Digital wallets from big providers are emerging everywhere, from PayPal, the Apple Wallet and Google Wallet, to Venmo and Cash App. Payment cards have now taken a new form in e-wallets as well as ID, and even driver’s licences.
In the wake of progressive digital ID, we must ensure that different solutions available are interoperable to integrate with existing systems and be easily implemented. It is a sizeable challenge facing EU digital wallets taking on multiple bank networks.
The new initiative, built upon an open-source bedrock, is called The OpenWallet Foundation (OWF) founded by CEO of open banking startup Yes.com.
The European Mobile Payment Systems Association (EMPSA), which is comprised of 16 wallet providers, aims to maintain interoperability as the guiding principle which has long been instilled in the payments industry, to ensure compatibility between different systems.
The onset of cryptocurrency, tokenised money which is traded digitally, is also enhancing the commercial use of digital wallets which will soon have the infrastructure to support alternative currencies.
While the OpenWallet Foundation does not intend to create a new digital wallet or set standards around interoperability, the initiative is to forge a community which supports the future of integratable solutions and which currently includes Okta, Ping Identity, Accenture, CVS Health and OpenID Foundation.
There is no doubt about the benefit of digital wallets to support a growing number of digital assets on mobile devices that convenience people in making payments, accessing services and verifying their identities efficiently and effectively.
Poland’s Blik, an instant payment system that allows users to make transactions on their standard mobile banking app, recently appointed mobile transaction specialist VIAMO while it awaits approval from the regulator.
Moreover, last year Danske Bank in Denmark – which owns MobilePay – closed an agreement to merge its payment system with Norway’s Vipps and Finland’s Pivo mobile wallet.
Popular wallets such as Apple Pay or the Google Wallet, which aptly re-branded to just ‘Wallet’, use near-field communication (NFC) technology and offer a universally recognised mobile payment method that is accepted by most merchants.
Interoperability must also be the focal-point of the government’s digital transformation and provision of digital ID systems while it overlooks the legal frameworks that enterprises and solution providers must abide by.