A Global Overview of
Digital Wallet Technologies

While many digital wallet devices, systems and applications are being developed all over the world, the knowledge of the emerging digital wallet market is still scattered. This overview, last updated 28 May 2011, is an attempt to create a record of these developments. Some of the technologies are still in the concept/negotiation phase and have yet to be deployed. It is not comprehensive but nevertheless provides a substantial glimpse of the ongoing developments of digital wallet technologies around the world.

This overview has been created as part of the Prop-ID research project, an initiative of the ID Lab at the University of Toronto.

Digital Wallet Overview

Section 1 Digital Wallet Devices

Section 1A Dedicated Digital Wallet Devices

Biometric Wallet Dunhill United Kingdom

Released in 2010 by a British men's luxury goods designer Dunhill.

This device holds one's physical cash and cards, much like a regular wallet. But in order to access those cards, the built-in biometric reader must be activated by the owner's unique fingerprint. The device can also be connected with a mobile phone via Bluetooth. This enables an alert when the phone and wallet are separated by more than 5 metres. BW-1

Digital Wallet device Fredrik Palmblad Sweden

Still in the concept phase.DW-1 Created by the Swedish designer Fredrik Palmblad.

This is similar to iCache in that the Digital Wallet is a standalone device. Two Digital Wallets connect together in order to transfer money. An LED screen displays the amount transacted. It appears to only address money and other identity documents are not discussed in Palmblad's design.DW-1

iCache, digital wallet device iCache United States

Articles about this device started appearing in 2007.

The device is not yet for sale, as the company is trying to recruit more partners. The FAQ page reports that a worldwide release will take place in mid-to-late 2011.IC-1

Instead of enabling a smartphone with digital wallet capabilities as most companies are doing, iCache created a standalone device. The consumer loads their personal information onto the device using a USB connection. Authentication is handled via biometrics – a unique fingerprint must be used to active the device.

A major advantage this device has over smartphones is that no work has to be done on the vendor side because iCache uses magstripes/barcodes. The data are temporarily written to the magstripe for each individual transaction and expire after a few minutes or when a new card is selected for use.

iCache also works with contactless (NFC, RFID) readers. IC-2

Mondex Wallet NatWest, MasterCard United Kingdom and United States

The Mondex wallet was originally introduced in 1996 by the Uk bank NatWest.MO-1 The system failed to become popular with consumers and was discontinued some time in the late '90s.

Mondex, a UK bank, is a smart card electronic cash system developed by NatWest and sold to MasterCard. The Mondex wallet included a built-in card reader so that smart card data could be stored on the phone. Consumers would refill their smart cards using ATM machines. It could also store online passwords, account numbers, etc.MO-2 Person-to-person transactions could be made between two Mondex wallet users.

Section 1B Smartphones with built-in digital wallet capabilities (i.e. NFC)

BlackBerry smartphone RIM Canada

RIM confirmed at Mobile Congress World 2011 that future BlackBerry phones will have built-in NFC.BB-1

In May 2011, BlackBerry debuted its first NFC phones — the 9900 and 9930BB-2

Most BlackBerry phones do not currently have built-in NFC and so are not capable of serving as digital wallets unless an external device is attached to the phone, such as Bank of America’s microSD cards.BB-3 Its first NFC phones will come with APIs for developers to potentially build apps that turn the phones into digital wallets.BB-4

BlackBerry does have a Mobile Wallet application but it is mainly for personal storage and online transactions. It does not handle point-of-sale transactions. BB-5

iPhone 5 smartphone Apple United States

iPhone 5 will likely be released in 2012. IP-1

There have been industry rumours that the iPhone 5 will have NFC, allowing it to be used as a digital wallet. There have also been rumours that Apple has decided not to integrate NFC because of concerns about standards.IP-2

The Apple iWallet app lets consumers manage money on their mobile.IP-3

Nexus S smartphone Google and Samsung United States

The phone was announced by Eric Schmidt in late 2010 and became available for sale in early 2011.

Google created the software and hardware and Samsung manufactured it.

Google has been testing the point-of-sale payments by installing VeriFone NFC systems at various stores across the US.NE-1

The Nexus S emerged in 2011 as the first digital wallet smartphone for the North American market. It has NFC capability in both hardware and software.

Even though the functionality is there, the Nexus S is not being widely used as a digital wallet because the system is not yet active. Google is still negotiating the Android mobile payment system with MasterCard, Citigroup and VeriFone.

We are using the Nexus S platform to develop our Proportionate ID digital wallet application.

Nokia smartphone w/ Windows Phone 7 Microsoft and Nokia United States

The deal between Microsoft (creating the Windows Phone OS) and Nokia (the device manufacturer) was announced in 2011.

