The battle to own your wallet is on as tech companies find new ways to make more money from their users. In the process, they could reshape the banking industry.
Shopify wants businesses to use its warehouses. Venmo wants to embed itself in everyday life. Razer wants to use its diehard fanbase to grow even more.
Those are among the justifications that tech companies described to Protocol for trying to fill a coveted spot in your wallet with credit and debit cards. All are working to the same end: To make more money per user while also growing those ranks. But as they do so, they’re also embarking on a line of business that stands to reshape the banking sector as we know it.
After Apple kicked off this trend with its titanium Apple Card last year, a flood of other companies have followed suit. Venmo and Razer recently launched cards, and Samsung and Shopify are set to release theirs later this year. EBay told Protocol it’s considering something similar, and Google is also rumored to be making its own plans.
For these tech companies, payments are a “means to an end,” said Jorn Lambert, Mastercard’s chief digital officer. At the heart of it, he says, is consumer fickleness toward digital platforms: While people may swap apps or phones all the time, they tend to be much more loyal to their financial institutions. When a tech company introduces a card or bank account, Lambert said, they get “much more stickiness” with their customers.
“There’s something about being able to build a financial relationship with the customer that allows you to streamline the … transactional activity that you have on the customer,” Marqeta Chief Product Officer Kevin Doerr said. “Once you’ve been able to secure that,” he added, “the ability to stack products on that, to stack services on that … just becomes easier and easier.”