The digital transformation of the customer journey in payment approach

December 8, 2016

The customer journey is experiencing a new digital age which is transforming the way payment is being carried out. A couple of years back, almost everyone thought of a wallet as a human accessory used for storing the daily essentials. Fast forward to now and the wallet has mobilised and is quickly becoming the newest Smartphone trend.

Mobile Wallets, putting it simply, are apps that have payment functionalities. Most wallets right now incorporate online payments which could mean; credit card, 1 click, Digital Wallets (like PayPal), prepaid, gifting etc. The idea behind a mobile wallet is simple, but the lines are continually being blurred between apps and wallets. While payments remain the core differentiator between a wallet and an app, from our perspective, wallets need to include features beyond payments to add benefits to the customer journey and to help drive consumer adoption.

Digital wallets are mobile wallets that enable users to make 1 click payments via mobile phone; because the user’s card information has already been stored securely in the cloud. This is a more convenient payment means via mobile phone, because the user only needs to enter their credit card information once, rather than needing to type card details every time. It could be possible that a mobile wallet actually incorporates a Digital Wallet, such as PayPal, MasterPass as a payment means.

An example: MasterPass Digital Wallet: MasterCard’s MasterPass aggregates cards into the cloud, so that consumers no longer need to enter their credit card credentials and billing information every time they want to make a purchase online. In order for this to be a viable payment method, retailers and online merchants need to add the Master Pass API to their site or mobile wallet, meaning they need to add the “Buy with Master Pass” button, so that shoppers can have the option to pay with MasterPass; like choosing to pay with any other payment option: MasterCard, Visa or PayPal etc.  

When it comes to wallets, each of the key players in the eco-system; retailers, financial institutions, MNO’s, technology providers, cell phone manufacturers and payment providers, are going to have a very different strategy and offering. For example a retailers mobile wallet which begins with a customer journey is going to have a different infrastructure from a financial institutions whose business core is payments. The key for each however, will be to find a way to bring something uniquely valuable to end users to incentivise the shift from physical to digital.

Integration of Digital wallets

Digital wallet technology is popping up more and more. As this technology continues to expand it just may become as useful as so many other inventions that were at first frowned upon and now cannot be lived without. The opportunities seem limitless as digital wallet applications could expand beyond simple over-the-counter consumerism and into transactions such as:

  • Real estate closings
  • Mortgage, utility and educational payments
  • Fundraising and donations
  • Transferring funds
  • Medical payments
  • Portfolio shifts
  • High end purchases (i.e. cars, jewelry, boats, etc.)

Whether you like it or not digital wallets are the current technology of future pay. Keep an eye out for how these applications that may apply to you and hop on the mobile, crypto and/or digital pay bus.

Current Users of Digital Wallets

Depending on the demographic, it may not seem that many people are using digital wallet technology. However, it is difficult to know given the stealth ability of tools like mobile wallets that simply tap and go or get it all done before a purchase is even picked up.

In a study by Thrive Analytics, demographics were the key factor in the ‘new consumer’ approach. It was found that consumers are carrying less cash today, especially on-the-go females, with 50% of all consumers carrying less than $20 on a regular basis. Of the survey respondents who carry no cash at all, three out of four are under the age of 40. Also, nearly 60% of all digital wallet users are male despite carrying more cash than females. Females (18-29) tend to use merchant digital wallet apps. When males use merchant apps, they tend to browse and engage in service related activities like paying bills and looking up retailers’ product and contact information.

Digital technologies therefore offer the chance for individualised, tailored, accelerated and more effective strategy for businesses. If you want to know about the power of digital transformation, Anglo African team can help you,  do contact Naazreen on 2331636 or via e-mail at

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