Bilbao, Spain – The digital wallet is taking another step towards a form of global domination. Microsoft joins the horde of technology and financial organizations already supporting the OpenWallet Foundation (OWF).
At the Open Source Summit Europe, OWF, an open-source initiative sponsored by the Linux Foundation and focused on creating secure and interoperable digital wallets, announced the software giant as one of its newest members. This move comes on top of significant open source contributions from industry leaders Google, Ping Identity and neosfer.
Just a few years ago, the term “eWallet” was nebulous. Today, digital wallets such as Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay are replacing credit cards and cash. But this technology is not limited to contactless payment. Digital wallets also replace driving licenses and even airline boarding passes.
Enable all digital wallets to be interoperable
Everything you used to do from the wallet you carry around in your purse or pocket can now be done from digital wallets.
OWF is not intended to create yet another wallet, as Daniel Goldscheider, founder of OpenWallet, explained:
“It’s not about issuing certificates. We’re not going to create standards. It’s not trying to compete with the OpenID Foundation or The Open Identity Exchange (OIX) on the trust side of identification. Instead , we will use these standards to build shared software that everyone can use in their portfolio.”
The objective? Enable all digital wallets to be interoperable. OWF wants all wallets to be open, secure (of course!) and versatile.
Google contributed credential library code to OWF
As Marie Austenaa, head of digital identity at Visa, said: “You now have everything on your smartphone: your tickets, your cars, your boarding pass, your loyalty cards. Behind all this is a digital ecosystem You and your cards depend on a trusted ecosystem. It is a tool for interacting with the digital world. It is therefore very important to use open source to create an ecosystem that operates according to open standards “.
Without this open and trusted ecosystem, we would have to rely on a patchwork of different programs and protocols. Nobody wants that.
Ola Ben Har, head of developer relations for payments at Google, adds: “We spend a lot of time thinking about how to provide the ecosystem with the right tools and open-source reference implementations. For example, “The Android security team works closely with secure element vendors to create open-source security solutions.”
Google contributed code to the Credential Library at OWF. This library, which has been open access since 2020, helps developers create applications that comply with the ISO/IEC 18013-5:2021 mobile driving license specifications.
What does Microsoft bring to this initiative?
Ping Identity, a founding member of OWF, is committed to providing code components covering various protocols and formats.
As part of a joint contribution, Lissi presented a cross-platform .NET Wallet Framework at OWF. Born from a collaboration with the German IDunion initiative, this framework allows .NET developers to create their own digital wallets, in line with the objectives of the European Identity Wallet initiative.
And what does Microsoft bring to this initiative?
Microsoft Pay (formerly Microsoft Wallet) is a mobile payment and digital wallet service that never found success. Today, Microsoft is returning to the e-wallet market.
53% of people already use digital wallets more often than traditional payment methods
Visa’s Austenaa said OWF was very excited about Microsoft’s arrival. She expects we’ll “hear a lot more from Microsoft. We’re going to address security issues across wallets, which is a key, fundamental issue.”
“Microsoft has been a strong contributor to the development of open identity standards for over 10 years,” added Pamela Dingle, director of identity standards at Microsoft. “We are excited to expand our commitment to developing best practices for digital wallet security, interoperability and compliance as members of the Open Wallet Foundation.”
So is this something important? It seems so. A recent Forbes Advisor survey shows that more than half (53%) of people already use digital wallets more often than traditional payment methods. In fact, 51% of users say they would stop shopping with a merchant that does not accept e-wallet payments.
69% of digital wallet users use PayPal
Today, of those already using digital wallet apps, 69% use PayPal. The next most popular payment options are Google Pay (56%), Apple Pay (53%), and Samsung Pay (52%). Peer-to-peer apps are also popular, with 52% of respondents indicating they use Cash App and 49% Venmo as their digital payment method. Users primarily access digital wallets through their smartphones (68%) and smartwatches (41%).
OWF aims to provide a common platform for all these different payment platforms as well as driving licenses and passports. With such high usage rates, especially among younger users, the question is not if but when e-wallets will replace traditional wallets, in the same way that debit cards have replaced checkbooks in your wallets. pockets and purses.
And for the most optimistic experts, this will happen in less than ten years.