Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Mobile wallets used by 20% of US smartphone owners in 2013 - study

A new study by market research firm Parks Associates found that over 40 million consumers in the US, or 20 per cent of all smartphone owners, used at least one mobile wallet app in 2013.

The report said usage would increase to nearly 113 million, or 43 per cent of all smartphone users, by 2017.

The firm’s definition of wallet app covers both proximity payments in locations such as shops or restaurants, as well as payments on e-commerce sites.

“After years in development, the mobile wallet market is making progress towards viability,” said Jennifer Kent, senior analyst, Parks Associates.

“Mobile wallet apps exist at the intersection of marketing and payment, and because of this unique position, they are valuable and insightful tools for merchants and advertisers,” she added.

“Previously, market watchers used the success or failure of NFC as a barometer for the potential of the mobile wallet market, but barcode-based apps, not NFC, dominate current in-person use,” Kent said.

Among proximity payments, the firm lists barcode-based apps ahead of both tab-based apps (such as Square Wallet) and NFC-based services (such as Google Wallet).

“With the rise of barcode, cloud, and Bluetooth-based wallets, the mobile wallet market no longer depends so exclusively on one technology. This diversification, while messy for the consumer, will help developers and industry stakeholders hone in on the best value propositions for both consumers and merchants,” said Kent.

From the article, "Mobile wallets used by 20% of US smartphone owners in 2013 - study."

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