While mobile wallet and wearable technologies are set to expand rapidly in popularity among consumers, and the fact that mobile wallet usage has nearly doubled over the past two years, there is no clear winner in sight just yet, according to a study by market research and consulting firm Chadwick Martin Bailey (CMB).
The study found that familiarity with and usage of mobile wallets have doubled among consumers since 2013, with 15% saying they had used a mobile wallet in the past 6 months and an additional 22% saying they were likely to begin doing so in the next 6 months.
This is partly because barriers to mobile wallet adoption are diminishing quickly. However, while security concerns remain the number one barrier to mobile wallet adoption, only 62% of respondents cited security as the number one barrier, down from 73% in 2013.
The near ubiquity of online shopping (86% have made a purchase from their desktop or laptop in the past 6 months) may be acclimating consumers to perceived security risks like identity theft.
Wearable technologies are also set to pave the way for mobile wallet adoption. While many consumers don't yet see the benefit to using their phone at the point of sale, the ability to scan a wearable device, like a smartwatch, at the register may help consumers overcome this convenience barrier.
Nearly 40% of those highly likely to buy wearables in the coming year want it to come with mobile wallet functionality. Additionally, the majority of likely wearable buyers claim that the presence/absence of a mobile wallet has a major impact on their purchase decision.
"The key to success will be to hammer home messaging around table stakes like benefits and security while simultaneously working to make the technology a natural extension of the user through incentives, alternate uses of wallet, and spend management, faster than competitors," concluded Jim Garrity, SVP of Chadwick Martin Bailey's Financial Services practice.