of Yahoo!, AOL, ICQ and Microsoft. None of these solutions could talk to a competing client because every company wanted to win the market.

They all lost, years later a little company called Skype came along and conquered the voice over IP market and now you don’t initiate a “VoIP call” you simply “Skype” someone. Sure Google Talk is out there, but the majority of the world is on Skype.

There was no need for Skype to win the VoIP market, if manufacturers had cooperated instead of working to block competitors integrating with their technology they could perhaps have all been winners, and now the same situation is developing with payments.

PayPal is of course pretty much the defacto payment system today, at least on eBay. As they start to develop digital wallet solutions others are chasing fast. Google has had a go with Google Checkout/Google Wallet and not got very far, but there are far bigger payments companies breathing down their necks.

I constantly see adverts for Barclay’s new Ping It app on the TV (I hate to think how much they’re spending, but it’s an elegant solution if you want to do bank to bank transfers in the UK). Mastercard also have a new wallet out (an extension to PayPass) similar to from Visa and Serve from Amex.

Competing payments companies are arguing over the pros (ease of use and security) and cons (no one has the hardware in place) of Near Field Communications (NFC). Other companies like PayPal are ignoring NFC completely and looking to other solutions and Square can even operate based on a picture of your face for verification of a transaction.

What’s bothering me though is how many digital wallets will I need in the future? One retailer will accept my PayPal wallet whilst another will take Google Wallet. I’ll go for a meal and pay with Square and my face, but my mates will want to send me their share of the bill with Barclay’s Ping It. One awkward chum will have Amex and another will be on

I just want one digital wallet that serves everyone. I want interoperability in payments and be able to send and receive payments from my digital wallet regardless of what solution you use. I don’t care if you prefer Google, Square or even Nochex, I just want to be able to pay you.

In offline payments I’ve never yet been told I can’t pay by Visa because the merchant prefers Mastercard. How can we be allowing a situation where I can’t pay with Google Checkout because the merchant prefers PayPal?

One Response

  1. I’m also reading elsewhere that the registration process for Barclays Ping It is a massive strain.


Win tickets to the Olympic Games Paris 2024

Win tickets to the Olympic Games Paris 2024

New Mastercard Shopping Muse AI-based shopping tool

New Mastercard Shopping Muse AI-based shopping tool

PayPal USD Stablecoin launched pegged to US$

PayPal USD Stablecoin launched pegged to US$

German Customers switch on to PayPal

German Customers switch on to PayPal


PayPal Return Shipping on Us scrapped

ChannelX Guide...

Featured in this article from the ChannelX Guide – companies that can help you grow and manage your business.


Take a look through a selection of the latest articles on ChannelX

Register for Newsletter

Receive 5 newsletters per week

Gain access to all research

Be notified of upcoming events and webinars