Payment technology changes consumer perceptions of money

Many consumers who are still wary of electronic wallets, but want to explore new convenient ways of paying for items are utilizing new payment technologies that do not require them to input their personal financial information.

Experts say that these new types of payment technology are becoming popular among demographics that are concerned about their privacy, do not want to rack up credit card bills or do not have access to traditional credit accounts, such as teenagers. For example, a recently developed payment program, called Openbucks, allows consumers to pay online with gift cards, according to the San Jose Mercury News.

For example, consumers who enjoy shopping online, but do not want to put their personal financial information through a website, purchase the Openbucks gift card at participating retailers, such as Subway or CVS. When they decide to make an online purchase later on, they can simply enter the code on the back of the card at the checkout page and their transaction is quickly completed. This product differs from prepaid and gift cards because there are no reload fees, usage fees or additional charges. Instead, they can purchase the card for $50 and have $50 to spend. In addition, the cards afford consumers more convenience because they may pay online by inputting a simple code, rather than a long account number.

“It’s great for teens who might not have credit cards, or people who want to stay confidential and not spread their credit card information all over the Internet, or people who are concerned about online safety,” Marc Rochman told the news source.

These types of programs may be a new breakthrough for the underbanked segment that utilize smartphone apps and technology, but still do not want to engage in traditional banking products. A recent Federal Reserve Board study revealed underbanked individuals are more likely to own smartphones and utilize mobile payment features than banked consumers. According to the results, 91 percent of underbanked consumers have mobile phones and 57 percent have smartphones, as opposed to 87 percent of banked consumers who have mobile phones and 44 percent have smartphones.

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