Microsoft Talks Windows Wallet: Admits A New Go-To-Market Model Is Needed

by Tim Sloane 0

According to The Verge, Microsoft intends to upgrade its wallet technology:

“Microsoft is looking to relaunch Windows Wallet, a mobile payments app that stores credit cards, coupons and membership information, to improve both the in-store payment experience and online payments with Windows devices, a top Microsoft executive said in a joint interview with The Verge and Recode.

‘Windows is going to have a wallet concept. You’ve seen it on phones before. We’re going to continue to iterate it,” Joe Belfiore, corporate VP of the company’s operating systems group, said. “We’re going to think about the range of payment scenarios.’ ”

The Windows Wallet may utilize Windows Hello facial recognition technology coupled to NFC:

“While Belfiore didn’t say when exactly a new wallet would launch, or whether it would utilize NFC or other payment technology, he cited Windows Hello, the company’s new facial recognition technology introduced with the Windows 10 operating system, as a good example of the ‘kind of technology we’ll build into devices for authentication to make… payments better.’ It’s likely that any kind of updated Windows Phone payments app would utilize NFC technology, the same tech Windows Wallet for Windows Phone 8.1 was said to use.”

To Microsoft’s credit, it understands that this time they need to consider the payments value chain and determine how to align all of the key players that should include MNOs, Merchants, Payment Networks and Banks. Speaking about the existing Windows Wallet Microsoft recognizes the challenge:

“However, that app never really became a full-fledged payments app. Like Apple, Samsung, and any other tech company that has tried to launch a branded, fully useable mobile payments app, Microsoft is aware that getting into mobile payments has its challenges, especially in certain markets.

“[Mobile payments] is just one of these things that is a massive network of complexity,” Belfiore said. “I think the biggest challenge is, What effect will cause enough of the right things to align that you’ll get a good experience with all the places that you want it to happen in? And that’s kind of a world problem.””

So we wait to determine if Microsoft has actually learned enough about payments to introduce a winning business model that will drive banks and merchants to promote it with at least half the enthusiasm shown for Apple Pay.

Overview by Tim Sloane, VP, Payments Innovation at Mercator Advisory Group

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