Calling all businesses – get ready for the Mobile Wallet revolution

This could be the future of payments for your clients. In fact, in many places it’s already arrived.

KFC has just become the latest big company to support mobile wallet payments in its UK stores, joining the likes of McDonald’s and Starbucks. The latter is also introducing the technology in its 7,000 American outlets. Carrefour, the second largest retailer in the world by sales figures, has already implemented mobile payment systems in its French stores.

What is a mobile wallet?

It’s a method of paying for goods using a smartphone. Payments can be made remotely, via text message or by tapping the phone against an in-store terminal.

And while the idea is relatively new in some markets, in others it has already made a big impact. Perhaps most surprisingly, mobile wallets have really taken off in developing countries; mainly due to a lack of desktop access to the internet and online banking.

Kenyan women now worry less about being mugged for money

Since 2007, Kenya has experienced something of a mobile wallet revolution. Despite many not having a bank account, 50% of the adult population uses a mobile wallet. Users pay cash at a shop, have it loaded onto their phone and can then send money via a text message to pay for bills, items in shops or to send money to other mobile wallet users. Not only is the system simple but it has helped remove mugging worries for many people who no longer have to carry cash around.

Haiti is one of the leaders of Mobile Wallet systems

Even though Haiti is one of the poorest countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, it has one of the most successful mobile wallet systems in the world – despite mobile phone penetration of just 35-40%.

In its first year, the mobile wallet attracted 10% of the adult population – a figure that, on average, takes most markets four years to achieve. In fact the 800,000 users made almost 10 million transactions in that one year alone.

Global growth of the Mobile Wallet

This budding concept is expected to have a similar effect in other countries, with the global mobile wallet market predicted to reach USD 1,602.4 billion by 2018, growing at a compounded annual growth rate of 30.7% from 2012 to 2018 (Transparency Market Research).

Potential benefits of Mobile Wallet systems for businesses:

  • Automatically collecting purchase data
  • Monitoring individual customer purchasing habits
  • Building customer profiles
  • Developing targeted promotions
  • Assessing the success of promotional strategies
  • Providing customers with convenience
  • Remaining at the forefront of payment technologies

If you’re keen for your company to stay ahead of its competitors it might be time to look into mobile wallet technology. Because even if you customers aren’t yet using mobile wallets, the chances are they soon will be.

Comtec is here to help companies talk global business by providing a range of language and translation services. For further information please contact a member of our customer services team on +44 (0) 1926 3335 681 or email

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