Mobile Wallets Hold Super App Clues

Whether it’s food, finances, or tickets to a football game, America’s highly connected consumers want it fast and they want it easy.

While the ability to get pretty much anything done digitally has never been easier, the ability to do it in one place is still highly limited, at least in the US, where the typical mobile users will switch between a dozen different apps (or more) each day.

Unlike much of Asia, where super apps like WeChat and AliPay have been at the center of daily life and commerce for nearly a decade, an American version of the digital one-stop-shop has not yet emerged.

From Just Around the Corner to Being Just Around the Corner

But some clues suggest maybe the US isn’t as far away as many critical observers might think. Start with the fact that PYMNTS research shows that digital wallets are catching on in a big way, according to findings in “The Mobile Wallet Challenge: Replacing Physical With Digital.”

Within this increasingly mobile realm, an all-in-one ecosystem has the potential to be a highly attractive, captive commerce environment.

This, as US and UK supermarket retailers increasingly tell PYMNTS they are planning to add mobile-first payment options to their grocery checkout suite and within their own apps.

What might come next? Maybe it’s healthy eating recommendations in supermarkets, video-chat nutritional consultations linked to grocery lists, or intra-platform communication with a smart fridge at home to see what’s needed. That sure sounds like a “super” idea to us.

Digital wallets that do more for their users provide an attractive strategy for establishing and accelerating long-term loyalty relationships with customers, offering audiences seamless payment and ticketing experiences, financial education tools and other supplemental lifestyle benefits.

Despite the Western world’s more siloed approach to digital platforms, PYMNTS research shows that 96 million consumers across the US, the UK, Australia and Germany are “highly interested” in a super app providing digital infrastructure support for their daily lives.

The 5G Connection

With nearly every adult consumer carrying some type of smartphone, the next big leap in the digital wallet and eventual super app viability is ensuring better connections, faster transfer speeds and expanded broadband network access.

Those are key promises of 5G networks — another area where the East again leads the West.

But the most watched sporting event in the US may offer further clues for how the West can catch up.

We’re talking, of course, about the Super Bowl. Verizon has spent two years preparing this year’s host stadium with the latest 5G tech, offering ticket holders whose phones offer 5G capability unparalleled speed and connectivity as they pay for concessions and share pictures with friends, family and social media followers.

Digital wallets have become a convenient way for users to store loyalty and rewards cards, transportation and event tickets, and even driver’s licenses. February’s upcoming battle between the AFC and NFC’s top teams will provide a critical testing ground for the utility of these next-generation, mobile-based services.

Let’s hope it’s a touchdown.

The Way the World Transacts Is Moving to Mobile-First

Super apps like WeChat make most of their money through mobile payment integrations, and the West has historically lagged the East in digital payment and mobile wallet adoption.

One of the biggest trends tracked by PYMNTS has been the rise of the financial super appa next-generation digital bank that goes above and beyond basic banking app features users have come to expect.

And it’s true that consumers across the Western hemisphere are increasingly reaching for the phone in their front pocket, not their wallet in the back, to pay for daily goods and services.

More than half of Gen Z consumers say mobile wallets can replace their physical wallets.

Even the iconic New York City MetroCards are set to be phased out in favor of OMNY’s digital-forward tap-to-pay solutions.

The next frontier in digital wallet use needs to move beyond payments to enhance the value proposition with a range of features to make consumers’ everyday lives easier.

In the moment interview with PYMNTSMarkus Kilb, CEO of mobile wallet provider TWINT, explained that in his company’s view, “it’s not just about payments, but it’s also about things around payments, or what we call, beyond payments.”

Interoperability has long been a guiding principle for driving the adoption of technology. As Western platforms begin realizing the vision of a single, integrated mobile experience that spans multiple consumer activities — their solutions are beginning to look more and more like a super app.

For more information on super apps and the emergent consumer behavior behind their adoption, download PYMNTS’ free report, “Super Apps For The Super Connected.”

PYMNTS Data: Why Consumers Are Trying Digital Wallets

A PYMNTS study, “New Payments Options: Why Consumers Are Trying Digital Wallets” finds that 52% of US consumers tried out a new payment method in 2022, with many choosing to give digital wallets a try for the first time.

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