Phones made under this agreement will reportedly have NFC capability.NS-1

This deal between Microsoft and Nokia will likely generate phones with built-in NFC capability. These phones will directly compete with the Android phones that already have this functionality. Applications have yet to be announced, but this will likely lead to apps that allow people to use their Nokia phones as digital wallets.NS-2

Nokia Money is an app that lets consumers manage money on their mobile.NS-3

Section 2 Digital Wallet Systems

Section 2A Mobile Payment Systems

BKash bKash Ltd, BRAC Bank, Money in Motion Bangladesh

bKash was announced in North America at an MIT conference in 2010BK-1

The system is still in the negotiation phase; new partners are constantly coming on board.

bKash is a mobile payment system in Bangladesh that is still in the development phase. bKash has partnered with BRAC Bank and other financial institutions in Bangladesh to allow citizens to take advantage of mobile commerce. Its mandate is to focus specifically on helping the country’s poor through micro-lending/saving.

BOKU BOKU Inc., Paymo, Mobillcash United States

Launched in 2009.

Apple and Google have both expressed interest in acquiring the company.BO-1

BOKU allows users to make purchases online using their mobile phone number. The payment is charged directly to the consumer’s phone bill.

BOKU has been making a move into point-of-sale physical transactions as well.BO-2

Cep-T Cuzdan Turkcell, MasterCard Turkey

Introduced in 2011, Turkcell (a telco) has partnered with one Turkish bank so far and is working on recruiting more partners.CT-1

Cep-T Cuzdan is a mobile payment system that uses NFC-enabled SIM cards to work on virtually any mobile phone. The NFC SIM replaces the old SIM in the phone. The system is compatible with the MasterCard PayPass application.CT-2

China Unicom Mobile Wallet China Unicom and SmartPay China

Launched in 2007 by China Unicom (a telco) and SmartPay (a mobile payment provider) in the Guangdong Province of China.CM-1

NFC usage remains very limited in China. Attempts are being made to roll out NFC, but RF-SIM has been the dominant contactless technology. CM-2

The China Unicom Mobile Wallet offers all the usual mobile financial solutions to Chinese consumers, e.g. account top-up, bill payment, etc.

The phones use RFID-SIM cards rather than traditional SIM cards. The RF-SIMs can be inserted into a phone and tapped at readers to complete the transaction.CM-3

China UnionPay China UnionPay China

UnionPay (a bank card organization) started expanding its NFC mobile payment system throughout China in 2010. CP-1

UnionPay offers essentially the same mobile wallet services as China Unicom. But where Unicom primarily uses RF-SIM, UnionPay has instead opted for NFC contactless technology. UnionPay claims the NFC standard is more securely encrypted than RF-SIM.CP-2

Cream Google, Citigroup, MasterCard, VeriFone United States

This alliance was first revealed as an industry rumour in March, 2011. Has not yet been officially confirmed.

Some sources have reported that the app will be called Cream.CR-1 It could be a default feature on upcoming Android phones.

This rumoured mobile payment system would be a direct competitor to ISIS in the American market. It would work only on phones with Google’s Android operating system. It would leverage NFC by using an app for the existing Nexus S phone and any future Android models. The deal would allow Google to gather more data on consumers’ purchasing habits. Google could then entice by using an app for the existing Nexus S phone and any future Android models.

The deal would allow Google to gather more data on consumers' purchasing habits. Google could then entice merchants to purchase more targeted ads for display on consumers' phone. CR-2

Citigroup and MasterCard would benefit by linking their customers’ credit card accounts to smartphones. VeriFone, maker of credit card readers, is rumoured to be making contactless readers as part of the alliance.

EasyPaisa Telenor Pakistan and Tameer Bank Pakistan

Introduced across Pakistan in 2010 by Telenor Pakistan (a mobile service provider).

The EasyPaisa system works on USSD, the secure GSM protocol. Consumers can perform standard financial services using the system, e.g. remittance, bill payment, money transfer, etc. The system is mainly meant to appeal to the microfinance market in Pakistan, i.e. impoverished people without bank accounts.

Telenor is exploring the possibility of incorporating NFC technology into future phones.EP-1

ISIS AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon; Discover and Barclays United States

This alliance between the top three mobile phone operators in the US was first announced in 2010.

The alliance reached an agreement with Salt Lake City, Utah to deploy ISIS in that city in early-to-mid 2012. They hope this will be the first step toward creating a nationwide mobile commerce infrastructure for the US. IS-1

ISIS represents the American attempt to build a standard mobile payment system like Osaifu-Keitai in Japan. The system will be based on NFC.

The ISIS alliance has partnered with Discover and Barclays to attract merchants to the system.

