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Will Mobile Wallets Top the Mighty Credit Card?

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Experts have long cautioned that there’s no way to be sure that consumers will actually take to mobile wallet purchasing systems any time soon, but at the same time, there is mounting evidence that this could soon be the case after all.

As mobile wallet technology becomes more viable and available to consumers, it’s likely that attitudes toward it will change, and Americans will be more eager to adopt, according to a report from Computer World. For instance, a recent survey from the research firm Carlisle and Gallagher found that nearly half of all consumers say they are now at least interested in adopting mobile wallet programs in addition to their traditional credit card use. Further, another recent study by the Pew Internet and American Life Project found that experts generally believe the use of these platforms will overtake traditional credit card payments by 2020.

It’s generally believed that the two demographics who are pushing demand so heavily are young people — who tend to be early adopters of all kinds of technology — and affluent consumers, the report said. Both will likely favor the convenience a mobile wallet platform provides for users over traditional credit card purchasing methods.

However, it’s also vitally important for financial institutions, both those that are developing mobile payment platforms and those that are not yet doing so, to begin offering consumers greater convenience with these services, the report said. Those that have them in the pipeline should look for ways to link them to other consumer accounts, such as store loyalty programs and credit card rewards. Those who do not have such a system in development would likely do well to start soon, as the industry could leave them behind in the public consciousness if they’re not ready to go when demand for these systems reaches critical mass.

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It’s generally believed that the two things holding back widespread adoption today are the lack of available technology and concerns over the security of these systems. However, both issues will likely go away with the passage of time, as developers roll out more devices capable of dealing with these systems, and consumers find that their worries over security are largely unfounded.

Image: Global X, via Flickr

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