Digital Wallet Wars

State of Digital Wallets – Part 16/16

 

This post, “Digital Wallet Wars,” is an excerpt from a report entitled The Current and Future State of Digital Wallets, which is being shared here as a 16-part series. Download a copy of the report. Read a complete summary.

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As a short conclusion, we’ll discuss the upcoming Digital Wallet Wars. The ongoing Browser Wars have seen billions of dollars of investment and breaking changes regularly. However, by and large, web browsers work and are mostly interchangeable.

In any case, as browsers add Digital Wallet capabilities, the incompatibility and feature mismatch will increase again, bringing on the Digital Wallet Wars.

Likewise, the pure Digital Wallet realm will go through a similar process – with many players coming into play and vanishing (remember Mosaic? or Netscape?)

​I Want To Build My Own

Very few companies can afford to build a Digital Wallet of their own. Right now, the advantage is on the major mobile operating systems (e.g. Apple iOS and Google Android) and the most prominent smartphone builders (e.g. Samsung, possibly Huawei or LG).

For now, there is a multitude of small startups that are creating Digital Wallet capabilities. As a result, the list is enormous, but the projects to look at include:

  • Sovrin Wallet. The Sovrin Foundation is open-sourcing a Wallet as part of its efforts. This Wallet, anchored to the Sovrin Network, provides a secure and decentralized way to store and manage identity information.
  • Evernym – creators of the initial Sovrin Wallet, they have Connect.Me as a (free) commercial offering.
  • Pillar. Although leaning towards crypto, it offers exciting features like managing contacts (notionally) and secured chat channels.
  • Blockcerts. An application for managing verifiable credentials; has some interesting potential uses.

For those who want to build their own, I recommend re-thinking that idea. Stepping into the space of the Digital Wallet is a huge endeavour: be sure it is an area you need to control. Otherwise, push influence instead.

​Surviving The Wallet Wars – Push the Standards

The Wallet Wars are going to take a while to shake out. As different players introduce new features, it will be helpful to monitor where each player makes moves. This will allow you to stay ahead of the curve and keep your features competitive. The best way to ensure your Organization is kept safe is to see which capabilities are most important and push the players to create standards that allow you some portability. The ecosystem will never realize complete portability, but you can minimize the pain of moving to a new provider by insisting that basic Standards are supported.

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This post, “Digital Wallet Wars,” is an excerpt from a report entitled The Current and Future State of Digital Wallets, which is being shared here as a 16-part series. Download a copy of the report. Read a complete summary.

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Also published on Medium.

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