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Is Mobile Payment Interest Waning?

Is Mobile Payment Interest Waning?

While more U.S. consumers made mobile payments for purchases in the last year compared to in 2012, their interest in continuing to do so appears to be waning, research shows.

A new poll by Harris Interactive revealed that smartphone users were more likely this year than in 2012 to have either personally completed or witnessed firsthand at least one type of mobile transaction. These types of mobile transactions include paying for a product or service with a credit card and having the card swiped through an attachment on the seller's smartphone, and processing a payment by tapping a smartphone against a special receiver at a store or other merchant, instead of using cash or a credit or debit card.

Specifically, 43 percent of smartphone owners had their credit or debit card swiped via an attachment on a mobile device this year, up from 32 percent a year ago, while 23 percent paid for a product this year by tapping their mobile device against an in-store receiver, compared with just 17 percent in 2012.

[10 Reasons Mobile Payments Still Haven't Caught On]

Despite the increase in mobile payment transactions this year, they are losing favor with smartphone owners. Just 37 percent of those surveyed want to continue making mobile payments, down from 44 percent in 2012.

Among those not interested in using a smartphone to process payments, a simple lack of compelling motivation remains one of the top factors impeding interest, with nearly 60 percent of those surveyed not seeing any reason to switch from cash or traditional card transactions.

The ability to use a smartphone as a digital wallet with electronic versions of all the identifications, loyalty program cards and other documentation normally carried in a wallet experienced a similar drop. The poll shows that only 36 percent of smartphone users said this would make them more interested in using a smartphone to make in-person payments, down from 43 percent a year ago.

Aaron Kane, senior research director at Harris Interactive and a key consultant on Harris Poll TECHpulse, said dwindling interest since last year may be an indication that the initial curiosity has fallen short with practical use, and has not yet been followed up by a constructive call to action by manufacturers and retailers.

"Right now, the bottom line is that consumers don't yet feel as if they're being presented with a compelling enough reason to switch their payment habits, nor are they confident that these new methods are secure," Kane said. "This knowledge gap represents an opportunity for companies to change the conversation by addressing these issues head-on."

Consumers are also concerned about the security of mobile payments. More than half of those surveyed who are not interested in using a smartphone to process in-person transactions said they don't want to store sensitive information on their phone, while nearly 47 percent don't want to transmit sensitive information to the merchant's device.

The study was based on surveys of more than 2,500 consumers age 18 and older.

Originally published on BusinessNewsDaily.

Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based freelance writer who has nearly 15 years experience in the media business. A graduate of Indiana University, he spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including, local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Following his years at the newspaper Chad worked in public relations, helping promote small businesses throughout the U.S. Follow him on Twitter.

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