How mobile wallets keep propping up plastic (or metal) cards
Since the dawn of the smartphone era, banks and payment companies have struggled with a chicken-and-egg problem: How to get people to adopt mobile wallets when most merchants can't or won’t accept them.
The solution, dating back to 2011's Google Wallet (a predecessor to the modern Google Pay) was to provide a companion plastic card for those stores. But today, that problem is largely solved, as many stores added NFC acceptance as part of their EMV upgrades circa 2015.
The modern mobile wallet no longer uses a card as a crutch. Instead, it sees it as an additional product that can add revenue from interchange, lending and loyalty.
This story was compiled from reporting by PaymentsSource writers including John Adams, Kate Fitzgerald, David Heun, Michael Moeser and Daniel Wolfe.