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30% of Smartphone Owners Want to Use Mobile Payments Over the Holidays

Smartphone owners are looking to use ApplePay and Google Wallet, but don't know where they can.

All of the news around mobile payments since ApplePay’s launch seems to have consumers excited about paying with their phones. A new survey found that 30% of smartphone owners plan on using ApplePay or Google Wallet for in-store purchases during the holiday shopping season.

And 17% of the 400 smartphone owners who participated said that they would spend more with these mobile payments solutions than if they were using cash or plastic, according to the survey conducted by Stratos Inc.

This is good news for mobile payments providers and players. But it’s unlikely that that many smartphone owners will actually use mobile payments this season, Thiago Olson, CEO of Stratos Inc., warns.

“I was surprised at how many [in the survey] were planning to use ApplePay and Google Wallet, but that’s an aspirational number,” he explains. “People don’t realize they can’t use ApplePay on their iPhone 5.”

[For more of our mobile payments coverage, check out: Biometrics: Mobile Payments’ Secret Weapon.]

The other problem the survey found is that most people don’t know where they can use these mobile payments solutions. Some 69% of the respondents said they were uncertain what stores accepted them.

“Two different things need to happen: People need to be educated [about where they can use mobile payments], and there needs to be a change in the acceptance infrastructure. Right now only 3% of merchants in the US can take contactless NFC … but that will go up with the EMV liability shift.”

The most popular reason for wanting to use mobile payments was eliminating the worry over getting a credit or debit card stolen, which was cited by 37% of the survey’s respondents. “People realize the cards they’re using aren’t secure … There needs to be more education about how mobile payments are more secure than plastic or check,” Olson observes.

The survey also broke down where consumers would like to use mobile payments. The most popular preferences for places to use mobile payments were department stores (66%), discount retailers (48%), and coffee shops (43%). The least popular locations were upscale restaurants (28%), bars (26%), and boutiques (23%).

Jonathan Camhi has been an associate editor with Bank Systems & Technology since 2012. He previously worked as a freelance journalist in New York City covering politics, health and immigration, and has a master's degree from the City University of New York's Graduate School ... View Full Bio

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