The ISIS telcos want their system to offer more than contactless payment. ISIS will also allow customers to redeem coupons and store loyalty cards. IS-2

Luup Luup Norway

Established in 2000 by a mobile payment provider Luup. Currently entering into partnerships with banks in Middle East, Asia and Europe.LU-1

Consumers can use Luup mobile payment applications to pay for goods, donate to charities, transfer money, etc. PIN is used for authentication.LU-2

Luup is Java-based and the apps on this system generally use SMS. The company is researching NFC possibilities for future applications.LU-3

M-PESA Vodafone Kenya

Launched in 2007 in Kenya, the M-PESA system quickly gained popularity. It is now being deployed in other developing countries, e.g. Tanzania, Afghanistan.MP-1

The M-PESA mobile payment system is accessible through regular mobile phones. It is based on SMS rather than NFC.MP-2 Authentication is handled by the SIM card inside each phone, which contains encryption keys and secures the user’s PIN.MP-3

The M-PESA apps are installed on the SIM card of the phone. Its most popular use so far has been for remittances but point-of-sale transactions are also common as more merchants in Kenya adopt the technology.MP-4

Mobile Wallet Service Alcatel-Lucent, Clear2Pay, and PingPing France

A global hosting service for mobile operators. MWS was first announced in 2010.

Alcatel-Lucent is currently partnering with mobile operators, primarily throughout Europe.MA-1

Alcatel-Lucent, a telco equipment maker, hopes to encourage the development of mobile wallet systems and apps by providing a global hosting service that is SaaS-based. The company has provided this infrastructure in order to counteract the fragmentation and lack of interoperability prevalent in the mobile wallet market. MA-2

MWS is compatible with SMS, USSD and NFC.MA-3 Alcatel-Lucent has also introduced “touchatag” NFC stickers for merchants to use if they do not yet have NFC-equipped readers.

Everything Everywhere Barclaycard and Everything Everywhere United Kingdom

The partnership between the UK credit card company (Barclaycard) and the UK mobile network operator (Everything Everywhere) was announced in 2009. The companies hope to accomplish widespread adoption of mobile NFC across the UK by 2012.EE-1 This mobile payment system is scheduled to be rolled out in the summer of 2011. EE-2

The Everything Everywhere mobile payment system is a direct competitor to O2 Wallet. The consumer will link their NFC phone to their existing debit or credit card account(s). Using the app, funds can then be transferred from the card to the phone. Payments can then be made wherever there is a contactless reader. EE-3

Osaifu-Keitai NTT DoCoMo Japan

Since 2004, Osaifu-Keitai “wallet phones” have been very popular in Japan. Japan is not entirely a “cashless society” but the possibility does not seem far off. Many different apps for these phones that eliminate the need for physical cards have been developed since 2004. This system was developed by the predominant mobile phone operator in Japan, NTT DoCoMo. Most mobile operators in Japan use the system.OS-1

Osaifu-Keitai are mobile phones, mainly in Japan but increasingly South Korea and Singapore, that embed Sony’s contactless FeliCa chip. The technology is similar to NFC. Major operators are planning on switching to Android NFC phones within the next few years.OS-2

The Osaifu-Keitai phones support a variety of apps that provide different services, e.g. BitWallet’s Edy for electronic money, Sony’s eLIO Mobile for credit card, JR East’s Mobile Suica for public fare collection.OS-3

Data are typically stored in the FeliCa chip in each phone. Personal information is usually entered upon downloading each application. Authentication between phone and reader is based on a randomly generated key.OS-4 FeliCa’s Handover Toolkit software allows wireless connections to be authenticated between two phones using Bluetooth.

Tap-and-Go Sprint United States

Announced in 2011, still in development. Will serve as a direct competitor to the ISIS system.TG-1

Sprint is currently trying to recruit mobile developers through its explanatory website.TG-2

Sprint is the only major American telco that decided to opt out of the ISIS deal. It has been negotiating with payment networks and phone manufacturers to build its own system. The system will likely be based on NFC. Sprint has said that the Nexus S will be part of its network.

Sprint plans to differentiate itself from ISIS by not taking a percentage of each transaction. Instead, it could gain revenue from targeted advertising sent to users’ phones. TG-3

u4ia secure memory card Tyfone and First Data Taiwan

Created by a US mobile technology company (Tyfone) and a US payment processing company (First Data). Has been tested in organizations; Tyfone plans to roll out public trials of the technology in 2011.UI-1

Tyfone has embedded NFC chips into microSD and SD cards rather than within a smartphone proper. Any phone with an SD slot, then, can potentially be turned into a digital wallet. UI-2The technology was developed primarily with the banking industry in mind and features the standard mobile banking features, e.g. fund transfers, bill payments. UI-3

Union Bank Money Union Back of India and Obopay India

Obopay is partly owned by Nokia. Launched in 2011, currently being deployed throughout India.

Union Bank Money is a mobile payment system geared primarily toward India. Its target market is Indian consumers, especially people living in villages, who do not have a formal bank account. They can use the app to store, send and receive funds. It will do P2P transfers.

Consumers can also pay through their mobile phone via SMS at registered Nokia outlets.

