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PULSE Perspectives - April 2023

Digital Wallet Users Love Bill Pay

PYMNTS reports consumers more frequently use mobile wallets to pay bills and transfer money to others than to make purchases in-store. The Digital Wallet Mandate: Secure Bill Pay Beyond the in-Store Point of Sale found that bill payment is the most widely used mobile-wallet feature. In fact, 50% of consumers have used mobile wallets to pay bills in the last 12 months. Three out of four consumers choose mobile wallets for speed and convenience. 
PULSE Perspective: Marketing can help institutions secure top-of-digital-wallet status, which can help issuers grow account holder loyalty and activity. Media Logic recommends direct provisioning of virtual cards into digital wallets and rewarding activation and usage. 


Digital Asset Settlement Platform Launched

Some of the biggest names in banking are testing the concept of a wholesale digital-asset settlement platform. The New York Innovation Center announced a 12-week pilot involving Citi, Mastercard, Wells Fargo, BNY Mellon, HSBC, PNC, TD Bank, Truist and U.S. Bank. The group is testing the idea of a regulated liability network that would facilitate digital-asset transactions connecting deposits at regulated institutions using distributed-ledger technology.
PULSE Perspective: With top-tier financial services firms participating in this pilot, it is likely to provide valuable information to guide how a real-world settlement platform for digital assets will eventually operate.


Contactless Now Mainstream

The U.S. Payments Forum’s latest Market Snapshot notes that networks are seeing increased interest in emerging contactless payment methods. Tap-to-mobile, QR code payments and wearable/IoT payments have become more common. The Snapshot noted that Discover Card reported in late 2022 that it was on track to have 90% of its card portfolio enabled for contactless by year-end.
PULSE Perspective: The 2022 Debit Issuer Study, commissioned by PULSE, found that nearly 70% of issuers have converted all their debit cards to contactless. Growth in usage is likely to continue to rise.