As of 2021, everything from banking to insurance has been subjected to modernization and imbued with new technologies, such as e-wallet apps in order to offer alternative payment solutions.
For this reason, financial technology has become a dynamic digital force that has disrupted the way people make payments. Indeed, the exponential growth in mobile device usage has definitely helped it move forward. Still, it has become ever more popular during the pandemic due to the increasing demand for cashless, touch-less transactions.
What is an e-wallet?
Digital wallets—or e-wallet apps—are software-based apps that allows users to link their bank accounts, store their cards digitally, manage crypto activities, or add funds to make online payments using a mobile device. In layman’s terms, they are the digital version of a real wallet. Unlike traditional banking apps, e-wallet apps allow users to add an amount of cash, or a card number, directly on the app to pay online or in a physical establishment.
Depending on whom the e-wallet app’s users are, you can implement payment methods such as QR codes or Near Field Communication (NFC) compatibility to facilitate transactions. Some e-wallets can even interact with a mobile phone’s SIM card, allowing them to work without an internet connection. What makes e-wallet apps so attractive is that they are a safe, fast, touch-less, and reliable alternative to physical payment methods. Banks can create e-wallets for their users to handle payments and accounts, or they can come from third-party providers with different sets of features. Some send and receive money (P2P), others enable payments through the web, and others offer contactless payment options.
Can you be more specific, please?
Did you know that if you have an iPhone 6 or newer (2014 model or newer) you can pay with your phone? You probably didn’t, and we don’t blame you! I’ve been paying using my phone (and especially Apple Watch) for over 5 years now, and even to this date I get “wow” reactions from the cashier or the people behind me. Seriously! The vast majority of people have no idea that if you have an iPhone made in the past 7 years, an Apple Watch or a high-end Android device, you can actually pay using these gadgets!
Need to grab a loaf of bread from the local store? No problem, just pick up your phone and go. Or even leave your phone at home if you have an Apple Watch. No more searching for wallets and credit cards around the house.
As with any form of sensitive digital data exchange, some questions arise: Are these payment solutions safe? Are developers enforcing the appropriate security measures to keep their users’ data protected? What are these security measures, and how important are they? Well, the short answer is “yes”, these payment solutions are extremely safe. They are probably even safer than using a credit card.
Did you know that in order to use Apple Pay, your iPhone first scans your face using FaceID before allowing the payment to go through? Compare that to a regular credit card that you just touch to a POS system and that’s it. Do you know how easy it is for someone to “touch” your credit card while it’s in your pocket with a system designed to steal your money? Quite easy, actually. But if using Apple Pay (or Google Pay), you need a FaceID scan first, which makes it almost impossible for thieves to steal your data.
To ensure that mobile payment solutions keep taking the world by storm in a safe way, developers must protect information and its traffic. Contrary to what most people believe, e-wallet apps are safer than real wallets. Even if a user loses their phone, the security measures implemented upon the app will render the e-wallet useless for anyone accessing it unlawfully.
Examples of eWallets:
We Chat Pay (Market leader with 600 million users)
Things to keep in mind when developing an eWallet app
The code is a crucial component to protect the sensitive financial data saved on the server and the user’s device. Therefore, it is good to map out the app’s security layout upfront and be aware of potential flaws in the code that could lead to a breach. This way, taking a security-first approach when coding will deliver a better product and reduce future damage mitigation costs.
Additionally, your e-wallet app needs to have a robust IT infrastructure that supports input validation, and reviews received data in the app. Also, be careful when granting external access and define access rules based on roles and permissions to protect sensitive data. Determine whether it is necessary to keep debit, credit, account numbers, or other valuable information. If the e-wallet app can function efficiently without this delicate financial data, then don’t store it.
To sum up
eWallets and other mobile payment apps are still not fully adopted globally, and the main reasons are all related to safety concerns. Although it is quite a challenge, building a safe and functional e-wallet app will be your badge of being a trustworthy development company and will help propel the industry forward. Not only that but enforcing security practices will also give your e-wallet app a distinct advantage over competitors. Additionally, even though mandatory and necessary, all the security mechanisms described above must be smart and light.
So, should you start using Apple Pay, Google Pay or any other well-established eWallet app? Honestly, there’s absolutely no reason not to. It is so much more convenient and safer than using a real card or a wallet. I cannot even remember the last time I’ve used my actual card to pay for anything, but it must’ve been years. So go ahead, give it a try!