May 30, 2012

It's safe to say the first year of the Google Wallet has not gone as well as hoped for by its creators and stakeholders.

News reports have detailed various software problems and flaws as well as some security holes. Certainly, none of these things are encouraging to potential users of Google Wallet.

But besides the technical glitches, there is the larger issue of whether mobile wallets will be widely adopted in the U.S., and how long it will take for that to happen.

[See Also: Will the Mobile Wallet Ever Replace the Real One?]

In other parts of the world, most notably in Japan, mobile wallets are as common as regular ones. But in the U.S., despite around 50 percent of the population owning smartphones, the trend has not taken off. Perhaps it has something to do with security concerns; although mobile banking has continued to gain popularity despite similar concerns.

It could also be the simple fact that new technologies take time to gain foothold. Not many people embraced online banking or shopping when those channels first came on the scene. Whether mobile wallets one day become as ubiquitous as online banking or shopping at Amazon remains to be seen, but if it does happen I believe it will not be for five years at the minimum.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Bryan Yurcan is associate editor for Bank Systems and Technology. He has worked in various editorial capacities for newspapers and magazines for the past 8 years. After beginning his career as ...