The Game of E-Wallets: The Era Of 'Cold War' Between West (PayPal, Apple Pay) and East (Alipay, Samsung Pay, Paytm)

There will be more than 4.8 billion individuals using a mobile phone by the end of 2016; consequently, e-wallets keep growing at a faster rate. And Asia is the fastest growing region for smartphone usage with low penetration of financial services, which provides double opportunities to become a winner of this race. Western players are more famous, one-step-ahead in terms of innovations and expand very fast to the East – but Eastern 'followers' provide better localization of their solutions, high usage, wider opportunities for the market penetration and they have deep pockets to compete everywhere.

US-based wallets have become comparable with some banks already! At the end of March, 148 million customers of PayPal held more than $13B in accounts – compared with bank deposit, the figure would put the company just behind TD Bank or Capital One. Starbucks doesn’t offer bank accounts, but 12 million members of the company’s loyalty & reward program app loaded a total $1.2 billion onto them. That’s more than what First Commonwealth Financial Corp. and Charles Schwab have in deposits.

PayPal (as well as its services Venmo and Braintree) showed excellent financial results for 2015 – ahead of eBay in terms of capitalization. The first quarter of 201 ...

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