Toward a Mobile Digital Wallet

Mobile phones have now made their way into a large fraction of pockets and handbags worldwide. An intriguing question is whether such phones will eventually replace the physical wallets we carry. We believe the answer is in the affirmative, though plenty of challenges abound in overcoming entrenched personal and business practices and processes. In this paper, we explore the changes that need to ripple through the ecosystem to build a vibrant set of digital wallet services that potentially interact with each other to provide users both with increased convenience and a level of functionality hitherto unrealized. We describe our initial mobile wallet prototypes on web-enabled smart phones, designed to explore some of the challenges in creating the architecture and infrastructure necessary to make this vision a reality. Feedback from users and experts across a range of industries such as retail, banking, telecommunications, and healthcare indicate that we have just scratched the surface and a substantial wave of innovation is necessary to make the digital wallet a full-fledged reality.

By: Alan Cole, Scott McFaddin, Chandra Narayanaswami, Alpana Tiwari

Published in: RC24965 in 2009


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