Before answering the question which is the best wallet app today, let’s first agree on what IS a wallet app. Sounds easy enough, right? Not really.
Actually, many, when discussing the mobile payments market, say “wallet apps”, all the while think of having the ability to pay with your phone when shopping. While this ability is definitely a major part of any mobile wallet app, it is becoming more and more clear that a wallet app is much more than just a pay by mobile solution.
A wallet app is designed to replace not only a plastic credit card when you make a point-of-sale purchase, but also your ID and various other plastic cards you occasionally or rarely use (but have to carry in your wallet all the time just the same).
The market of mobile payment applications is on the rise, with an increasing number of stores that are already offering the necessary NFC (Near Field Communication) technology. Yet, it is still segmented by smartphone models, operating systems and even mobile carriers.
Best Wallet Apps Contenders
While relatively smaller companies entered this market early on, currently the market is dominated by 4 mega companies:
- Google (with Google Wallet)
- Apple Pay (who partnered with MasterCard)
- SoftCard (a subsidiary of the US leading mobile carriers AT&T and Verizon, formerly known as Isis)
- PayPal (with PayPal Pay)
Other, smaller apps that tried to gain market share in the earlier days of mobile payment processing, have either given up and closed up shop or made significant changes (including changing of the business model entirely).
So, Is there already a Best Wallet App?
There is no current market leader, although judging by its latest actions, the Google Wallet app is definitely aiming to be it. If you are in the US and you have US issued cards, the app replaces not only your credit and debit cards, but also gift cards, loyalty programs and special offers, and can be used in more locations and stores than its main competition, Apple Pay.