The application will be pre-installed in new models of Nokia phones across India.UB-1

Section 2B Digital Wallet Applications

Akami mobile Toro Taiwan

Originally launched in 2009 for Java-based mobile phones, it is expanding its OS platforms. The most recent release has been for Bada.AK-1

Akami mobile is an app designed specifically for NFC-capable phones. It runs on all mobile OS platforms, e.g. J2ME, BlackBerry, Android, Bada, etc. Personal information is held inside the SIM card on the phone.AK-2

It delivers a variety of mobile commerce applications, e.g. payment, transport, loyalty, etc.AK-3 Toro also provides an SDK for managing the app on different platforms.

Amazon mobile app United States

Still in the speculation phase as of April, 2011.AM-1

The speculated smartphone app from Amazon would be NFC-based and allow merchants to take payments from customers. The user's payment details would be supplied to the store through their account.AM-2

The current Amazon mobile app is based on photography and barcode scanning, not NFC.AM-3 The Amazon NFC app, using the Amazon Appstore, would directly compete with Apple's speculated NFC app, which would use the Apple Appstore.

Azigo Data Wallet Azigo, Inc. United States

The Data Wallet app has not yet launched. Azigo, a US software company, wants to support all PC/Mac browsers and then tackle the smartphone space. A native mobile app version is in development. AZ-1

Azigo Data Wallet is an online identity management app that will likely expand into a smartphone app in the near future. The app is based on open-source. After downloading the app, the user defines what data websites can collect about them. A user's various online identities are consolidated into a secure “data wallet.” AZ-2

The I-Card Selector allows for the selective disclosure of personal information online, with compatible websites.AZ-3

Azigo is not developing an NFC-capable app but because Data Wallet and I-Card Selector are browser-based, an Azigo-enabled NFC app could conceivably be used to pass a user's credentials.

Blaze Mobile Wallet Blaze Mobile United States

Blaze Mobile Wallet became available for most mobile operating systems, including Android and iPhone, in 2009.

The app, developed by the US mobile tech company (Blaze Mobile), continues to grow in popularity, especially in the US.BL-1

Blaze Mobile Wallet is an app with the usual mobile commerce features, e.g. viewing receipts, paying bills, managing bank accounts. The app connects to one’s bank account(s) over the internet. Blaze also developed NFC-capable stickers to serve as a complement to the app. The stickers can be attached to any mobile phone and used at stores with contactless terminals. BL-2 Authentication is done via PIN.

Card Case Square, Inc. United States

Originally conceived as a service to allow people to accept credit card payments on their mobile phone, in May 2011 Square announced that it would also enable people to make mobile payments through its Card Case app.

Still in an early stage of development. Only about 50 smaller merchants throughout the US have signed up for the service.CC-1

Available for iPhone and Android. The payment system also requires an iPad device on the merchant side.CC-2 Square does not use NFC – instead, the Card Case app allows the user to locate businesses in the area that support Square. Purchases are then charged to the user's Square account, which has already been linked to a credit card.CC-3 The card is initially linked to the Square account by making one purchase with the physical credit card at the store. The user then receives a text message to setup a Square account.CC-4

eWallet Ilium Software United States

This application has been around since the early 2000s. It was launched originally for use on PCs.

The application allows one to keep track of all of their personal information in a centralized database. The app can be used on smartphones and PCs/Macs.

The app is essentially a password manager. It does not integrate with NFC or enable selective disclosure. EW-1

Ewallet Allied Wallet United States

Has been incorporated since 2002. In April, 2011, released the Ewallet app for BlackBerry.EWA-1

This app is primarily for online transactions, such as through web stores. After signing up, the customer can buy goods/services online, load account with funds, send funds to others, etc. using the mobile app.EWA-2

FaceOnIt Funded under the 7th Framework Programme and Idiap Europe (Sweden)

Project began in early 2008, finished in late 2010.FO-1

Resulted in the FaceOnIt app for the iPhone, released in 2011.FO-2

This project focused primarily on the potential of including a biometric authentication component in a digital wallet device. It held that the conventional method of authentication with PINs and passwords is insufficient.

Authentication could be performed on a regular mobile phone with a microphone and video camera (for voice and face authentication). The system could run entirely on the phone itself or on a remote server.FO-3

Fig Card Fig Card Corporation, PayPal, eBay United States

Fig Card was incorporated in 2010. In April, 2011, it was announced that PayPal had acquired Fig Card.FG-1

The Fig Card mobile payment system requires no new hardware for smartphones and hardware provided to merchants for free. The system is an attempt to enable mobile payments without using NFC or SMS. Instead, a USB key that plugs into a cash register is provided to merchants. The key communicates with the user's application through WiFi.FG-2

Gemalto Mobile Wallet Trivnet and Gemalto Israel and France

France’s Gemalto, a digital security company, acquired Israel’s Trivnet, a mobile technology company, in 2010.

