Online payment service PayPal asked 1,000 credit and debit cardholders in five countries how they felt about wallets, cash, and smartphones. The overwhelming sentiment among those polled was they preferred not to carry a wallet.
Wallets seen as a burden
Overall, 83% of respondents said they wished they did not need to carry a wallet. Germans were the most annoyed by toting their wallets with them: 90% said they’d prefer to leave it behind. Canadians (87%), Americans (86%), Australians (80%), and Brits (76%) agreed.
The beach and the gym are the top two places where folks wished they didn’t need to bring their wallet. In Canada, many respondents said they didn’t like bringing their wallet to a bar, while Germans and Americans shared distaste for dragging wallets to concerts or sporting events. Other popular places to not bring a wallet include laundromats, grocery stores and restaurants.
Running out of cash
The problem with not having your wallet is most of us end up spending money or charging purchases when we go out. Sixty-eight percent of Americans surveyed said they couldn’t pay for something because they were caught without cash—and 30% said this was a frequent occurrence. Canadians are even more likely to find themselves without sufficient funds: 75% said they’d been caught cashless.
If you forget your wallet when you go out with friends, you won’t be able to cover your share of the bill. Fifty-seven percent of Australians and 54% of Americans said they’ve been left holding the bag when friends couldn’t pay up.
Smartphones to the rescue?
Mobile wallets which allow for mobile payments are the obvious answer for those who hate traditional wallets. With mobile payments people still use their familiar methods of payment – credit cards or debit cards—but they sync the account information to an app on their mobile phone, allowing them to use it as a virtual wallet.
Many people, though not most, are ready to start using smartphones in place of wallets. Respondents in the United Kingdom were the most eager to replace their wallet with a smartphone; 32% said they would prefer a smartphone to a wallet. Twenty-nine percent of Americans agreed.
The PayPal Survey included responses from people inAustralia, Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States. It was conducted between April 26 and May 13, 2013.