While many mobile wallets in the U.S. are backed by a credit card/issuer or a debit card from a participating bank, citizens in developing economies wanting to access mobile wallet capabilities may not have these foundations.
In a country where users are increasingly coming online via low-cost smartphones, Paytm provides a popular mobile app that can be used to pay for services like rides from Uber Technologies Inc. and utility bill payments.
Paytm uses its payment service to help direct traffic to its other businesses, like e-commerce. The company says it provides some 135 million mobile wallets in India, where few consumers have credit cards and many prefer to pay in cash.
Mercator Advisory Group is following the gyrations in mobile wallets as the payment market continues to evolve and incorporate newer technologies. The lower levels of existing payment infrastructure in developing markets is allowing for the rapid adoption of wireless based technologies. We anticipate many of the emerging economies will increasingly turn to mobile wallets as the smartphone technology becomes increasingly accessible.
Overview by Joseph Walent, Senior Analysts, Emerging Technologies Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group
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