Safety and usability to impact consumer adoption of mobile wallets

Mobile features have quickly become one of the leading characteristics that drive a percentage of the American population toward certain financial institutions. However, analysts say that while mobile wallet usage is expected to increase in the coming years, widespread adoption may still be inhibited by questions over safety.

For this reason, it’s imperative for financial institutions to be more vocal about the safety features mobile wallets offers its customers. Consumer protections that exist for credit and debit cards may not be the same as those that are attached to mobile payments. However, banks that clearly broadcast the safety measures in place for financial transactions made through smartphones may quell users’ fears, while highlighting the convenience of mobile features, according to a recent MarketWatch report.

A separate report issued by USA Today also raises the need for merchants, financial institutions and wireless providers to work together to make mobile payments more appealing to a broader demographic of users. Recently, AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile USA developed a joint venture named Isis, which will allow Chase, Capital One and Barclaycard customers to upload credit and debit information into the Isis mobile wallet, USA Today reports. Isis CEO Michael Abbot says the collaboration will be an important step in providing a simplified process to consumers. In addition to allowing customers to tap their smartphones to pay for products, Isis also offers loyalty points, discounts and coupons.

“Today, when is the first time a merchant knows when you’ve been in a store? When you leave,” Abbott told USA Today. “Imagine now that on top of that they can interact and say, ‘tap in when you walk in the store and we’ll give you X, Y and Z.’ Ask consumers what they want and they will tell you what they have. Our job is to give them what they never knew they needed.”

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