Slideshow 9 Scuttled Mobile Wallet Ideas

Published
  • March 20 2015, 2:44pm EDT
10 Images Total

The mobile wallet market takes no prisoners. Startups and big companies have an even playing field, and many have already scrapped one or more products — while others have given up the fight entirely. (Image: iStock)

Square Wallet, Square Order

Square has launched — and subsequently removed from the market — several consumer-facing wallets: Card Case, Pay with Square, Square Wallet and most recently Square Order. Right now it still has the consumer-facing Square Cash P2P app, but most of its efforts are focused on merchant services.

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PayPal Text Buying

Prior to the launch of the iPhone, PayPal developed a text-based system for sending P2P payments and buying from merchants. When Apple introduced the app store, PayPal shifted to an app-based strategy, with much better results. (Image: iStock)

PayPal 'Bump'

PayPal at one point let users transmit funds by bumping phones together, using the devices' accelerometers to detect the movement and approve the transfer. The feature, added in 2010, disappeared in later versions of PayPal's app. (Image: Bloomberg News)

Bling Nation

Bling Nation was designed as a regional mobile wallet for local banks and merchants. It operated through a contactless payment sticker adhered to users' phones. Though it was well received at first, merchants dropped support after Bling Nation pushed them to adopt its loyalty program.

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Amazon Wallet

This app, which vanished before it ever left the beta stage, did little more than duplicate the functions of Apple's Passbook app. It stored gift cards on Android and Fire smartphones, but did not have a built-in payment capability of its own. (Image: Bloomberg News)

Google Checkout

Before Google Wallet, there was Google Checkout, an alternative payment system designed for the Web, Android Market (now called the Google Play store) and in-app payments on Android devices. Shortly following the debut of Google Wallet, which in its early form could be used only at the point of sale, Checkout's capabilities and userbase were absorbed into the newer product. (Image: Bloomberg News)

Isis/Softcard

The U.S. telco mobile wallet venture had one key thing going for it: distribution through carriers' stores. But that, and a head start against Apple Pay, wasn't enough for it to succeed. It had the misfortune of choosing a brand name (Isis) that it shared with a violent militant group, but even after choosing a new name (Softcard), the venture decided it was better off shutting down and selling its technology to Google.

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Project Oscar/Weve

The U.K. telcos' venture, called Project Oscar in its early days and Weve later on, never produced a wallet app. Its name change accompanied a shift in strategy toward mobile commerce, and in late 2014 the venture's owners dialed back their plans for a universal mobile wallet. (Image: iStock)

Interchange-Free Pricing

SCVNGR's LevelUp and Square separately tried to create an alternative to the per-transaction pricing merchants were accustomed to, but neither succeeded. LevelUp's Interchange Zero approach tied its pricing to the company's loyalty system, and Square offered the a flat monthly fee to low-volume merchants. In both cases, merchants said they preferred the clarity of paying a fee for each transaction. (Image: iStock)