‘Digital wallets’ impact on financial inclusion and cross-border payments’

The global volume of digital wallets is projected to soar to trillion annually by 2028, with the Middle East alone set to witness a surge from 564 million users currently to 969 million by that year. By the end of 2023, it is estimated that 3.7 billion digital wallets were in operation worldwide, handling transactions valued at .8 trillion.

Visa’s latest report, titled “Digital Wallets: Accelerating financial inclusion and economic growth,” sheds light on the diverse adoption trends of digital wallets across various regions. In Europe and North America, smartphones and digital apps have seamlessly integrated digital wallets into everyday life, facilitating person-to-person transactions and adding convenience to money movement.

In contrast, several Asian countries have swiftly transitioned from cash-based economies to ones dominated by digital wallets, driven by the widespread availability of mobile phones and affordable internet access. The report also highlights a growing affinity for digital wallet adoption among younger generations, as evidenced by surveys showing a higher ownership of digital wallets among Gen Z compared to traditional bank accounts.

Digital wallets have evolved into a global phenomenon, offering users the ability to store funds, make purchases, and track expenses using mobile devices. These wallets prioritize mobile usage and amalgamate various services such as P2P payments, merchant payments, and more within a single app, catering to the convenience-seeking user base.

One significant advantage of digital wallets is their ability to cater to unbanked and underbanked populations, opening doors to financial products and bridging the gap for those excluded from traditional banking services. As per Juniper Research, over 60 percent of the global population is expected to be using digital wallets by 2026.

Moreover, digital wallets have simplified cross-border payments, with Visa Direct offering efficient solutions leveraging a vast network of card credentials and bank accounts. These payment methods have reduced costs associated with international transfers, benefiting economically vulnerable communities worldwide.

Collaborations and partnerships play a crucial role in enhancing the connectivity of digital wallets globally. Visa has partnered with Thunes and TerraPay to extend its reach, enabling users to send and receive money internationally through various digital wallet providers. These partnerships aim to drive financial inclusivity for consumers and small businesses across different regions.

Security remains a key concern in the digital wallet landscape, with Visa implementing strategies such as