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E-Wallets: Definition, Types, and Working

  • Bhumika Dutta
  • May 23, 2022
E-Wallets: Definition, Types, and Working title banner

The fintech business has been transformed by cutting-edge technology. Payment methods have also evolved significantly over time. While companies used technology to better serve customers with convenience, payment digitalization was a significant step in achieving all of these goals. 

 

Many of the problems associated with traditional monetary transactions have been alleviated by this notion. Transactions are now simpler, safer, more accessible, and more secure, and this is only possible thanks to digital payment.

 

This article is mainly about digital wallets and E-Wallet technology. 


 

What are E-Wallets?


E-wallets are software applications that save data in a safe manner. This information is required in order for the wallet owner to make payments online or at retail locations. They do this through the usage of specialized equipment. That's probably as near to an all-encompassing description of e-wallets, or electronic wallets, as we'll get.

 

It's also only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what electronic wallets – also known as digital wallets or cyberwallets – can achieve. E-wallet technology has been applied to a range of use cases during the last decade.

 

The buyer's payment information is stored in this digital payment system. When a customer visits a payment page on a website or in an app, the e-wallet may provide payment information on the spot, allowing for quick and easy transactions. Consumers can create an electronic wallet account that is accessible at any time.


 

Credit card data, debit card data, banking information, and payment platform connection are some of the elements that may be saved in an e-wallet account. This saves the buyer the trouble of retrieving their wallet and cards. It's simple and quick. 

 

Different e-wallets are used in various situations, by various sorts of enterprises, and by various types of consumers. Companies and customers alike would benefit from using e-wallets in the marketplace now that eCommerce is a worldwide industry.

 

Here are the types of e-wallets that you can get in the market.


 

Types of E-Wallets:

 

Different types of e-wallets differ in composition and functionality in the wild. Following our original characterization, we may differentiate those wallets based on their software and hardware. In terms of data, we'll observe that most e-wallets process the same types of data.

 

Digital wallets, crypto wallets, mobile wallets, and IoT wallets are the four fundamental forms of electronic wallets. They're all umbrella words for extremely particular wallet setups that might change depending on a variety of factors.

 

Here are the types of E-Wallets:

 

  1. E-Money Wallets / Digital Wallets:

 

The "standard" use case for an e-wallet is this one. As a result, many people use the phrases e-wallet and digital wallet interchangeably. Digital wallets are usually online programs that may be accessed from any device with an internet connection.

 

The wallet provider manages a central online platform where digital wallets are stored. Users can utilize payment instruments saved in the e-wallet to top up or withdraw from their e-money balance. They can also pay for e-commerce transactions by charging a saved payment instrument or utilizing available e-money. Paytm, PayPal and Amazon Pay are two popular examples.

 

Some banks also provide specialized digital wallet applications with budgeting and alert alerting functions. E-wallets have become a standard in the microfinance industry for many small enterprises. Finally, some digital wallets allow you to store assets other than fiat money. Take, for example, loyalty points or even merely informative data such as coupons or discount codes. Because many of these stored values circulate in a closed-loop, they can only be spent in certain situations, such as on specific e-commerce platforms.

 

 

  1. Crypto Wallets:

 

This type of e-wallet keeps track of a user's public and private keys. The keys serve as ownership certificates for cryptocurrencies recorded on the blockchain. Hardware wallets, also known as cold wallets, exist to give additional security. They run on a USB stick and work offline. Payments can also be made using cryptocurrency using certain crypto wallets.


 

  1. Mobile Wallets:

 

The phrase "mobile wallet" is frequently used to refer to a variety of wallet apps. Mobile wallet solutions save credit and debit card data and may be used to make payments as a basic feature. The card data is saved on the secure element, a specific chip on the mobile device. The cards can also be used as regular plastic cards outside of the wallet. At point-of-sale, users may easily pay using their mobile wallets. The POS communicates with the secure element of the mobile phone through Near-field Communication Technology for this purpose.

 

Some mobile wallets can process payments at a point of sale without requiring an internet connection. Depending on the payment amount and the user's risk score, the wallet can check offline if the user has enough money to complete the transaction (e.g., by checking the last known prepaid balance) or it can completely bypass the check.

 

When the wallet is reconnected to the internet, it syncs available money and, if there is an insufficient prepaid balance, it can, for example, instantly initiate a payment via the user's selected payment instrument to collect the overdue payment amount. Direct carrier billing is a kind of pay-by-mobile wallet in which the cost of the purchase is applied to your mobile phone bill.

 

Also Read | 7 Top NFT Wallets in 2022


 

Significance of E-Wallet:

 

So by now, we have understood that E-wallets are very efficient. Here is why they are significant:

 

  • A digital wallet securely keeps all of a user's payment information in a little amount of space. As a result, the necessity to carry physical wallets is considerably reduced.

 

  • Many poor nations may be able to improve their involvement in the global financial industry by employing digital wallets.

 

  • Users may send money to friends and relatives who live in various countries using digital wallets.

 

  • Digital wallets may be quite useful for businesses that need to acquire user data for marketing purposes. They learn about customer purchasing behaviors and improve the efficacy of their product's marketing strategies. Consumers, on the other hand, lose their privacy as a result.

 

  • Furthermore, digital wallets do away with the requirement to create and maintain a bank account with a real bank or company. As a result, they link people and companies in remote regions.

