Digital Wallet Trends in 2021: How Digital Wallets Are Changing The Payment Landscape

Talha Tamboli | September 30, 2021

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In the past couple of years, we have witnessed a new trend in the payment industry – digital wallets. The European Central Bank came up with a report saying that consumers prefer digital wallets over cash and they also see a future where cheques will become a thing of the past.  So, there is a clear shift from physical to virtual money that is going on in the payments industry, and business owners have to react faster to stay competitive in this era of digital transformation.

We are so familiar with seeing “Cash” as one of the payment methods, but the truth is, the world will be changing towards digital payments. And it isn’t that hard to understand why. Cash is inconvenient, subject to theft, not safe for all users, cannot be used by people who are blind, and becomes less efficient with growing traffic.

There are different ways to pay the bills online. With PayPal, credit cards, Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay leading the way, it’s hard to understand what is happening with digital wallets. Below are some of the Digital Wallet trends that show how digital wallets are changing the way customers pay every day.

Biometric Authentication to rise:

The digital wallet is gradually becoming a more mainstream concept along with Biometric Authentication. Whether it’s lack of physical cash, or the need to access funds from different accounts, the average person now understands the importance of storing their debit cards, credit cards, and even private banking information in a secure app.

Digital wallets, which store card details and other personal information, are convenient, but safety is still a key. As a result, biometric security is making waves, as are new security features, such as fingerprint scanning, face recognition, heartbeat analysis, vein mapping, etc.

Biometric authentication is steadily gaining popularity with digital wallets, integrating it with the most famous two-step verification. Security experts have looked into the feasibility of using fingerprints, irises, and heartbeats as verification methods for a safe and successful transaction on customer’s wallets. In addition, several banks are testing facial recognition technology, while Visa and Mastercard are testing vein mapping.

The QR Code entangled in Digital Wallet:

QR codes are everywhere these days. They prove to be extremely useful in multiple industries, including the FinTech industry, retail, transportation, and entertainment. The digital wallet is transforming the way customers make and receive payments. QR codes turn the phone into a payment portal — just like a credit card or cash — and are already a common sight in stores, hotels, events and more. But QR codes aren't just about making payments easier. They are a powerful marketing tool for online stores, allowing them to insert enticing offers directly into their store windows.

Because QR codes are encoded in the barcode's image, they can be incorporated into any design, making them a highly effective marketing tool. QR codes are especially effective on short-term promotions, such as a newspaper ad with a code that links to a shoppable page on the store's website.

QR codes are simple to create and incur no extra expenses. Businesses can generate it quickly and start using it for various platforms, and they can be reused and recycled, making them a cost-effective alternative. QR codes are widely applicable to sellers of all sizes, from big e-commerce shops to tiny retail enterprises.

Due to its high usability and inexpensiveness, we can conclude that digital wallets will be incomplete without QR codes.

AI and ML to keep your wallet safe:

For many industries, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) are already securing the way we do business, from healthcare to transportation. Now, they're taking the digital wallet world by storm.
AI and ML-based tools and systems are helping businesses detect and prevent fraud. They’re also helping banks manage risk more effectively by spotting anomalies and behaviour that could indicate fraud or money laundering. According to Deloitte, AI and ML-based tools will power 60% of financial fraud detection systems by 2025.

“We're seeing technology advance and be commoditized in a way that we've never really seen before with the advancements around artificial intelligence and cloud capability, or even the revolution that we're seeing within the core banking sphere is really changing what financial services actually means.” 

-David Brear, CEO and Co-founder at 11:FS

AI and ML-based fraud detection tools are already being used in a variety of ways. For example, you can use them to monitor customer transactions in the digital wallet and spot fraudulent or unusual activity. They can also monitor customer behavior patterns, such as unusual logins or patterns of spending across multiple digital wallet platforms.

AI and ML-based tools can also improve fraud prevention in digital wallets by making predictions based on information that’s already available, such as payment history and transaction patterns. For example, an AI-based tool might analyze a customer’s payment history, say, and predict when the customer is about to miss a payment.

NFC (Near Field Communication) in Digital Wallets:

Convenience has overtaken security as the key driver in contactless payments. We all like paying with contactless cards because you don't need a PIN. A contactless card is like a credit card without a magnetic stripe on the back.NFC (Near Field Communication) payments, like Apple Pay, work with NFC-enabled POS (point of sale) devices already installed in millions of stores.

