Xiaomi Creates Mobile Wallet That Earns Interest
Chinese phone maker Xiaomi has come up with an idea that may actually entice people to start using mobile wallets. Their latest development, which has yet to be named, is a digital wallet that lets users earn interest on their stored money like they would with a bank account.
A consumer study from earlier this year showed only 24% of people are likely to make mobile payments in 2014. Then, a separate study from ChangeWave Research found 84% of consumers are concerned about how well digital wallets protect their financial information.
The idea of creating an interest-bearing mobile wallet may be just enough to encourage hesitant consumers to give mobile payments a try, subsequently changing the face of the financial industry.
Xiaomi’s mobile wallet is designed to give users 3.058% interest on money stored in their mobile accounts. The money is deposited into the wallet through a free phone app, much like Apple Pay or Google Wallet. Xiaomi’s marketing executive Tony Wei describes it as a close competitor to AliPay, an online payment platform created by the popular ecommerce site Alibaba.
The new wallet is still in beta testing, and there is no information yet about its widespread release. The phone maker is projected to sell up to 100 million smartphones in 2015, though none of them will be making their way to the United States. The company currently lacks the call centers and support system needed to accommodate the American market, but with the significant growth this company has experienced during the last few years, that may change in the future.