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Mobile Wallet Technology Growing Amid Consumer Demand

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Consumers’ preference for near-field communication (NFC) technologies when mobile shopping is leading numerous retailers to begin utilizing the payment method, according to a report by Insurance News Net.

A survey conducted by Parks Associates indicates half of users polled find NFC-enabled mobile wallet technology attractive.

Harry Wang, director of mobile research for the firm, stated that with the NFC technologies emerging in the marketplace, the need for consumers to carry around their physical credit cards will likely continue to dwindle.

“NFC will enable faster checkout and more convenient use of promotional coupons,” said Wang. “Payment networks such as Visa or MasterCard will also provide some incentive to the merchants in the form of faster settlement and maybe discounts on transaction fees.”

Additionally, Parks Associates research analyst Jennifer Kent said the technology is something major companies are likely to undertake in the near future to appease the growing consumer preference.

“The mobile payment space will become less fragmented over time,” Kent said. “All major players are planning for a converged payments future, where one digital wallet can be used across all product categories. Consumers will gravitate toward a single, trusted provider, so development of a reliable wallet with diverse capabilities is crucial.”

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Some companies that have begun implementing the mobile wallet technology thus far include Google, Amazon and eBay. Recently, AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile have also started accepting payments via NFC technologies.

While the technology is a burgeoning one that could replace tangible credit cards down the line, one major hacking of the NFC mobile wallet system for one company could deter the use of it in the short-term.

According to reports, Google Wallet was recently hacked by two groups, attempting to display the shortcomings of NFC technology. Many analysts say the hacking could lead a number of consumers to feel uneasy about using mobile wallets.

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