Trivnet provides a secure mobile transaction platform for mobile operators/service providers. This enables people to make money transfers, bill payments, etc. using their phone.

Trivnet uses the Merchant API to integrate its system with any type of merchant. This would enable the merchant to collect data on each consumer using mobile transactions. The Trivnet platform is also NFC-capable.GM-1

Google Wallet Google, Citi and MasterCard United States

Announced in May, 2011. It is only available on the Sprint Nexus S 4G phone. Google plans on expanding to other phones in the near future.

Many well-established merchants, such as Subway and Guess, are already on board.GW-1

The Google Wallet app uses NFC. Citi MasterCard cards and Google Prepaid cards can be linked to the account. The app facilitates financial transactions using NFC, but it is also capable of storing loyalty cards. Deals from the Google Offers program can be stored and processed using the app.

For security, the app requires the entry of a PIN before each purchase. Card credentials are stored on a secure element inside the phone. Google uses the MasterCard PayPass encryption to protect data as it is transferred from phone to reader.GW-2

iManager University of Freiburg Germany

First discussed in academic articles published in 2003. Did not progress past the prototype stage from what we can discern. The project showed that it is feasible to build privacy protective alternatives to conventional ID schemes into mobile devices.

iManager is the earliest example we have found of an application for a mobile device that enables users to manager partial identities. It was developed for the Compaq iPAQ H3870 Pocket PC. It is a client-side app, so partial identities are stored and managed by the user.

'Identity configuration' allows users to create a particular identity for a given transaction scenario. 'Identity negotiation' takes place if a service needs more data from the user than s/he specifies. iManager reviews the service’s and the user’s respective privacy policies and suggests solutions. A digital signature is then accepted for confirmation. The proxy system JAP is used to support anonymity.IM-1

iMobile C-SAM and ICICI Bank India

Launched in 2008 specifically for ICICI Bank customers.IO-1

Sam Pitroda of C-SAM originally patented a digital wallet in 1994. iMobile is the result of that patent. It offers various mobile banking solutions, e.g. credit card services, bill payments. The app uses SMS.IO-2

The app is available for iPhone and Android. It uses PIN for authentication. IO-3

M-Wallet Motorola United States

Motorola began testing the M-Wallet in 2004.MW-1 It was deployed in China in 2008.MW-2 Not much has been written about the M-Wallet since then.

The Motorola M-Wallet is a Java-based mobile phone app that enables mobile commerce, e.g. bill payment, bank transactions, etc.

Motorola partnered with China UnionPay in 2008 to deploy the M-Wallet. Users need to download the Motorola app and register their bank account(s) to the phone. MW-3

Motorola tested the I-SIM NFC Lite in Taiwan with plans to move it into the Chinese market in 2009. The I-SIM NFC is made as a sticker to be attached to regular SIM cards in order to enable contactless payment.MW-4 That has been the most recent announcement.

mFerio and pFerio Singapore Management U and Carnegie Mellon U Singapore and United States

A secure P2P mobile payment application (mFerio) and a point-of-sale app for indicating best deals (pFerio). A research team based mainly out of Singapore has been working on developing digital wallet solutions since 2006. The apps, mFerio and pFerio, were first announced in 2009 by the two universities.

The prototypes were tested mainly with undergrad students. Positive results were reported.MF-1In the latest paper from 2009, they indicated that they intend to deploy a full version of mFerio and test it with a larger pool of participants.

mFerio has a built-in authentication system so that no additional connectivity is needed beyond standard cellphones. It was developed as a Java ME app on Nokia 6131 phones with NFC. Authentication is done via PIN and/or biometric fingerprint reader; however, the app was designed to handle any authentication method that gains market dominance. MF-2 During first connection, the app creates a private key using Diffie-Hellman and Even-Goldreich-Yacobi cryptography. It uses a two-touch protocol (the phones have to touch twice).

pFerio aggregates discount, loyalty and reward cards to find the best deal for a customer at any given time. The app uses XML to describe and store physical card data. The phone is then placed on a store’s reader and the system uses algorithms to display the best deal.MF-3

Cash and personal information would be stored on each phone using a secure hardware protected chip.

Mobile Express Checkout PayPal, Starbucks, Footlocker, Bling Nation and VeriFone United States

Application was announced in 2010 by PayPal (the application developer) and its partners. Merchants have reported high sales growth at their online stores since adopting the app. ME-1

PayPal is actively working on enabling contactless point-of-sale transactions.ME-2

PayPal’s app is a digital payment platform that is now competing with American Express Serve. The app allows consumers to make purchases at various online stores using their PayPal account.

