Wallet for Windows Phone Store (Part 2): Wallet ecosystem and interactions with other apps

Here is part 1.

The Windows Phone wallet does not have many purpose as a standalone app: it doesn’t have any ability to add/scan/edit any boarding pass/ticket etc. I’d rather describe it as a library of wallet items for other applications: It relies on an ecosystem of 3rd party wallet extensions that leverage the Wallet API, and its primary value is to provide a centralized, standard way to view and manage these wallet items in a phone.

I summarize the interactions in this ecosystem in three basic functionalities:

  1. The Wallet app directs the user to Store, to download a wallet extension.
  2. It provides a standard UI layout for a wallet extension to present a wallet item on a Windows Phone.
  3. It takes the user from the Wallet app to the 3rd party app for more actions.
  4. It detects address/phone/Uri links in the wallet, and intelligently navigates another relevant app on behalf of the user.

There is a diagram that summarize this interactions.

In reality, if the number of interaction points are not as simple. So illustrate the relationship, I create the Information Architecture of the Wallet (which only has three levels), and draws out all the links the Wallet has with other applications:

Information Architecture of the Windows Phone 8.1 wallet app

Beyond the phone

One thing that is worthy to mention, is that all interactions within this ecosystem is app-based. There isn’t any service/cloud integration in the current wallet. However, if you create your item via mswallet package, you can specify an endpoint that the wallet application would check, for updates. That is as far as service integration goes, for the Windows Phone 8.1 wallet.