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Integration Challenges Remain For Digital Wallets, Despite Increase in Global Adoption

As much as 40 per cent of payment leaders report losing business due to cross-border payment issues, according to a new study by Thunes, a global money movement firm, and Visa, the digital payments giant.

In a survey of 233 European payment leaders, Thunes and Visa found conflicting attitudes among Europeans on cross-border payment interoperability, as well as digital wallets, highlighting a plethora of challenges facing firms when integrating across multiple markets and systems.

While a majority of respondents were confident in their firm’s cross-border payment capabilities, decision-makers continue to face difficulties including lost business from a failure to integrate with popular and emergent payment methods.

By 2026, 60 per cent of the world’s population is expected to use digital wallets for payments day-to-day. Despite this rapid expected growth across the globe, digital wallets remain the most problematic endpoint for cross-border payments, with only eight per cent of respondents describing them as the easiest to integrate.

While 97 per cent of respondents believe their systems today are ‘completely’ or ‘mostly compatible’ with how international recipients receive funds, nearly over one-third are losing business due to cross-border payment issues.

Chloé Mayenobe, COO at Thunes
Chloé Mayenobe, COO at Thunes

Chloé Mayenobe, president and chief operating officer at Thunes, discussed the findings: “The research paints a very mixed picture. Payment leaders are confident in their capabilities but face significant integration challenges, particularly with digital wallets.

“At Thunes, we solve this critical gap on the immediate horizon by directly integrating with three billion digital wallets worldwide. Electronic wallets are becoming increasingly important, providing bank-like services and financially including those who are unbanked and underbanked. As commerce digitises further, payment interoperability will become vital.”

Barriers to integration 

Thunes and Visa identified security concerns, payment tracking and processing speed as the top challenges to integrating different payment systems.

Ed Chandler, head of money movement, Europe at Visa
Ed Chandler, head of money movement, Europe at Visa

Ed Chandler, head of money movement, Europe at Visa, also commented: “To meet the needs of individuals and businesses of all sizes to move money domestically and internationally easily and securely, payment interoperability remains a major challenge beyond traditional methods.

“We have a goal to enable money movement from any endpoint to any other endpoint, and rather than build an entirely new money movement system from scratch, we can use Visa’s scale and work with partners like Thunes to be a single connection point in a fast-evolving ecosystem.”

Respondents expect AI to play a critical role in improving payment processes, fraud detection, risk management and customer support. Blockchain technology and digital currencies are also seen as promising to facilitate secure, rapid and low-cost transactions.


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