PayPal is reportedly working on extending the app into point-of-sale situations so that consumers can use their smartphone to make in-store purchases.ME-3 But PayPal has not committed to NFC. The company says it wants to develop a “mobile wallet in the cloud.”ME-4

But PayPal’s partnership with Bling Nation allows consumers to make their phones NFC-capable by sticking an adhesive BlingTag onto their phone. Purchases can then be made at stores with Bling Nation consoles. Authentication is PIN-based.ME-5

Mobile Express Checkout also works with the Bump app for iPhone and Android.

Money & Bills Pageonce United States

Pageonce, a US mobile app developer, was founded in 2007. In May, 2011, the company raised $15 million to further expands its mobile app service.MB-1

Money & Bills allows a user to aggregate their financial accounts together into one application. The app is available on most major smartphone operating systems. Loyalty card and frequent flyer accounts can also be linked into the app. The user receives advertising through the app based on this data.MB-2

It seems that the app is mostly for viewing and organizing accounts. It does not seem to process transactions/deal with contactless payments. However, there have been reports saying that Pageonce has partnered with Apple in its development of a digital wallet for future iPhone models.MB-3

mWiz Mobile Wallet Malaysia

Mobile Wallet was incorporated in 2004, deployed its system throughout Malaysia and discontinued service in late 2010.

Prepaid accounts are linked to the user's Mobile Wallet. Purchases, bill payments, etc. are then made via SMS. The Mobile Wallet system uses a Java-based app called mWiz. Authentication is does through PIN code.MI-1

Mobio Mobio Identity Systems, Inc., Canada

Developed by a Vancouver-based mobile technology company founded in 2003. The application was first announced for the iPhone in 2009, with the Android app following soon after. It should become available for BlackBerry some time in 2011.

Merchant adoption has been strongest in the Pacific Northwest but is growing across Canada and the US.MS-1

The Mobio application is based on QR codes, the two-dimensional barcodes, rather than NFC. It turns the camera on one’s phone into a QR barcode reader. A merchant pays in order to become a Mobio affiliate. A QR code is then generated for that store, which can then place the code on its bills and/or promotional materials.

From there, a customer with Mobio on their smartphone can take a picture of the QR code and pay for their bill or purchase the product. The Mobio-generated QR codes can only be read by the Mobio app; it won’t work with a standard QR reader.

The app requests personal information upon download and securely stores it for future transactions. The personal information is automatically generated when a merchant’s product page is accessed through QR code.MS-2

Mobio produces authentication codes to verify the user and transaction. It cloaks credit card details during transactions to protect privacy.MS-3Mobio also claims to enable selective disclosure of identity during this process so that users can choose which personal details to transact.

MWallet MoreMagic and Western Union United States

Introduced in 2006, recently made a deal with financial services company Western Union to attract subscribers.MM-1

The MWallet system allows consumers to receive funds directly into their phone or “digital wallet.” Payments can be made from the app as well. This is appealing to consumers who do not have a bank account.MM-2

mWallet Banglalink and Comviva Bangladesh

Partnership between Banglalink and Comviva announced in 2010.

This deal shows that Bangladesh is taking the lead in the South Asian mobile wallet market. Comviva is providing its mobile commerce technology, mobiquity, to service provider Banglalink.

mWallet allows consumers to conduct financial transactions using their mobile. Mobile remittance is a particularly popular feature in developing countries like Bangladesh. The account may reside in the phone itself or on a remote server. WM-1

O2 Wallet O2 United Kingdom

O2 conducted a six-month trial on their app in 2007-2008. Results showed that consumers are interested in NFC technology.OW-1

The telco is planning to launch its app in late 2011. It is waiting on merchants to adopt more NFC terminals.OW-2

The next O2 Wallet app will contain a variety of mobile wallet features, such as peer-to-peer payment. The current version only allows consumers to pay for virtual goods. The app will also be connected to a physical card and pre-paid account. Purchases made through the mobile will be charged to this account, or other accounts on the phone. The app can also be used by customers with other telcos.OW-3

Paycloud Mobile Wallet SparkBase and Naratte United States

Developed by the US loyalty card processor (SparkBase) and the US wireless tech company (Naratte). Introduced by SparkBase in May 2011, the Paycloud pilot will launch over the summer.PW-1

The Paycloud mobile wallet is geared toward the management of loyalty programs. It does not deal with payments. Merchants must attach a “Paycloud sensor” to their existing credit card terminal in order to communicate with the app. No Wi-Fi or internet connection is required. Works with Apple and Android smartphones.

Security is provided through dynamic encryption. Credentials are not stored on the phone. The app provides password protection and a PIN can also be enabled.PW-2

PayPass MasterCard, Blaze Mobile and RIM United States

The app was developed by the US credit card company MasterCard, the sticker to make phones NFC-capable was created by Blaze Mobile and the PayPass Mobile Tag for BlackBerry phones was created by RIM. As with Visa payWave, the MasterCard PayPass technology was first built into physical cards. The PayPass cards were rolled out in 2005.

