This is going to be the year that sees viable alternatives to the old leather pouches and golden clips (if people still use those) that we use to carry around our money, identification and various (and multitudinous) payment cards. There are a number of digital wallet solutions set to compete for a place in your pocket later this year and they all have their own strengths and weaknesses.
I’ve argued in the past that the success this kind of solution hinges on the proper balance of security versus convenience. Though all of the digital wallets are coming to serve the same purpose, each one has a different idea of how secure it should be.
Another big part of the coming War of the Wallets is marketing. Just take a look at any of the websites set up to introduce the technology, or subscribe to the term “m-commerce” through a search alert service and you will see: the consumer market is being aggressively targeted with digital wallet PR.
NXT-ID announced this week that it will be conscripting the nation’s youth in the battle of the bulging wallet, teaming up with the John F. Welch College of Business at Sacred Heart University to participate in marketing studies and the initial testing of the Wocket biometric smart wallet.
This is a calculated move on the company’s part. According to NXT-ID CEO Gino Pereira, “It is particularly relevant as one of our initial target group of customers for the Wocket are college students and campuses where there is a unique combination of open loop and closed loop payment systems combined with a particular need for security with access control to buildings.”
The partnership will manifest in three stages: market research, product research and live testing. Part one will entail students researching the Wocket’s competition, the market landscape and consumer trends, while part two will see them conducting surveys and focus groups. Finally, the product will undergo live testing on campus.
The Wocket secures all kinds of separate data via biometrics on a single reprogrammable mag stripe card. Not just credit cards, the Wocket can store medical records, ID and a variety of coupons. This dynamic device seems to be targeted at the right market, considering students are regularly required to submit student ID documents and use a range of on-campus only service cards that would otherwise clutter a traditional wallet.
Most importantly however, this serves as an educational project, giving young people hands on experience with the product and with the marketing industry.
As Kwamie Dunbar, assistant professor of Finance at the John F. Welch College of Business, states: “This gives our students the type of real life hands on experience that the College prides itself on.”