In Depth

Making The Mobile Wallet The ‘Better Way’ To Pay

“There’s got to be a better way” is the age-old consumer conundrum when there’s too much friction in getting a task done.

It’s this same conundrum that often drives innovation and new products into market.

“There is a better way,” claims the crew at Walletron.

“The mobile wallet.”

At least that’s what Walletron believes and why it’s working hard to convince billers, processors and banks that consumers will care about seamless mobile wallet integration.

Walletron is a mobile wallet platform that focuses on wallets native to mobile operating systems like Wallet (formerly Passbook) on iOS and Android Pay (formerly Google Wallet) on Android. It was started to allow brands to automate their presence in the emerging mobile wallet channel. It provides a single platform to automate the payments that cause some of the most friction of all: bill payments.

“We’re a brand new channel for billers to engage their customers to present those bills in a brand new way — automatically on their device. Many of these billers (like a water company, for example) are not going to develop their own mobile app. So, they can engage us and have a presence on their customers’ mobile devices by presenting their bill without having to ask for username and password when that customer goes in,” Walletron CEO Garrett Baird told PYMNTS in an interview.

“Instead, with the one-time enrollment in the mobile wallet, they get authenticated, make that payment, get updated with the amount due and the due date. And we’ll remind them about that as they go along,” he added.

Not only does Walletron aim to take the friction out of bill pay by eliminating the need for knowing account numbers, logins and passwords, it helps keep those consumers on their toes about when their bills are due and makes it easy — in a one-click step — to pay those bills using the mobile wallet. And it’s securely stored out of the device and onto the cloud.

That’s all part of its newest feature called moBills, which Baird recently presented to a crowd of FinTech innovators at Finovate Fall 2015. This new product rollout is on top of its other mobile wallet product that integrates loyalty points.

“Walletron’s moBills allows billers to open a new payment and presentment channel in a centralized location on smartphones. Customers receive in their mobile wallet an updated, branded bill, their moBill, every month. Ongoing notifications remind customers to pay, confirm processed payments and light up users’ devices when their next bill arrives. Payments occur in only a couple of taps,” Baird said.

“Once enrolled in moBills, consumers remain authenticated, and there is no further login required. Full PDF statements can be viewed on users’ phones, and billers now have an immediate connection to customers other than the (often lost or deleted) email. MoBills will finally provide billers with a true alternative to paper statements.”

One of the main sticking points for the entire mobile wallet ecosystem — for both the big and the small “pay players” — has been bridging the consumer awareness gap. Stats came out that consumers weren’t really into Passbook, so Apple rebranded it. And when launching a product like moBills, Walletron faces even bigger consumer awareness challenges since it doesn’t have the brand recognition.

“The good news is we’ll have the force of Apple and Google behind us, trying to drive attention to use these credit cards and debit cards that you put into your mobile wallet for purchasing goods and services that are alongside that,” Baird said.

But he recognizes that the consumer awareness factor is very much a hitch in pushing mobile wallets forward — which, as the stats show, is what’s needed first before the conversations can happen about which of the mobile wallet players will come out on top.

“We have been fighting the awareness challenge for Passbook for a while. Apple could have done a better job of rolling it out to customers, but there is a real awareness challenge because not enough brands are taking advantage of presenting consumers with that Add to Passbook button. The airlines have done a fantastic job with it; most people put their boarding passes in Passbook. But other types of companies just haven’t yet,” Baird said.

“There hasn’t been that many compelling use cases yet. We think we’re bringing a brand new, very compelling use case to have your bill presented in the mobile wallet that will be updated automatically that will start to bring that awareness out,” he said. “We want everyone to stop carrying things around in their wallet, but we are aware of the realities.”

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