These days, there is a lot of talk across a number of industries about whether consumers worldwide are ready to use mobile wallet payments for everyday purchases, despite that the technology is already available.
Where in the past, the largest hurdle to consumer adoption of mobile wallet technology was simply that the necessary equipment wasn’t widely available, or cost too much, those issues have been largely overcome and will be smoothed out even more in the next few months, according to a report from Computerworld. Google Wallet has been available to the public for nearly a year at this point, and is adding more participating lenders and businesses all the time. Meanwhile, PayPal is rolling out its own mobile payment platform for its 50 million users.
But there are still two fundamental problems with mobile wallet adoption nationwide, the report said. The first is that there are simply too many such programs now available to the public, meaning that it’s difficult for people to determine which is right for them in any given situation.
“If I have five credit cards in my wallet, do I need to have one or more in my phone as well?” Jack Gold, an analyst at J. Gold Associates, told the site. “And do I trust the issuer of the mobile credit card enough to use that service? And if I use my phone to pay, is that really all that much easier than pulling a card out of my wallet?”
It’s likely that, at first, the only people who will start using mobile payments are those who do so for many technologies, the report said. These early adopters may drive an early surge in the market but cannot be counted on to drive mainstream growth.
The second issue that may be restraining consumers’ enthusiasm for the technology is simply that many may not be sure of how safe it is. The reluctance over security concerns is a common problem for new technologies related to consumers’ finances – mobile and online banking went through similar growing pains — and experts say it can really only be assuaged over time, as consumers slowly come to the programs and start using them sparingly.
Image: keeeeegan, via Flickr