mobile payments. And while the prospect of waving our phones to pay for everything from subway rides to groceries is exciting to some, do we have any reason to believe consumers are on board with the idea?Few topics have garnered as much hype among tech enthusiasts this year as
Banks, credit card companies, mobile carriers and tech companies big and small are all clamoring to position themselves to benefit in a cashless, mobile future, but some recent reports suggest that consumers are going to need a little more time.
Most consumers are not in a huge rush to pay for things using their phones, according to Consumer Reports. A recent survey by the publication found that only 5% of U.S. consumers had used their phone to make a purchase in the thirty days prior to the survey being administered.
"Paying by mobile phone won't save them money," Consumer Reports said in a press release. "Google Wallet merchant transaction fees are the same as those charged on plastic payments, and the same is expected to be true for Visa's digital wallet. Square and PayPal Mobile charge merchants even more than the average big bank fee, 2.75 and 2.9 percent of the transaction amount, respectively."
So if they're not saving money why would consumers be compelled to jump onboard with mobile payments? One could argue that convenience is a factor, but at the end of the day, pulling out a wallet and swiping a card may not be seen as an overly laborious task by most consumers.
Perhaps a bigger factor is the adoption of the technology. In most markets, it's still relatively rare to encounter the option of paying for things via NFC or a comparable technology. More importantly, NFC-enabled handsets are only now making their way onto the market, and there's still uncertainty over whether the technology will be included in the next iteration of the iPhone.
There's also the matter of consumer trust. Another survey released today indicated that most consumers trust credit card providers to handle mobile payments far more than they trust tech companies like Google and eBay. Only 12% of respondents said they would trust Facebook with handling their mobile transactions, not a shocking figure given the company's reputation on privacy.
What do you think? Are consumers ready to pay for things by waving their phones? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.