Is SK Telecom’s new Smart Mobile Wallet the future?

Didier post 25.04.16

We recently compared Vodafone’s  mobile wallet to Apple Pay, and explained the key similarities, such as how both systems use forms of tokenization. Since then, the industry opportunities for mobile wallets have continued to progress and the arguments in favor of wider adoption have strengthened. It seems the prediction of 39% growth in the volume of mPayment transactions by 2020 might even be exceeded.

This progression has caught our eye; and as we’re active in our future gazing, we’re now looking at SK Telecom’s Smart Mobile Wallet.

Firstly, it’s important to understand that MNO-led Mobile Wallets enable the convergence of industries. For example, SKT is uniquely placed to ensure the right infrastructure is in place to build a seamless, secure and convenient customer experience.

In many ways, it was ahead of its time from the beginning; SKT’s MNO-led mobile wallet was created back in 2010. Today, more than 12million of their customers now have the Smart Wallet solution available to them. Rapid growth could well be just around the corner.

It’s also good to know this growth will be built on a solid foundation. SKT’s Smart Wallet relies on their Smart Touch platform comprising SIMs and TSMs for standard life cycle management infrastructure.

Furthermore, it’s worth noting how part of the success so far is down to SKT’s efforts to onboard multiple service providers: banks, transport operators, toll payment, corporate (access control) and many others. Clearly, this model is something to bear in mind for future mobile wallets, and is part of the reason SKT’s smart wallet is likely to be an accurate indicator of things to come.

Their approach has paid off; recent figures showing that more than 1.6 million users have already downloaded the wallet and can immediately benefit from NFC applications for their daily activities. Customer mobiles can also be used as a mobile ID device, for things like their work or university. Continuing this theme, other mobile services will also be available soon, such as medical ID cards. The range and variety of uses that will become available in the near future are exciting to see – who knows what mobiles could be used for by 2025?

Finally, it’s important we also recognize how, just like Vodafone over the years, SKT have ensured a systematic approach to NFC deployment. This has encouraged the development of NFC compatible phones.

SKT Mobile Wallet in text image

When NFC devices were coupled with the advanced NFC infrastructure already in place in Korea, the perfect place for a smart wallet to thrive was created. In my opinion, it won’t be long until there are many other perfect environments all over the world.

What do you think? Is this type of smart wallet the future? Let us know your thoughts by tweeting to us @GemaltoMobile.

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