Wallets in the cloud

Matt Barr, head of market development, Australasia for MasterCard Worldwide

Additionally, a digital wallet should enable merchants to easily add services beyond payments, such as membership details, e-receipts and loyalty programs. These will provide value-adds for the consumer and enable the merchant to create a truly enhanced customer shopping experience.

For merchants, a digital wallet must be able to be easily integrated into their current system, without the need to change or complicate their back-end payment processes. This will mean fewer disruptions for merchants and consumers, and will reduce the hassle of upgrading to newer technologies as frequently.

Moving into the digital space can raise questions of security and privacy risks, but digital wallets have the capability to provide online equivalent of the EMV levels of protection, which is the global standard of protection for authenticating card transactions. By providing this same gold-standard of protection for consumers and merchants, all parties can be reassured that their data is processed and stored securely.

Finally, digital wallets should also provide merchants with the ability to support an omni-channel retailing ecosystem, and create a seamless customer experience — wherever they are, and however they want to pay.

As consumers increasingly move to omni-channel purchasing, they will want a digital wallet that provides the flexibility to move from the high street to online. The good news is that the technology exists today to provide these services and New Zealand will soon see this technology move from pilot stage, to being widely accessible. With smartphones having such widespread penetration across our population, it's possible that one day we will do without physical wallets and plastic cards all together and rely solely on these devices when it comes to any payment related activity.

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