The consumer benefits of contactless payments are clear. Merchants embrace NFC technology because it enables shoppers to quickly pay for items by tapping their phones on special readers. NFC technology also reduces the time spent at checkout, and it's secure, as only authorized users can use their smartphones. In addition, contactless payments reduce fraud, save time and improve the checkout experience.  As a result, the adoption of contactless payments in digital wallets is on the rise.

MasterCard estimates contactless payments will represent 10% of all digital transactions in 2021, rising to 36% in 2027. The convenience of contactless payments has surpassed security concerns, eventually forcing merchants to upgrade their POS devices.

Merchants with older POS devices can't accept contactless payments. So, they have to upgrade their hardware to NFC-enabled devices. With more advanced POS devices, retailers can protect their customers' card data by using point-to-point encryption (P2PE), which encrypts card data before it's sent to the POS device.

Cloud technology to the rescue

Cloud technology is becoming pervasive, and it's changing the way companies do business. Cloud computing allows businesses to run several applications on a single server, and it's increasingly being used to increase operational efficiency.

Cloud usage isn't limited to large enterprises. Small and medium-sized businesses are also jumping on the bandwagon, and there's one area in particular accounts for a big part of the cloud market: payments.

Today, companies are using cloud computing to make digital payments. As customers become more accustomed to the idea of making payments through digital payment methods, many vendors are creating digital wallets that can be accessed and payments can be made through a number of channels. This is increasing convenience for customers and suppliers.

Digital payments, however, aren't without their drawbacks. Late payment, for example, is one of the biggest problems that businesses face. With traditional payment processing, payments take several days to clear, and customers often find themselves unable to pay their bills on time.

But thanks to cloud technology, digital wallets can be configured to clear payments almost immediately. This eliminates the risk of late payments, allowing businesses to provide a better customer experience.

The Takeaway

The digital payments market has been dominated by centralized payment service providers (PSPs) and fintech. Still, recent developments have made it clear that the market will broaden to embrace new forms of payment. In 2020, we saw a boom in digital wallets, with companies like Apple, Google, Samsung, Alibaba, PayPal, WeChat, Alipay, and Stripe providing payment solutions.

However, the pandemic has shown that customers need applications, and apps require merchants and payment providers. Therefore, we anticipate digital wallets to grow much more in the coming years.


What is the future of digital wallets?

Digital wallets offer retailers a more diverse and efficient way to manage payments. They will likely see particular use in the food and beverage industry, where customers often buy expensive items. 37% of retailers currently support mobile payments at the point of sale, according to a recent survey by Javelin Strategy & Research, and 20% of consumers currently use their smartphone for payments which is increasing as days pass.

What are the benefits of digital wallets?

Mobile payments have come a long way in recent years, so it's easy to whip out your phone and buy a coffee, beer or hot dog using just your phone. But that's only the beginning. Digital wallets give users more control over their spending, security and convenience. For instance, people can set up automatic payments from their wallets. This feature helps users save money and enables them to pay off their debts on time.

Will digital wallets be mandatory in the future?

If digital wallets can provide convenience to the customers and the retailers, it's more about adopting and not forcing anyone to adopt this technology. With more convenience for the customers to pay through digital wallets, and easy transaction handling for the retailers, digital wallets will be more of a handy technology rather than making it mandatory for transactions. It will be mandatory for a successful business.

Are digital wallets more secure or not?

Most digital wallets use a secure tokenization system. Instead of storing your actual credit card number, a token is created that's used instead. Then, when you make a purchase, the token is verified on the merchant's end, who then sends the token to your bank or credit card company. Digital wallets like Apple Pay, Android Pay, Samsung Pay and PayPal Pay let you pay using your iPhone, Android, smartphone or tablet.


Lighter Capital

Lighter Capital is a fintech company that has created a new fundraising path for early-stage tech companies. We understand that an entrepreneur’s two greatest constraints are time and money, and we’ve developed a funding instrument that solves for both. We provide founders up to $3 million of non-dilutive growth capital in a fraction of the time it takes to raise from traditional sources. Based in Seattle, we've invested over $100 million in more than 275 companies across the US.