 

  • To perform cryptocurrency transactions and keep track of balances, you'll need a digital wallet.

 

Also Read | How does UPI work?


 

How do E-Wallets Work?

 

Most electronic wallets are primarily designed to facilitate payment processing. B2C payments, particularly on e-commerce platforms, are arguably the most common use case for e-wallets in the Western world, with mobile point-of-sale transactions a close second.

 

Aside from e-commerce-focused digital wallet systems, there are solutions tailored to certain enterprises or sectors. E-wallet software can handle B2B wallets for cross-border transactions as well as P2P systems for value exchange.

 

Digital wallets are apps that take advantage of mobile devices' capabilities to make financial goods and services more accessible. By securely and compactly storing all of a consumer's payment information, digital wallets virtually eliminate the need to carry a traditional wallet. Digital wallets employ the wireless capabilities of your mobile device, such as Bluetooth, wifi, and magnetic signals, to securely communicate payment data from your smartphone to a point of sale that can read the data and connect through these signals.

 

Here are a few technologies used by e-wallets:

 

  1. Near field communication: NFC is a technique that uses electromagnetic signals to link and transfer data between two smart devices. To connect, two devices must be within roughly an inch and a half (4 cm) of one another.

  2. QR codes (Quick Response Codes): Quick response codes are information-storing matrix barcodes. To make a payment, you utilize your device's camera and the wallet's scanning technology.

  3. Magnetic secure transmission (MST): This is the same technique that magnetic card readers use to read your card when you swipe it through a slot on a POS. This encrypted field is generated by your phone and may be read by the point of sale.


 

Data Processing in E-Wallets:

 

In e-wallet setups, data processing is critical for payment processing. Financial regulators place a high priority on data security, requiring e-wallet providers to adhere to a variety of data-related requirements. Furthermore, data is not just a source of issues for businesses, but it can also be a useful resource for providing the best possible user experience to customers. 

 

Here are the types of data held by E-wallets:

 

  1. Digitized User Information:

 

This category comprises a wide range of data elements that don't normally have a monetary value. What data an e-wallet must retain depends on local rules and the use case in question, but it will most likely contain authentication data, personal data, communication channels, historical transaction data, and so on.

 

The great majority of e-wallets save data sets to some extent – and this is required, as we'll see in our compliance and security section below. Some of this information is required by payment service providers or acquirers in order to complete a payment transaction.

 

  1. Digital Assets:

 

All data that has a monetary value falls into this category. E-money is the most apparent choice. E-wallets, as the name implies, may store it and utilize them to make digital payments – but only if the wallet operator has obtained a legal e-money license.

 

Apart from e-money, e-wallets may also hold various forms of digital assets. Examples include loyalty points, virtual money, and coupons.
 

When you have data, you can analyze it – and digital products and service companies often do so to great advantage. Payment e-wallets, in their capacity as databases, keep track of a user's payment history. E-wallet firms are even required by banking legislation to keep payment history data for an extended length of time. As a result, the system can prove every transaction to the user for years in the future.

 

Companies, on the other hand, can benefit from historical payment transaction analysis. They can query the data if the data protection standards allow it. This allows businesses to make conclusions about customer purchase habits. Payment history tracking, on the other hand, is beneficial to consumers who wish to keep track of their expenditures.

 

Also Read | What is an Accounting Period?


 

Payment Processing in E-Wallets:

 

The capacity of e-wallets to make the payment procedure more convenient is a compelling selling feature. Users are not required to provide their payment information for each and every merchant with whom they deal or for each and every payment transaction. To authenticate a payment, individuals merely need to log into the wallet with their password. This has the added benefit of removing the need for customers to input their credit card information on websites whose credibility they cannot easily judge.

 

Certain wallets go even farther in cutting savings on the login procedure, letting users stay logged in and complete a transaction with a single click. They can also make the process go faster by allowing users to approve a payment to a given merchant or platform only once, after which all subsequent payments are processed.

 

Here are the steps of a payment process in an E-wallet transaction:

 

  1. The customer selects an e-wallet and confirms the transaction. As required by regulatory rulesets, they must enter into their e-wallet account to authenticate the transaction.

 

  1. When a purchase exceeds the available amount, e-wallets can use Payment Service Providers connected with the e-wallet to make the payment. As a result, e-wallets provide additional value to retailers or marketplace platforms.

 

  1. The financial data necessary to transmit the funds (personal data, payment instrument data) is securely exchanged between the e-wallet and the PSP/acquirer, and the funds are put in motion.

 

  1. The payment status is sent to the recipient. The transferred monies show on the merchant's account in the wallet instantly when using instant payment options. However, that money is rarely released for immediate use or payment. This occurs at a later point in the settlement and billing cycle.

 

Also Read | Understanding Credit Cards & How Do Credit Cards Work


 

BottomLine: Are E-Wallets the future of FinTech?

 

In today's fast-paced world, e-wallets are the wallets of the future, allowing for rapid, secure, contactless payments. To pay for services, users only need to link their bank accounts to the digital wallet. In addition, depending on the demands of the user, e-wallets can be open, closed, or semi-closed. Choose an e-wallet solution that offers extensive functionality and strong encryption techniques. The definition and operation of E-wallets have been discussed in this article.

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