One in ten Americans has used a cell phone to make a charitable contribution by text message. More than a third of smartphone owners have used their phones to do online banking. And nearly 40 percent of owners have used their smartphones to make a purchase. Clearly, consumers have grown increasingly comfortable using their phones to perform any number of financial transactions.
Financial services and technology firms have responded with mobile payment solutions of various types. Some allow merchants and businesses to accept “on the go” credit card payments using a special card reader. Others facilitate transfers by physically touching phones or exchanging phone numbers or email addresses.
Mobile wallets go a step further, turning smartphones into all-in-one payment devices. Simple and convenient, mobile wallets can track users’ shopping and purchasing behavior in real time. They can carry offers based on someone’s location and past purchasing history. Critics have expressed concerns about hacking, market fragmentation, and loss of privacy.
Predictions run the gamut
The Pew Internet & American Life Project and Elon University’s Imagining the Internet Center sought predictions on the future of mobile payments, and found that a majority of respondents support the scenario that by 2020 most people will have embraced and adopted the use of smart-device swiping for purchases. However they disagreed on how quickly this level of adoption will come. Continue reading…