The mobile payments landscape remains fragmented and continues to rapidly evolve, with multiple stakeholders working to get a piece of a multibillion-dollar opportunity, according to a new eMarketer report, “Mobile Payments: An Updated Forecast, Early Successes and Visions for the Future.”
Payment processors, tech firms, mobile carriers, banks, credit card companies, retailers and startups are all working on a variety of strategies and technologies that aim to make mobile payments a part of everyday life.
According to a January 2013 study from Chadwick Martin Bailey, 50% of US smartphone owners reported familiarity with the concept of mobile wallet technology, with 16% of that group reporting having used the technology in the past six months. While that is relatively low usage, 22% of those already familiar with mobile wallets from CMB’s study said they were planning to use them in the future.
What is driving these early adopters to use mobile payments? According to a PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) study from January 2013 on mobile wallets, the majority of US smartphone owners cited saving money.
While saving money can initially draw in mobile payment users, convenience is what will keep customers coming back and paying with their smartphones. A number of studies from the UK found that convenience dominates other factors for existing and potential mobile payments users. An April 2013 study from eDigitalResearch showed UK internet users reporting that “convenience” and “quick and easier to use” were the top benefits of contactless mobile payments compared to taking cash or credit and debit cards.