The Blaze Mobile and BlackBerry PayPass deals were announced in 2009. PayPass has been adopted by merchants more quickly than payWave in Canada. MC-1

If users have an NFC-enabled phone, then they can download the PayPass app from the MasterCard website. Card payment details are then downloaded into one’s phone. Merchants use a PayPass reader to accept the transaction.MC-2

For users without an NFC phone, a Blaze Mobile sticker that enables contactless payment can be attached to a phone. If the phone is lost/stolen, Blaze can remotely deactivate any account. MC-3

There is also a PayPass adhesive made specifically for BlackBerry phones. The adhesive contains the chip and antenna found in a physical PayPass card and makes BlackBerry phones NFC-capable.MC-4

Paytoo Mobile Wallet Paymotech and Prepay Nation Germany

Developed by the German mobile payment company (Paymotech) and international mobile remittance company (Prepay). Paymotech announced its partnership with Prepay Nation in May, 2011. Paymotech plans to make its mobile wallet system accessible throughout Prepay's retail distribution network.PT-1

Paytoo claims to be the world's first universal mobile wallet solution. It merges a telecommunications and mobile wallet systems together. Services are performed using Paytoo's mobile SIM card. Users can transfer credit, pay bills, pay merchants, etcs. Contactless payments are possible using a sticker attached to the phone. Barcodes can also be used to make transactions.PT-2

payWave Visa, DeviceFidelity, Apple United States

Visa developed the application, DeviceFidelity developed the In2Pay case for the iPhone and Apple certified the In2Pay technology. payWave began in 2007 as a technology embedded in credit cards. Visa announced the payWave product for smartphones in 2010.

It quickly became popular in NYC with commuters who now use payWave instead of buying Metro cards.PV-1 Visa is currently deploying the technology internationally.

payWave works with any smartphone – one only needs to insert an NFC-enabled microSD chip into their phone and download the payWave application. With iPhones, a special casing that holds the chip and slips over the phone is required.PV-2

payWave can be used at locations with contactless payment readers. These readers are being increasingly adopted by retailers across the US and Canada.

The chip generates a unique authentication code for each transaction.PV-3 Visa claims payWave is safer than physical cards because the stores will not hold the data.

Personal Data Store (PDS) Mydex United Kingdom

Developed by a Community Interest Company (CIC). The application is in “community prototype mode” at the moment. Prototype testing took place between October 2010-March 2011. Launch of a fully working PDS is scheduled for late 2011.

Allows individuals to create their own online database of personal information so that they can “input once, use many times.”MX-1 The PDS also records all transactions to keep an audit trail. The prototype is PC-only but the live version will be browser-based and capable of running on smartphones.

Users can perform selective disclosure by specifying the data they are willing to share. Data are stored on the PDS with verifications attached.MX-2 Mostly for online transactions, doesn’t mention point-of-sale scenarios.

Qwick Codes Mobile Wallet Payment Alliance International and MagTek United States

Developed by the US payment processing company and the mobile security company. This technology was announced in May, 2011. The system is currently being deployed throughout PAI's large network of ATM machines in the US.QW-1

The Qwick Codes app enables in-person merchant transactions, online transactions and ATM transactions. It runs on Apple and Android mobile devices. The app requires an external peripheral in order to work – the Secure Card Reader Authenticator. With this device attached to the phone, various cards can be swiped through it. Data from the cards is then held in the phone, eliminating the need to carry around physical cards.QW-2 Card data is encrypted once it is swiped and authentication is performed using MagTek's MagnePrint one-time digital identifier.QW-3

Serve American Express United States

Launched as a direct competitor to PayPal’s Mobile Express Checkout in 2011. Available on Android and iPhone. Accounts can also be accessed through Facebook.

Available in the US, Serve will expand internationally within the next year. American Express hopes to add features and build NFC capability into the platform with future iterations.SV-1

The Serve application does not handle point-of-sale contactless transactions. Instead, it is a digital payment platform that gives consumers new flexibility in spending, sending and receiving money.

Serve merges multiple payment options, e.g. debit, credit card, bank account into a single account. Personal information is entered and stored inside the app once it is downloaded. From there, consumers can use the Serve app to send/receive money and make online purchases.

For offline commerce, a reloadable Serve card is issued. This can be used at merchants that accept American Express.SV-2

Starbucks Card Starbucks United States

The app was launched in 2011 and is now accepted at Starbucks stores throughout the US.ST-1

This initiative shows a particular company making a move into the digital wallet realm. The app is linked to one’s Starbucks loyalty card account. It is not NFC-based. The app displays a barcode unique to the account and the barcode reader in Starbucks makes the transaction. ST-2

TabbedOut ATX Innovation, Inc. United States

Developed by the mobile app company ATX Innovation Inc. Launched in Austin, TX in 2010, available for iPhone and Android.TO-1

ATX is actively trying to recruit more merchants into accepting its app.TO-2

Focused on the hospitality industry, TabbedOut allows one to pay for bar and restaurant bills using a smartphone. Personal information is stored on the phone itself rather than on servers. When ready to pay, the customer opens the app and finds the TabbedOut location. A code is then generated and sent electronically to the merchant's point-of-sale system to process the payment.

