Some two dozen retailers, including heavyweights Walmart and Target, are preparing their own mobile wallet services in lieu of existing solutions like Google Wallet, Isis and PayPal, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Citing security concerns and disappointment with existing systems’ rewards and offers features, these retailers are intent on building a better system of their own – which in all likelihood is more about owning the system and reaping the rewards therein than providing a better experience for customers.
“The fight here is not about becoming the best mobile wallet provider, it’s about owning the access to the customers’ data that being a mobile wallet provider allows,” writes TechCrunch’s Sarah Perez.
Daniel Trigub, a developer at location-based mobile marketing firm Blue Bite, agrees.
“[The retailers] want that same piece of the payments pie,” Trigub told TechCrunch. “They want to own the consumer and all that data that comes with knowing who the transaction is coming from. There is ultimately a fight for user data and information.”
In effect, what the retailers will be offering is a digital, mobile version of their branded plastic credit cards. It’s understandable that they would be unwilling to give up that revenue stream with the advent of mobile commerce.
But if every retailer follows suit, the mobile wallet market could become an over-saturated mess, leading many to give up on the technology entirely in favor of the older, simpler credit card – or even non-NFC options like Square, writes Perez.
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