February 29, 2012

Mobile payments may be all the rage, but mobile wallets probably won't replace leather ones anytime soon.

That is the conclusion of a survey released by Radius Global Market Research, a New York-based market research firm.

According to Radius, while nearly 50 percent of all U.S. consumers own a smartphone, the majority of Americans are not quite ready to give up traditional forms of payment in favor of smartphone-based payments.

The survey found that security concerns are a prime reason for this. Half of the respondents said security and fraud concerns "significantly influence" their likelihood of using smartphone technology to make payments in the future. In fact, even the segment most likely to make purchases via a smartphone, consumers under 35 and those identifying as digitally savvy, are also the most likely to be concerned with security and fraud issues. Fifty-four percent of consumers under the age of 35 are concerned with fraud. That figure rises to 62 percent among digitally savvy consumers.

It seems that new mobile payments initiatives are being announced on a daily basis. But I do agree with the findings of this report that consumers are slow to adopt them, at least in the U.S. It takes a while for people to change long-held habits in general, and I think it may be a long time before a majority of consumers embrace m-payments.

For more insight into the future of digital wallets, and mobile payments in general, be sure to download our April digital issue.

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 ...