Mobile Wallet - Advantages and Disadvantages
‘Time is Money.
’ This is what Benjamin Franklin had said thus connecting these two quantities. And these are exactly the two quantities which the Mobile Wallet seeks to bring together i.e. save time while spending and managing money. A mobile wallet in simple terms is a system of making payments. It is just a method of paying. The difference between online payment services (like we encounter during online shopping) and mobile wallet is that you can use this wallet to make payments in a physical store too! It’s just like you swiping your card in a store or giving cash to pay, but will be much easier than card or cash. So now there would be no worries of forgetting your ‘wallet’! With everything new, there is excitement as well as skepticism and hesitancy.Advantages
1. Ease of use –
It’s like a one click pay with no need to fill in card numbers and passwords every time. One can link their credit cards, debit cards and bank accounts and pay immediately with no hassle to enter the details each time.
2. Ease of access –
There will be no need of physical wallet like we do in the case of cash or cards. Also mobile wallets are upgrading to allow you to store your documents digitally like your Driving License, Aadhar Card, Pan Card, etc.
3. There will no issue of asking or searching for change which we have while handling cash.
4. It will be possible to make instant payments. Just like we can exchange cash at any moment, we can exchange and transfer money anytime.
5. There would synchronization of data from multiple platforms. Bank accounts, credit and debit cards, mobile accounts and bills - all will be interconnected and help in better management. It’s like everything is under one roof.
6. It is extremely useful for humongous unorganized sector where cash is considered as the most suitable medium. Exchange of money through mobile wallet at chaat stalls, street vendors, small shops, etc. would remove the need to carry cash/cards at such places.Disadvantages
1. Mobile network connectivity is the biggest impediment. Network problems and reliable and fast internet connectivity is not available in most of the developing countries.
2. More than connectivity, security issues are at the forefront nowadays. People are always under the fear of misuse of their money by hackers and frauds. They always feel safer to have cash. Again there are also issues of identity theft that need to be addressed. Issue of pick-pocketing will be replaced by these concerns.
3. Enough support infrastructure is not available. In countries like India there is not enough financial inclusion and financial literacy. Unless that builds up, there is no use in bringing in more and more advanced technologies.
4. It also does not cater to needs of the entire population. It’s an app on a smart phone. Most of them are using simple cell phones. Plastic money and m-commerce has not yet caught up completely throughout the entire nation. This is a Smartphone app. People can be skeptical enough to mention battery backup of smart phone as a reason to stay away from this.
5. India does not have a solid dispute resolution processes. Experiences of people with the customer service agents too are not encouraging.
6. There are many wallet operators and there is still no clear idea as to whether payments to other wallet operators would be possible or not. For e.g. Airtel Money should be able to pay to SBI Buddy.
7. Replacing day-to-day transactions with money is easier said than done. For e.g. in a crowded bus, buying a ticket by paying a conductor through mobile wallet does not seem a viable option. It might be possible but it’s a challenging task.
In India even Rs. 5 to Rs.10 transactions take place. Such small transactions are huge in number and need to be handled carefully with no mix-ups. The companies cannot ignore these transactions as they form bulk of spending in India. It is a challenging task to make mobile wallet an integral part of the life especially Indian life. However there is hope as similar reservations were seen in case of plastic money too.
There is going to be a change and we must adapt to it and accept it. Albert Einstein said, "The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.
" Since mobile wallets are going to be the next thing just like the plastic money were a decade back, it’s important that we allay our fears, change our mindset and start adapting to such technological innovations, so as to improve our efficiency when it comes payments and money management. It’s just as Elizabeth Warren says that ' Balancing your money is the key to having enough.