Ally Bank belongs to the “open-wallet camp,” for now.
The online bank introduced Android Pay and Samsung Pay integration for its debit cards, in addition to the existing Apple Pay option, Ally announced yesterday. The addition of these two mobile payment services, according to CEO Diane Morais, expands the option of mobile payments to a much larger base of Ally Bank customers.
Ally’s newest CashBack credit card, launched last week, will also be available through the digital wallets, Ally spokeswoman confirmed.
While many major banks, like Chase or Wells Fargo, chose to launch their own mobile wallets, Ally resorted to already-established offerings. “We have considered it [Ally Wallet], but have no plans to announce at this time,” bank’s spokeswoman told Bank Innovation.
But would it make sense to have an Ally Wallet at all? More than 30% of Ally’s customers have active mobile accounts, 40% of total logins are done through mobile, and growth in the mobile channel is “aligned” with the new customer growth, the bank’s spokeswoman said. So Ally’s overwhelmingly millennial (48%) customer-base seems well-positioned embracing an Ally-branded wallet.
However, banks increasingly emphasize the importance of “seamless” payment experiences, over branded wallets. U.S. Bank, for one, is focused on allowing customers to “pay however they want to pay,” a spokeswoman told Bank Innovation. “This means we will be engaged with leading mobile payment platforms that our customers may choose to use, that are convenient and secure,” she said. “We are always looking for ways to better serve our customers, so nothing is off the table if we see a customer need.”
Bank of America’s Hari Gopalkrishnan had a similar response, saying that the bank is channeling its efforts toward more open wallet system to ensure a seamless customer experience.
The mobile wallet adoption in general, although growing, has not been impressive for now. According to a recent survey by payment company BlackHawk Network, mobile adoption among consumers increased, but is still at 17% of preference among consumers, compared to 75% with debit cards.