PayPal, Venmo, Google Wallet, Apple Pay, IBM Pay, Walmart Pay, Samsung Pay—the mobile wallet market just keeps on going and going, but according to Visa’s new CEO, that’s not necessarily what consumers want.
Alfred F. Kelly, Visa’s new CEO, said on the company’s earnings call on Feb. 2:
My personal view is that there are too many wallets out there. Consumers are not going to ultimately want to have 50 wallets, and we’re not necessarily anxious to be in the wallet business per se….
As noted by the companies above, which are just some of the mobile wallet services available in the U.S., consumers are spoiled for choice when it comes to paying via smartphone—but, as Kelly asserts, that doesn’t mean those consumers want to juggle between four or five or fifty separate payment apps. Companies and financial institutions are still having trouble getting them to pick just one.
Kelly was answering a question regarding the company’s Visa Checkout product, a service that now has 18 million users after its launch in 2014. According to Kelly, Visa’s global payments network now encompasses over 16,000 financial institutions and about 45 million merchants.
The Visa Checkout service, currently available in 23 countries including the U.S., Canada, France, Ireland and India, is a way to make online purchases cross-device, from a user’s computer, tablet, and of course the smartphone.
Visa also expanded its security measures over the quarter (probably a wise move after the reign of ransomware begun in 2016), with its Visa Token service now available in 27 countries.
Kelly certainly seems less than enthused with the current saturated state of mobile wallets, but he did have this to say regarding Visa’s efforts abroad:
The vast majority of our payments volume in Europe remains under contract. The European market continues to represent a large opportunity to displace cash, and we are accelerating digital innovation in Europe by continuing to rollout our token service in several markets as well as supporting many digital wallets.
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