The Royal Bank of Canada (RDC) has announced that will be making significant upgrades to its HCE (Host Card Emulation) based mobile wallet as consumer interest in the product is rapidly growing. According to the bank, since the bank moved to a HCE based solution about a month and a half ago, the user base for the mobile wallet has tripled.
With demand increasing, the bank has decided to add new features including support for gift cards, loyalty cards and digital receipts. Commenting on the significance of the mobile wallet, RBC’s Jeremy Bornstein who leads the payments innovation team at RBC said,
“There are things the banks are uniquely positioned to do that no one else can. We understand our consumers’ spending habits and money needs better than anybody else. We can present that information back to the client at the relevant time when making a purchase to help them understand which is the best way to pay for something, whether they should really be making that payment now, maybe they need to be financing or potentially wait. That’s something that no one else can do.”
The news out of RBC has two important takeaways. First it highlights the benefits of HCE based solutions over SIM based models as it allows for a more inclusive user base and does not limit access to a mobile wallet based on a customer’s mobile network operator. The second is that with a growing user base, RBC is making the investment in providing value added services within its wallet. With these additional services in place, Canadian users of the wallet can benefit from using the wallet versus their normal payment card. This will only drive further consumer uptake and help RBC provide its Android users arguably a better mobile wallet than currently available on Apple Pay.
Overview by Tristan Hugo-Webb, Associate Director, Global Payments Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group
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