How the introduction of e-wallets has paved the way for modern payment methods

ONLINE banking, e-wallets and mobile banking apps exemplify the broader digital revolution that has been taking place over the last 25 years.

In this relatively short period, banking and finance have completely changed. The industry underwent relatively small changes throughout the 20th century, and it wasn’t until the late 1990s that the banking and financial sector woke up to the idea that digital payment systems would soon undergo mass adoption and become the standard for how we deposit, withdraw and send our money all over the world.

The rise of the e-wallet

Digital financial platforms struggled to highlight convenience and security in their designs, especially early on. Back in the 1990s, a much smaller percentage of homes had access to the internet, and many people bought into some of the scare stories and conspiracies that were pedalled by the internet experts of the time – such as the Y2K bug – which was going to shut down the entire global financial system as we knew it.

Of course, like all sensationalist conspiracies, they’re started by people who don’t know what they’re talking about. Underlying this sensationalist rhetoric, however, was a whole host of people slowly understanding how the internet worked and how we were at the beginning of a vast change in society.

However, just because people started to understand the power of the internet doesn’t mean its adoption took place overnight. The early 2000s were a time of expensive, slow internet. Home PCs were very costly and many companies didn’t even have a digital presence. Customers needed an avenue that showed them that digital platforms were not just the future but that they were secure enough and could be used for everyday, modern use.

It was around this time that digital e-wallets started to find their feet. They offered casino gamers an option to deposit their funds online but then log on to their casino gaming provider and deposit, thus removing the need to enter their financially sensitive information. While Mastercard and Visa then started to make up ground in the 2000s and early 2010s, e-wallets were given a new lease of life when mobile phone companies started to put billions of pounds into the research and development of digital wallets.

The impact of the internet

Technology, goods and services don’t become globally adopted without assistance from other innovative areas of the economy and society. Although e-wallets have been a clear benefit to users since the early 2000s, it has taken a considerable shift in internet speed, cost, and accessibility for the foundation to emerge.

E-wallets and the internet both went through a period when people doubted their security and viability. However, as with so many other things in life, it takes a number of people, usually friends and family, to highlight the benefits of a particular service before we decide to make the jump for ourselves.

Home laptops and PCs got up to speed in the late 2000s, but mobile phones still lagged behind. However, digital finance companies and e-wallet providers knew that as soon as smartphones started to smash down these barriers and enable mass adoption at an affordable rate, those platforms that were able to advertise the quality of their e-wallets would be able to command a huge presence in finance.

We’re seeing this manifest today, whether it’s PayPal, Apple Pay, MuchBetter, Neteller or a whole host of other e-wallet providers. It’s becoming more evident daily that this is the future of finance and payment methods.

Modern-day e-wallets

With billions of smartphones circulating, each with its own digital wallet facility, e-wallets have quickly become the number one avenue people use for their digital casino gaming and a whole host of other e-commerce and online transactions. Emerging challenger e-wallets like MuchBetter are looking to utilise the current landscape and technology, and branch into wristband contactless payments as well.

Although it’s still a relatively small e-wallet provider at the moment, with just over one million registered, active customers, there is a growing number of casinos with MuchBetter option where you can connect your account and deposit using your MuchBetter login. E-wallets allow you to register with a number of online merchants, and if you’re looking to deposit and withdraw from a casino, they’re viewed as an increasingly convenient and secure way to transact.

While it might be easier to deposit and withdraw your funds at a casino, it’s important not to lose sight of responsible gambling. You should always stick to the time limits you set for yourself, and you should not exceed any deposit limits, either. If you start to gamble with money you can’t afford to lose, or it’s beginning to have a negative impact on your personal life, then you must seek out assistance before your problem spirals into an unmanageable situation.

2024 and beyond

Casino gaming is only one small element of how digital payment methods are evolving. You only need to see people in a supermarket or at a bar or restaurant to see how much e-wallets are changing the foundation of our daily lives. Ten years ago, we’d use our physical bank cards to make payments, both online and if we were using an in-store merchant. However, many of us now opt to tap our phones, with e-wallets quickly becoming the primary modern payment method.

For example, Apple Pay has become universally used, with the figures expanding into the hundreds of millions since the beginning of this decade, such that anti-trust laws were brought into place for Apple to share the technology, given how much of the market they were starting to command.

As we head further into this decade, e-wallets and digital payments will continue to focus on our mobiles. In fact, some financial experts believe the era of physical bank cards and cash might be over by 2050. While it’s always difficult to make such accurate claims, there’s a whole new generation of people entering the market who have only ever used mobile devices, so the percentage of the population using e-wallets is almost certain to grow.

Summary

The reason technology has surpassed traditional methods is simple – convenience. We already do so much on our phones, and bank cards and payment methods were simply the last necessities in our lives that have finally made the transition.

PayPal, Neteller, Skrill, Apple and Google Pay are all examples of modern-day e-wallets. While they might have taken a while to explode onto the scene, the last few years have definitely signalled a huge change in momentum, steamrolling toward mass adoption. E-wallets have integrated modern security changes, such as 2FA and wearable technology, which we’re also seeing emerge in new electric vehicle designs and biometric facial recognition.

A combination of these technologies, especially 2FA and facial recognition, has enabled e-wallets to implement highly secure routes for people to transact online. Ultimately, these are key reasons that modern payment methods are now taking over. By adding all these layers to their service, e-wallet providers have paved the way for mobile devices to become the only thing we need in our lives to make online payments.

Now, some detractors and naysayers think that digital wallets developing a monopoly isn’t the convenient utopia that some in the tech industry would have you believe. Still, given that they’re both more secure and convenient, there’s unlikely to be a mass exodus from the technology.

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