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BizReport : Mobile Marketing : February 17, 2015

Consumers need education in mobile payment technology

When Wakefield Research surveyed U.S. consumers about mobile payments more than half wanted more stores to enable technology to allow payment with smartphones but, at the same time, many were unfamiliar with such payment options.

by Helen Leggatt

Of the 1,000 U.S. adults surveyed by Wakefield Research, 53% said they felt it was important for more retail outlets to offer technology that allowed payment via a smartphone. Among younger respondents, those aged 40 and under, that figure was higher at 64%.

Mobile payments for smaller, less expensive, items was even more popular with 84% saying they would use their device to pay for items such as a coffee or clothing.

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Reasons cited for using mobile payments instead of traditional methods such as debit or credit cards were speed of use (34%), freedom from carrying a wallet (29%), access to mobile deals (24%), ease of tracking spending (23%) and safety of personal data (18%).

However, the survey also revealed the need for consumer education about mobile payments. Half of the respondents said they were unfamiliar with mobile technologies such as mobile wallets and near-field communication. Furthermore, half were not comfortable with stores that used in-store tracking technology to provide real-time offers on their device.

"This is a classic case of new technologies needing to reach critical mass before consumers come on board," said Joe Mach, senior vice president and general manager of vertical solutions at Verifone, for whom the research was conducted. "Today, in 2015, the pieces are fitting into place - what's essential now is for the industries driving the mobile payment revolution, from finance to retail to systems providers, to educate consumers on mobile payment's benefits and easy use."

Across the pond in the U.K., a study found that awareness of mobile payments among U.K. consumers is growing with two-thirds (66%) now aware of the payment method. Being able to pay for items without giving out their account details is the top reason mobile payment is deemed useful among users, followed by the convenience of not having to carry around cash or visit an ATM.

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: mobile, mobile payments, survey, trends

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