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Mobile Wallet Part 4: Structures and Approaches

4th of June 2013


Financial institutions and other stakeholders looking to deliver mobile wallet solutions must consider carefully their go-to-market strategy in order to establish a clear roadmap for development of a solution that will support them in the long-term.


Executive Summary

Despite all the hype and industry excitement, mobile wallets remain in early stage development.

This white paper describes a number of alternative structures for mobile wallet development and outlines some of the key considerations that financial institutions should take into account when evaluating the most appropriate approach for them. Firstly, the paper explores a generic description of a mobile wallet structure based on the premise that the wallet is a container, which houses ‘services’ (most commonly individual mobile apps). The paper then defines two broad mobile wallet structures that support this model: a ‘horizontal wallet’ (an open wallet capable of supporting services from multiple providers) and a ‘vertical wallet’ (a closed wallet housing services from a single provider). Mobey Forum contends that these basic concepts, together with the options to cooperate with third party service providers (full cooperation, part cooperation and independent), should underpin a financial institution’s mobile wallet go-to-market strategy and help to support the development of an effective and commercially viable mobile wallet solution.

The paper also highlights some of the restrictions that a financial institution could face in implementing a mobile wallet solution. These restrictions depend on each service’s requirement to store credentials data in the Secure Element (SE).

Finally the paper asserts that the majority of financial institutions will, in the short term, attempt to develop a vertical wallet in a partner-independent manner. Only when a SE is required, or when the key functionality becomes too difficult to achieve, are they likely to open their solutions and seek to cooperate with other stakeholders.

Mobey Forum defines a mobile wallet as: A Mobile Wallet is functionality on a mobile device that can securely interact with digitized valuables.

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