Multifaceted features may lead to mobile technology’s popularity

Many analysts are split over how quickly mobile technology will become more widely adopted. A new report suggests that as smartphones develop more multifaceted payment methods, more consumers are likely to accept mobile technology and electronic wallets as a primary payment system.

The study, conducted by Pew Internet, reveals Americans are becoming more comfortable using their smartphones for a variety of financial transactions. One in ten consumers have made charitable contributions with their smartphone, and more than one-third access online banking services through their mobile device, research found. Forty-six percent of current app users also buy new apps with their smartphones. Although several industry professionals agree that mobile banking is growing, some say that the use of mobile phones to make contactless payments may be stalled due to security concerns.

Although there was a sizable amount of excitement after the Google Wallet was unveiled, adoption has been slower than accepted. The device allows users to input their credit card and bank account information into their mobile device to make contactless payments at retail locations that are equipped with near-field communication technology. Isis, a new payment method that is expected to be introduced by Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, Visa, American Express, Discover and MasterCard, is expected to be received with similar hesitation.

Experts are split on the future of electronic wallets, with some saying consumers are ready for the switch and credit and debit cards may become obsolete. According to the study 65 percent agreed with the below statement:

“By 2020, most people will have embraced and fully adopted the use of smart-device swiping for purchases they make, nearly eliminating the need for cash or credit cards. People will come to trust and rely on personal hardware and software for handling monetary transactions over the Internet and in stores. Cash and credit cards will have mostly disappeared from many of the transactions that occur in advanced countries.”

However, 33 percent said that security concerns have made consumers too distrustful of mobile devices and do not expect electronic payments to gain enough traction in the future to eliminate the need for credit and debit cards. Other analysts say that while security concerns are a real concern among Americans, adoption may also be slow because not enough consumers own smartphones as of yet, although this may change in the future.

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