Mobile wallet companies are coming out of the woodwork lately.

Some mobile wallet companies (like ours, for instance) have been around for awhile, others are new to the market, and more arrive every day…  or at least it seems that way.

Not all wallets are created equal, and not all mobile wallets are intended to do the same things, or offer the same functionality.   I’m going to give you a quick run down on the various types of mobile wallets and offer up a couple of brand name mobile wallet companies that offer the different options.

The big list of mobile wallet stuff:

#1 – Move money around like a regular wallet; these transactions are done using the mobile wallet and some form of Bluetooth or NFC, like tap to pay.

This is usually a very simple process – you either link a bank account, credit or debit card, or fund with cash, depending on which mobile wallet companies you are considering.

[LISTEN: Mobile wallet apps vs mobile apps, part 2 – PODCAST EPISODE]

Apple Wallet is pretty much the standard bearer for mobile wallets on a worldwide basis; Android Pay and Samsung Pay are the runners up in the category, and Paypal has a couple of options like regular Paypal and Venmo.

NOTE: If you’re in India, the African continent or Asia, there are a TON of mobile wallet companies already doing business that have no North American or EU presence, since the banking situation itself is so very different in those areas.  This article isn’t really designed for you, in case you think I’m leaving out a lot of mobile wallet companies that you’re probably using to pay your bills and do your banking transactions. 

#2 – Mobile wallets can provide you with coupons, loyalty points, offers, and great deals that are contextually based.  

If you’re a consumer (and who isn’t?), you probably like the idea that when you’re standing in front of the wine shop, or the shoe seller, or your favorite lunch spot – that you can get specials, deals, loyalty bonuses and a whole host of other things, just because the shop knows that you’re nearby.

If you’re thinking “oh, s**t, no, my privacy”, there’s definitely something to be said for your trepidation.  Apple keeps a tight lid on all things related to its products and the ‘consumer experience’ but other OS maybe don’t do that quite so strictly.  And you’d be correct in thinking that some of the mobile ad apps that are out there are making more use of your private data than you’re aware you’ve given them permission to do.

Make sure you check out any mobile wallet companies that you’re thinking about using, and do so carefully.  The big companies like Apple, Android, Samsung, and Paypal have built their businesses on trying to maximize the consumer’s opinion of their products, and they’re apt to guard your data a bit more seriously and securely than “Joe’s Mobile Wallet – Move Money Fast” (yes, I just made up the name and the tagline, since I don’t have an opinion about Joe!), and they’ll have better technology.

#3 – If you’re a merchant, you can let your customers know about all the good things in #2, and you can take payments from them as well.

We’ve been over this merchant angle a million times, there’s not much to it.  Spend your money building an app that no one wants to use, or leverage one of the big, important, trusted brands to do the work for you.

[LEARN MORE: Mobile Wallet Passes Made Simple]

I’m not going to keep beating that horse, but I am going to say that if you really care about your customers, you’ll get your behind in gear and start treating them well, and do it via mobile.

 

If you don’t, someone else will see the value in your customers and start doing it for them.