Effective Use of Intent Data for Financial Institutions

Article | June 30, 2021

The world began its course to become a digital open book after the internet came into existence. With almost everything available for purchase, the internet has brought the world to the buyer's doorstep. With the purchase, comes the data, and with effective use of the data collected within a period, any industry can speculate the buyer’s journey and take compelling steps to attract the buyer. Looking at the facts, around 93% of purchases start with internet research. Intent data is the name of the collection of the behavioral signals that a user shows while purchasing anything. This data helps businesses be available at the right time and the right place to pitch their product to the customer who is already interested in buying what they are selling. Businesses can analyze these signals, accurately understand where the prospect is in its buying journey and can give a solution to the problem. With intent data, even financial institutions can up their game and generate greater ROI while accurately predicting the buyer’s position in its purchase journey, and provide the best value to attract him/her. With over terabytes of intent data available for use, financial institutions can use it to flourish in this pandemic hit economy, using fewer resources and marketing their services to ready to buy consumers. Since its inception, intent data is on the top priority of every marketer’s to-do list, with its usage in advertising campaigns, outreach campaigns, content creation, SEO, etc. This article covers how financial institutions can use intent data to their advantage, provide value to the user, and draw massive attention to their platform to reach their ultimate goal and generate more revenue. Before going further, let’s understand the basic concept of intent data and its type that comes into the use for financial institutions. WHAT IS INTENT DATA? Intent data refers to collecting information on online behavioral insights of internet users or prospects, allowing you to better focus on the audience that has more chances of buying your products or services. To put it simply, intent data will help you display your product or services to those already searching for it. For example, your financial department is facing challenges to keep the accounting on track, checking the organization’s financial status, etc. While, you look for the solutions online, you Google “best financial tool for in-house accounting.” Out of millions of search results, your search concludes with some of the top tools like Robotic Press Automation (RPA) in accounting kept aside. Now, your search would be more specific and according to the selected tools. Now, for comparing and selecting the best tools, you may Google- “How RPA keeps track on accounting?” “What is the ROI of RPA in accounting for small enterprises?” “What is the role of RPA in accounting?” And so on. Notice how your search query got specified after some informative searches. Imagine having the power of intent data of your customers and satisfying them with your content. Intent data helps you nurture a highly targeted audience and eventually convert them into your clients. When prospects face challenges, they search for the solution online. While providing the solution for any specific query, websites ask the prospects to accept their cookies. These cookies monitor their intent of searching and this data is then pushed to the marketers to mold their campaigns suited better for these targeted customers. Let’s look at how financial institutions can focus their campaigns on highly targeted prospects with types of intent data. TYPES/SOURCES OF INTENT DATA The types of intent data divide the vast information of intent into three types - first party, second party, and third party. First-party The data you now gather on known contacts and anonymous visitors is first-party intent data. It can also involve prospective website connections, newsletters, emails, and social media. You can use the first-party intent data to segment messages, build workflows, and get more leads. You can assist your marketing and sales team in determining how to approach and convert a prospect. Second-party Second-party data refers to data collected by another company. It is like gaining insights into your prospects from the shops they have visited earlier. The second-party intent data includes review websites and publishing networks. And all this information is voluntarily provided by the user. Sometimes, the user may also share the contact details and their business email id. Third-party While some systems only track a network of pages, third-party intent data is gathered from all across the web. In several cases, this intent data is extracted using one of 3 techniques: reverse IP lookup, Bidstream data from ad networks and widgets, and media exchange/publishing participants. Third-party intent data can show the user’s intent that is relevant to your campaign. STEPS TO BUILD GREATER ROI FROM INTENT DATA How can a financial institution decide whether a particular lead is worth its investment? Answer: By lead qualification. By segregating each lead into three types, you can decide whether the prospect is an active buyer or someone who wants some information over the web. It allows the marketing team to use their time efficiently and target the leads which are likely to convert. For significant ROI from intent data, financial institutions should gather intent data and segregate it into three types of B2B data- Fit data, Intent data, and Opportunity data. Fit data Fit data shows how well your product or services fit the need of the customers. Imagine if a financial institution provides loans on a low credit score, and a user searches for loans on a low credit score, we can call this collection of information as fit data. With this information, you can efficiently use your time and investment to target a specific prospect. This information collection may include the prospect’s age, sex, job level, job function, and the residing location. Fit data is generally the data that won’t change quickly. It may give you a right fit of prospects for your campaign but cannot tell you the right time or context of search intent. Opportunity data Opportunity data is event-based data on particular prospects. Suppose, you are a financial institution providing a car loan on reduced interest rates, and you come to know that a specific company is crediting bonus salary to its employees. If you market your