FIS Now Lets Banks Brand Their Own Digital Wallets

Core banking provider giant Fidelity National Information Services (FIS) just opened up even more digital wallet possibilities (and chaos) in the United States by announcing its own cloud-based wallet that FIs and retailers can white label.

Like other digital wallets, the FIS Mobile Wallet app lets consumers use their smartphones to make purchases at POS and for online shopping purposes, too. But this time, the wallet can be branded by the banks, which may give the offering an edge with consumers and certainly expands the ways in which banks can market to their customers.

“We are giving brand control to banks,” Doug Brown, senior vice president of mobile financial services, tells Bank Innovation (at left). “[Banks] can embed the wallet functionality into mobile and digital channel capabilities.”

Though the FIS Mobile Wallet will compete with other existing digital wallets, Google and the like should look out. FIS provides services to more than 14,000 institutions in over 100 countries, which could spark usage among consumers.

“Customers will trust the banks,” Brown says.

Plus, banks already have an edge on outsiders as they already know so much about their customers, including payment habits, says Brown. To further encourage usage, FIS believes banks can tie in loyalty elements to the wallet that will offer consumers more of a seamless shopping experience. Banks, for example, can promote advertising, couponing and companion offers to consumers through the app.

Plus, it’s possible FIS will make friends with fellow competitors.

“We think it’s complimentary to other wallets and applications,” Brown says. “It could be compatible with other wallets.”

Additionally, FIS is going after retailers, too.

“There’s two flavors of the wallet,” Brown says. “Both are very important.”

To use the wallet, a consumer will download the app offered by either the FI or retailer, enter his payment card details, which aren’t provided to the POS device nor stored on the smartphone for safety reasons. Consumers can tie their debit cards, prepaid cards, giftcards and credit cards to the app.

The FIS Mobile Wallet app, which is born from FIS partnering with mobile payments company Paydiant, is currently available for iOS and Android smartphones. The wallet will be available for other smartphones in the future, too.

FIS says it’s already in production with a number of pilots. Though Brown couldn’t elaborate much on the pilots already running, they have been in play since August 2011.

How fast a bank can deploy FIS’s digital wallet depends on the size of the bank and the scope of the project. Taking a medium-sized project, Brown estimates it would take three to 12 months, depending on the amount of customization required.

Immediate goals for the digital wallet’s future is to grow out the wallet, as well as tighten integration across the ecosystem.

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