Data are secured with 256-bit AES encryption. A password can also be set for authentication. The app is currently US-only.TO-3

Tapango 10Ksolutions Belgium

The technology company established in 2008. The technology is being deployed throughout Belgium.

The Tapango digital wallet is aimed at markets that use loyalty cards, tickets, etc. and is not meant to replace cash. The system uses MIFARE chips. Personal information is stored on a centralized database.TP-1 The platform is interoperable with NFC phones.TP-2

Venmo Venmo, Inc United States

The US-based Internet start-up company Venmo was founded in 2009. The service is currently US only.VP-1

The mobile payment app leverages social networking. It is not directly marketed toward merchants, although certain merchants have adopted it. It is instead primarily meant as a service for paying back one's friends, etc. It is based on SMS. Venmo is differentiating itself from other mobile payment services by basing itself on trusted relationships between friends. VP-2 Available for Apple, Android and BlackBerry.VP-3

W-Wallet Fujitsu Canada

Introduced in 2006. There has not been much published about it since then.

Fujitsu claims the W-Wallet app works on virtually any mobile phone. The app was built using J2ME and so the phone would need to be Java-based and have web access.

The W-Wallet application works with point-of-sale transactions. The phone does not store any personal information. Authentication is PIN-based. It uses a special key exchange protocol. An access number is communicated to each phone from a secure transaction server.WW-1

ypaycash Corporation Bank and eMudhra Indian

Developed by the Indian public sector bank Corporation Bank and the mobile technology company eMudhra. Introduced in April, 2011.

The ypaycash mobile wallet app is geared toward current Corp Bank customers. It can be used in any store that carries the system. After logging into the app, the consumer types in the amount to be paid. A barcode then appears on the screen. The merchant scans this barcode using his mobile phone’s camera and the transaction is completed.YP-1



What's a digital wallet?
A digital wallet refers to an electronic device that allows an individual to make electronic commerce transactions. This can include purchasing items on-line with a computer or using a smartphone to purchase something at a store.Increasingly, digital wallets are being made not just for basic financial transactions but to also authenticate the holder's credentials. For example, a digital-wallet could potentially verify the age of the buyer to the store while purchasing alcohol. It is useful to approach the term 'digital wallet' not as a singular technology but as three major parts: the system (the electronic infrastructure) and the application (the software that operates on top) and the device (the individual portion).

How was this information gathered?
Primarily, articles were found on popular tech sites using Google Search and Google News. We also used search queries such as “digital wallet” and “mobile wallet”. A few sources, e.g. mFerio, were found by searching through peer-reviewed, academic journals. In terms of organization, this overview does take some editorial decisions. Section two has been divided into a) systems and b) applications because the sources refer to the development of a mobile payment system but do not necessarily specify the digital wallet application(s) associated with that system. When it was clear to us that a specific digital wallet application was being discussed, then we placed that technology in the applications section. If you feel that something should be changed or added to this overview, please e-mail Dr. Andrew Clement.

Why does it matter?
As we increasingly depend on digital mediums to identify ourselves to governments, businesses and each other, critical questions arise: who is designing these technologies, for what motives, and how do these technologies operate? While there are benefits of digital wallets (e.g. the ease of transactions for customers and the possibility of a more fraud-proof ID system), there are various concerns. Digital exchanges can provide citizens the disservice of hiding what information is being exchanged; should an organization be able to collect your name, address and gender while it only needs to verify your age? Are they allowed to keep this information perpetually, possibly tracking how many times you visit them?

How can Prop-ID Contribute?
This research project can contribute by reminding the digital wallet market that increased efficiency is not the only goal here. The public interest must also be served. There has not been much discourse in the press around how digital wallet technologies could actually be used to help citizens regain some modicum of control over their personal information. Mobio Identity Sytems from Vancouver purports to enable selective disclosure but there hasn't been much discussion about that feature in the reviews of the program. Instead, its ability to facilitate financial transactions has been frontlined. Perhaps the most similar project to ours, then, is the one that Mydex is developing called Personal Data Stores. Mydex is a community interest company (CIC) that seems to have a mandate similar to Prop-ID. CICs were setup in the UK to develop solutions primarily with the public interest in mind, rather than for private benefit.


This overview has been created as part of the Prop-ID project, an initiative from the ID Lab at the University of Toronto. Prop-ID is funded as part of the Information Policy Research Program (IPRP) by grants from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) for Performing Identities (2008-2011) and the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada’s Contributions Program (2010-2011).