car loan services to their employees, you can have more leads as you know they have a bonus salary in their account. This is called an opportunity data, which sometimes is also referred to as data scoops that give you information about favorable conditions for sale. As the name suggests, the opportunity data gives you the data of a perfect opportunity to market your services to targeted prospects. Intent data Intent data indicates that the time has come to engage with folks who actively express a desire to acquire a solution. When the intent data is integrated with other signals and a solid fit, the chances of conversion increase dramatically. It's helpful to know when there's movement at a company, but if you don't know who to connect with and don't have a phone number or email address for them, it's only informative. You need actionable data along with intent data to perform a perfect marketing campaign. COMMON USE OF INTENT DATA A Segment to sort out active prospects With the use of intent data, B2B marketers find companies actively looking for products or services they are serving. Intent data solutions provide segmentation tools that you can utilize to sort out active prospects that fit perfectly with your services. This segmentation tool can help you filter your prospect with an unlimited combination of the type of company, contact details, location, industry, and technology they use. Intent data for Account-Based Marketing Leading B2B marketers use intent data to drive their ABM campaigns as it naturally fits these campaigns. ABM and intent data are the two sides of the same coin, as ABM delivers results through specific account’s interest and intent data provides timely opportunities to initiate the contact. Integrating both helps you elevate your marketing reach. Intent Data for marketing campaign Optimization Integrated marketing strategies help financial institutions because marketers can pump useful insights to drive effective and relevant demands. The sales team of financial institutions get into the conversation with the buyer while having more information on their pain points and what solutions they are looking for, giving them an upper hand in exchange. SIGNIFICANT FINANCIAL MARKETING TREND Insight-driven marketing With the help of effective machine learning and artificial intelligence, insight-driven marketing helps financial institutions to offer financial assistance to the right fit of customers. Marketers can further collect the right type of customers that fits the services and not the other way around. Prospects with other financial needs can be routed to more appropriate services you offer. Awareness of the customer journey Intent data helps financial institutions optimize and understand the customer journey and correctly map customer interactions. It enables to influence the end-to-end experience of the customer. By having a perfect understanding of where the customer stands in the customer journey, financial institutions can market their services according to their needs. Increased personalization Intent data allows the marketers to look further into the minds of their prospects. It enables them to read the customers as an open book while segmenting them on their thought process. For example, which customer is more savings-oriented? Which one is planning for their retirement? With these insights, marketers can match the right customers to their services with the relevant type of marketing to compel the audience. TYPES OF MARKETING SIGNAL AVAILABLE Signals are the hints prospects resonate, showing financial institutions they are ready for being potential customers. These signals are everyday actions like Googling stuff they need orLike hard searching online, clicking on financial institution ads, applying for any loans, and paying off debts. Financial institutions can use these signals to run highly specific marketing campaigns. Let’s look into these marketing signals further. Most marketing signal falls into three major categories, such as: Behavior-based The behavior-based marketing signal includes hard searching like credit inquiries and online searches that signal intent to look for services. It may also include some minor changes that indicate future requirements like a change of residence or buying intent of large purchases like automobiles and real estate. Event-based Event-based marketing signals include automobile lease expiring, mortgage rate settings, or child passing the high school. These are the hints that indicate the prospect is going to have a requirement for your services. These signs show that the customer is about to have a significant financial shift, and financial institutions can use this opportunity to market their services. Predictive Predictive signals are passive hints that prospects show. It may not be as obvious as behavior-based, but it can set a boundary to your targeted customers. Some of the predictive marketing signals could have data of savings, debit consolidation, and mortgage refining. Predictive marketing signal can give low fidelity and can assure you the maximum coverage of your marketing campaign. CONCLUSION Using signals to attract and retain consumers is an effective component of a well-thought-out marketing strategy. Moving to a signals-based strategy, on the other hand, does not have to be a huge overhaul of your current procedures. Continue to use your tried-and-true strategy, but experiment with new ways of analyzing and responding to signals. Worried about how much money you'll need to set aside to fund the signal-based marketing strategies? You can assess the ROI of the marketing strategy before expanding your program if you start with a scalable service with no commitments. Traditional signals continue to be relevant and form the basis for customer-focused marketing. Combining them with potentially powerful signals that indicate purchase intent will enable proactive communication and elevate financial marketing initiatives to the next level.

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Lighter Capital

Lighter Capital is a fintech company that has created a new fundraising path for early-stage tech companies. We understand that an entrepreneur’s two greatest constraints are time and money, and we’ve developed a funding instrument that solves for both. We provide founders up to $3 million of non-dilutive growth capital in a fraction of the time it takes to raise from traditional sources. Based in Seattle, we've invested over $100 million in more than 275 companies across the US.