Do Mobile Wallets need to band together?

    A sign of a developing ecosystem is when startups start getting built on top of other startups as a service. For example, Groupon-style startups got brought together under Denmark’s Bownty, Quantitative Self startups are supposed to be brought together under Health Puzzle, and so on. Mobile wallets have long been popping up, and now can be brought together under Lithuania’s WoraPay, if the company uses it’s fresh €400,000 raise by Israel’s Entrée Capital correctly.

    As the company explains, there are plenty of mWallets in the world and all of them are trying to acquire merchants and users on their own. WoraPay isn’t a mobile wallet themselves, but they have developed a platform concept to provide merchants access to mobile wallets by integrating into POS systems and acquiring merchants, letting mWallet companies to just focus on acquiring users.

    “We integrate with POS software providers to build QR code solutions at merchant locations: tables in restaurants have unique QR codes, petrol pumps in filling stations have it as well, and so on. Any mWallet on the platform can be used to pay a bill – this creates many new business cases financial institutions“, says Aurimas Bakas, co-founder and CEO of WoraPay. Bakas previously was one of the DtecNet guys who exited to MarkMonitor (which was later acquired by Thompson Reuters).

    So far, four wallets are in their system including PaySera, Medicinos Bank, DNB bank, and WIO. Additionally the company says it is close to signing four more wallets.

    On the merchant side, WoraPay has integrated into more than 150 merchant locations including Lukoil (the biggest petrol station chain in the Eastern Europe), restaurant chains, arenas, donation campaigns, ticket sales campaigns, and other locations.

    mWallets have the chicken and the egg problem of acquiring both merchants and users, so WoraPay might be positioned nicely if they stick to their plan to spread outside of Lithuania and into the rest of the Baltic countries, Poland, the Czech Republic, and Spain. But it begs the question – to be the mWallet to rule them all, do you need to plow through on your own, or does it make sense to band together?