COMMENTARY

Mobile Payments Today provides showcase for mobile wallet providers

| by Will Hernandez
Mobile Payments Today provides showcase for mobile wallet providers

iStock illustration.

In 2016, I had the pleasure of moderating a panel about mobile payments at the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. 

As someone who had always kept tabs on the news from CES, my attendance at the show that year was a bucket-list moment I’ll never forget. 

I'll also never forget what one executive said during the panel because it's something that still applies in 2018 as consumer adoption of mainstream mobile wallets continues to lag behind expectations. 

“I never thought it would take this long, for the record. It took a lot longer than many of us ever expected to get mobile payments to a level where it is competitive with cards.”

James Anderson, group executive for platforms in MasterCard's emerging payments division, uttered that comment just minutes into the panel. 

He continued:  

"Obviously, there's still an acceptance gap, which I think we always thought would take a little time to fill. But it took a long time to get a set of [payment] credentials inside a phone."

While the merchant acceptance gap is smaller now than it was in 2016, thanks to the EMV transition and the proliferation of contactless-enabled payment terminals, consumer adoption of major mobile wallets appears to be going backwards, according to multiple industry studies. 

Phoenix Marketing International revealed research last week at the NACHA Payments conference in San Diego that pointed to dropping interest among consumers currently using the major Pays (Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay).

Consumers were less likely at the end of Q4 2017 to link a credit card to one of the Pays than they were a year earlier. 

Of the 23,700 consumers that Phoenix surveyed for its latest mobile wallet tracking report, only 18 percent linked a card to one of the Pay. Even less (14 percent) used said Pay to make an in-store transaction. 

So, what's the issue here?

It might be the fact that those mobile wallets don't offer much value outside the ability to pay, which has been an ongoing issue the past few years. Or, consumers could be experiencing issues in-store when using a mobile wallet. And even when consumers are using the Pays, they're not exactly gushing about them enough to tell their friends and family.

Auriemma Consulting Group last week released a study that found 42 percent of mobile payment users in the U.S. wouldn't recommend such services as of the end of Q1 2018, up 11 points compared to last year (31 percent).

One reason why I bring any of this up is because Mobile Payments Today is here to give providers a chance to showcase why their mobile wallet can be useful to consumers, whether in the U.S., or worldwide. 

While it's almost impossible to track every single mobile-wallet provider worldwide, we're here to help give you an inside look into some of them with the annual Mobile Payments Today Mobile Wallet Comparison Guide.

The guide gathers together in one spot a compendium of nearly 60 mobile wallets, compiling their differing capabilities in an easy-to-compare format.

We asked mobile-wallet providers a wide range of questions about their product. Software developers provided us answers about their consumer-facing features as well as some other details that might not be important to everyday users such as security settings.

Our guide is intended to act as an introduction to these providers, not as a substitute for a comprehensive overview of each product. 

We're still in the process of gathering entrants for this year's edition of the guide. There's still time to get your product listed. 

Please note the guide is meant for mobile wallets that consumers can use in multiple locations and not limited to a single retailer. 

Listing your product(s) in Mobile Wallet Comparison Guide is free of charge for you. Just take a few minutes to fill out this survey, and secure your listing.

To be included, please fill out the survey no later than Wednesday, May 16. We thank you for your participation.


Topics: Contactless / NFC, Mobile/Digital Wallet, Trends / Statistics



Will Hernandez
Will Hernandez has 14 years of experience ranging from newspapers to wire services and trade publications. Before becoming Editor of MobilePaymentsToday.com, he spent two years as the content manager for PaymentsJournal.com, a leading payments industry news aggregator and information hub published by Mercator Advisory Group. Will spent four years covering the payments industry as an associate editor for multiple publications in SourceMedia's Payments Group based in Chicago. View Will Hernandez's profile on LinkedIn

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