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Business Travelers Stumped by Mobile Ways to Pay

Most business travelers are clueless when it comes to mobile payment systems Google Wallet allows for tap-and-go payments. / Credit: Image courtesy of Google

Tech-savvy business travelers soon may not have to worry about whipping out their wallets every time to pay for a purchase when they're on the road. New technologies such as mobile wallets and near-field communications (NFC), along with a proliferation of travel apps, can streamline both the purchase and expensing process. But customers' and businesses' lack of familiarity with these new tools remains a significant stumbling block, according to eMarketer, a research organization.

Most business travelers are clueless when it comes to mobile payment systems, according to a survey of members of the nonprofit Association for Corporate Travel Executives. The majority of ACTE respondents (53 percent) described themselves as beginners on the subject of mobile payments, with little or no knowledge of the way they work.  Only 6 percent said they were very familiar with the technology.

Furthermore, vendors are being sluggish in responding to the anticipated surge in the adoption of NFC-enabled phones in the next few years, eMarketer said. They will probably wait until pressured by consumers to invest in the readers and other infrastructure needed to process NFC payments made via mobile devices.

[The Challenges of Mobile Payments]

Security also remains an issue. Almost six in 10 ACTE members either said they didn't know how safe mobile payments were, or thought mobile payments were less secure than traditional plastic cards.

But consumer demand for tap-and-pay convenience will certainly rise soon, eMarketer said, citing a survey by payment processor Worldpay that showed 58 percent of consumers worldwide were interested in using a mobile device to pay for flights in the future.

Reach BusinessNewsDaily senior writer Ned Smith at nsmith@techmedianetwork.com. Follow him on Twitter @nedbsmith.We're also on Facebook & Google+.

Ned Smith

Ned was senior writer at Sweeney Vesty, an international consulting firm, and was Vice President of communications for iQuest Analytics. Before that, he has been a web editor and managed the Internet and intranet sites for Citizens Communications. He began his journalism career as a police reporter with the Roanoke (Va.) Times, and was managing editor of American Way magazine and senior editor of Us. He was a Captain in the U.S. Air Force and has a masters in journalism from the University of Arizona.

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