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Mobile Wallet Market Heats Up
11 Jun
The future is happening now, and it looks like a wallet with no plastic cards in it. Or at least, fewer cards.

Mobile wallets are finally out in force, with products from Google, Android, Apple, Wocket, Alipay, and others competing for a piece of the mobile game. Consumers with near field communications-equipped phones, like the iPhone 6 and the Android, are able to choose from an increasingly crowded field of contenders if they’d like to stop carrying cash and cards completely.

The Wocket Wallet, from NXT-ID, is a recent entrant to the mobile wallet technology game. Google Wallet has been around for a couple of years now, being one of the first to offer mobile wallets to the public. Apple Pay, though relatively recently introduced, is quickly becoming the leader in the field, probably due to the popularity of the iPhone. Android Pay, PayPal, and Samsung Pay are also introducing new upgrades all the time, as they attempt to edge each other out of competition.

Security concerns remain

One of the big factors keeping people from fully embracing mobile wallets is security. Nagging worries about identity theft and payment fraud are not without merit, though the major players in mobile wallet technology are certainly doing all they can to assuage consumers’ concerns.

Younger people, including Millennials and even Generation X-ers, are more willing to rely on new technology than older folks. Baby Boomers and their aged parents are the least likely demographics to pull out their smartphones when the bill comes. But as mobile wallets become more prevalent, people will likely become more comfortable with the idea of virtual payments.

Convenience of mobile wallets is alluring

One thing is certain: carrying cash and credit cards can be an inconvenience. At places like the beach, the swimming pool, the gym, and nightclubs, the idea of being able to carry just a smartphone and no wallet is a popular one. Surveys have shown that these are the places people would be most likely to use a mobile wallet, rather than a credit card or cash.

Of course, there are some places where only cash will do. Cash-only restaurants and smaller businesses will always exist, meaning cash will never become completely extinct. And not everyone has a smartphone—yet. For those holdouts, traditional payment methods will never go out of style, no matter how many mobile wallets come on the market.

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