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Mobile Wallet Winners

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Mobile Wallet Winners

A survey on mobile wallets ranked LevelUp, Square and PayPal in the top spots for capabilities and experience. But not everyone is interested in using them. Just over half of the respondents in a national survey said they would rather stick with traditional payment methods.

Carlisle & Gallagher Consulting Group, which conducted the survey last spring and released the results last month, estimates that within three to five years, half of current smartphone users will be using mobile wallets for most of their daily transactions.

Mobile wallets are apps that run on smartphones. They store all of your payment information from debit and credit cards to coupons and store loyalty cards. They were designed to let people leave their wallet behind and use their cell phones instead to make purchases, transfer money and other financial transactions.

Although LevelUp was ranked first, it has a limited distribution. It can only be used at less than 4,000 merchants. Second-ranked Square can be used at over 200,000 retail locations.

Consumer interest half-and-half

A little more than half of those surveyed said they aren’t interested in using mobile wallets, citing concerns about security and placing little value on mobile wallet capabilities. Overall, the national study showed that 48% of consumers are interested in using them, and they tend to be the younger, tech-savvy, and more affluent demographics.

Respondents fell into three categories:

  • Traditionalists – 52% of the survey takers were not interested in mobile wallet technology.  They are content with current payment methods and highly concerned with security issues.
  • Techno shoppers – 27% said they like the shopping and social media aspects of mobile wallets and were eager to take advantage of the latest technologies to optimize those experiences.
  • Payment optimizers – 21% are primarily interested in making the best use of loyalty cards and effective payment methods.

Front-runners in the mobile wallet race

The mobile wallets were judged based on payment capabilities and customer experience.

Payment capabilities included:

  • Merchant acceptance
  • Payment options (single or multiple cards)
  • Speed and simplicity of checkout including purchases, receipts and returns

Customer experience factors included:

  • Initial set-up process
  • Device compatibility
  • Application management
  • Shopping enhancements

The three top-rated stood out for their easy set-up, ease of use, ability to attach either a debit or a credit card, and acceptance at a wide range of retailers.

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