SXSW Solo – Thin is In. The Future of Digital Wallets

SXSW Solo – Thin is In. The Future of Digital Wallets

Solo – Thin is In. The Future of Digital Wallets, presented by Christina Nguyen White, User Experience Designer, SapientNitro


The growing hole in your back jeans pocket is getting a bit too personal. No need to swipe anymore. Just scan. When can we get rid of our wallets without losing the cash? We know mobile is here. Now learn how far we can take it. Digital wallets are within very close reach. With RFIDs, QR codes, and Big-Brother-like tracking, the technology is already in place. Checkout with your phone. Instantly grab coupons when you checkout. Scan your digital ticket at Friday’s ballgame. Digitally split the bill with your friends. The possibilities that we’ve always wished for are now within reach. Get a glimpse into how retailers are edging towards digital, understand the impact of how this will change the way we buy, and ultimately, as designers, understand how this will change the way we interact with our mobile phones.

Christina Nguyen White of Sapient Nitro


  • What is a digital wallet? Taking the leather wallet that’s in your back pocket, and sticking it in a digital device
  • Uses for the digital wallet
    • Pay Pass system – embedded chip in a credit cart. Disadvantages is it’s hard to get, must get an additional card or sticker for your phone. Talk of embedding NFC chips into phone, so it’s built into all phones, and able to be enabled via software on phone.
    • NFC only one aspect to make mobile payments happen. Security layer is a major plus for NFC
    • Barcode scanning – screen based connection with mobile payments
    • Couponing – like shopkick
    • Comparison Shopping – compare products within store. Like Red Laser
    • Tickets and passes – used a lot in japan – subway and train ticketing.
  • Payment Methods
    • Paypal is close to developing a good mobile payment system. Now they’re partnering with Bling Nation, who provides NFC chip stickers, which stick on any mobile device to enable for NFC
    • My Question – Isn’t there additional value of integrating NFC chip with OS, rather than just sticking it on the back of the phone?
    • Starbucks Card app – barcode based mobile payment system (I wrote about this earlier)
  • What questions should we be asking regarding implementation of this?
    • Who’s responsible for smartphone security?
    • Players in the digital wallet space?
    • Who will provide the service? < Important >
      • Financial Institutions, Carriers, Retailers
      • Retailers own shopping experience, but the carriers and banks have more of a long term, solid stake in building and supporting a system
      • All three parties must cooperate for this to work.
    • Who influences the consumer?
    • Sweet spot is that the digital wallet can work and go to market now, but for it to truly succeed we need to realize how it will impact our lives
  • Social networking and the digital wallet
    • Businesses can use social networking to build loyal customers by connecting with the consumer about their purchase after they have left the store

Talk outline will be available on Sapeint Nitro’s Slideshare Channel.(@katyzack main contact)



2 responses to “SXSW Solo – Thin is In. The Future of Digital Wallets”

  1. Rhiannon

    This can’t happen fast enough. You have no idea how happy I am when a store has the option to email me a receipt! Friggin’ nearly makes my entire shopping experience.

    1. Agree!! Email receipts are great!