Financial institution Capital One Financial Corp. recently launched a mobile wallet payment method in its Android app.

Consumers can pay in store using the Capital One Wallet at any retail location that accepts payments via Near Field Communication, such as Macy’s Inc., McDonald’s and Jewel-Osco. Near Field Communication is a short-range wireless technology that allows smartphones to communicate with payment terminals. Consumers need to have an Android phone using the 4.4 operating system or higher.

To use the wallet consumers must download the Capital One Wallet app. The app works with all Capital One MasterCard and Visa credit and debit cards. To make a payment, consumers must unlock their smartphone and then hold the smartphone near the NFC reader, which is marked on the payment terminal. Consumers do not need to open the wallet app in order for it to work. The device does not need a cellular data connection to make an NFC payment, says Tom Poole, managing VP, digital payments at Capital One.

The Capital One Wallet sends a consumer a notification after each transaction letting her know what she spent. Consumers can also take a picture of their physical receipt and link it to a transaction, so shoppers don’t have to hang on to their physical receipts. The wallet app also can store gift cards, and consumers can review their transaction history and manage their Capital One reward benefits in the app.

Making a payment with the Capital One Wallet is similar to making a payment with Android Pay or Apple Pay, for iOS consumers, Poole says. However, since consumers have typically used a credit card from their bank to make a payment, consumerse will likely look to their banks for payment methods first, not their smartphone provider, Poole says.


“Consumers have historically turned to their banks for their payments experience,” he adds. “We think many will continue to do that, provided their banks offer a mobile payments experience option.”

Making the payment with the digital wallet is fast, Poole says, although not necessarily faster than swiping a credit card. “The real benefit for customers is more about preference, for example, ‘Do I only want to carry my phone?’ or ‘Do I have my phone in my hand?’ than speed,” Poole says.

Capital One last year launched the wallet functionality in its iPhone app, which works with Apple Pay, Poole says.

21% of retail locations accept contactless payments today, according to a recently released study by research firm Javelin Strategy and Research. The research firm expects the number of retailers that will accept contactless payment to grow to 25% by 2017 and 32% by 2019.

Capital One developed the app in-house over the course of five months, which included user testing, Poole says.


“Banking is fundamentally a digital business, and we have taken steps to move our software engineering, digital design, and digital product management talent in-house,” he says.