Big Banks in the US, including JP Morgan, Wells Fargo, and Bank of America are planning to launch a digital wallet to compete with PayPal and Apple Pay. The move, planned for the second half of this year, appears to be yet another push for a cashless society.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the new digital wallet will be managed by bank-owned Early Warning Services LLC (EWS), the company behind money transfer platform Zelle. The new digital wallet would allow consumers to pay merchants online through linked credit and debit cards.
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When the digital wallet first launches, it will handle up to 150 million credit and debit cards and be available to consumers with good standing with their financial institutions.
The banks are pushing for the new digital wallet regardless of the Goldman Sachs' unit managing Apple Card making losses.
Contactless payments have been gradually becoming popular with the pandemic accelerating their adoption. However, governments and financial institutions have been pushing for contactless payments in recent years with the launch of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs).
Last year, the Council of Europe announced plans to ban cash payments above 10,000 euros under the guise of fighting terrorism and money laundering.