Leveraging the Mobile Moment: Opportunities to Win the Mobile Wallet Race Lie in Security, Incentives, and Location-based Services

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New Study: Mobile wallet providers should consider offering fraud protection, extra rewards, and showrooming features to entice on-the-fence consumers

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With security concerns a key hurdle to adoption, banks are well-positioned as trusted providers of secure financial services, but this window of opportunity won’t remain open for very long...

A new study of over 1,400 consumers, from market research firm Chadwick Martin Bailey, finds that while one-half of smartphone owners are familiar with mobile wallets; many who are familiar have reservations about adopting. The research also reveals that beyond allaying security concerns, mobile wallet providers must do more to articulate the advantages of the technology over more traditional forms of payment. Additional insights include:

Mobile wallet providers who guarantee fraud and theft protection are well positioned to drive adoption among mainstream consumers—Concerns over security remain a significant barrier to adoption, but the promise of 100% fraud protection substantially increases willingness to adopt. Notably, these security-conscious smartphone users are the most likely to identify banks and credit card companies as their preferred mobile wallet provider.

Customers find the benefits of location-based services appealing, but privacy and battery life remain concerns—Respondents indicate location-based services that facilitate information gathering, like showrooming, drive adoption, but too many alerts and offers are unappealing. Providers willing to allow users to customize the number and type of offers they receive may have an advantage.

While banks and credit card companies are the clear choice for the security conscious, opportunities exist for other providers—Convenience, features, and usability are compelling attributes for many current and prospective mobile wallet users; while banks win on security, the feature-conscious prefer tech giants—with Amazon and Google topping the list as their preferred mobile wallet provider. For those who value convenience, credit card companies hold the advantage.

“These findings reveal that consumers are still in the early stages of understanding the uses and benefits of mobile wallets—there remain many elements (players, features, positioning, etc.) that will evolve over the next 12 to 18 months,” says Jim Garrity, SVP of Chadwick Martin Bailey’s Financial Services practice. “With security concerns a key hurdle to adoption, banks are well-positioned as trusted providers of secure financial services, but this window of opportunity won’t remain open for very long. Consumers already have the technology at their fingertips; and as familiarity increases, other entrants are proving that they are secure, reliable, and offer clear advantages that drive adoption.”

About this Research
This study was done as part of Chadwick Martin Bailey’s self-funded CMB Consumer Pulse program. A report with additional findings from this study is available as a free download from Chadwick Martin Bailey. Data was collected from 1,479 smartphone owners in the U.S., aged 18 to 75, via a nationally representative online survey questionnaire within the United States. The survey was conducted by Chadwick Martin Bailey in January 2013.

About Chadwick Martin Bailey
Chadwick Martin Bailey is a custom market research firm working with many of the most successful companies and best known brands in the world to help them acquire, maintain, and grow their customer base. Founded in 1984 in Boston, the company serves clients in more than 30 countries around the globe. Chadwick Martin Bailey focuses on using leading-edge research techniques to collect and translate data into simple, business decision-focused deliverables.

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Megan McManaman
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