When will mobile payments surpass traditional card use?

Recent months have seen a considerable amount of conversation about the viability of mobile wallet credit card payment systems both now and in the future, and it seems an increasing number of consumers and analysts are finding more to like about these platforms.

Experts and shoppers are now starting to view mobile wallet technology more favorably, and that could be a boon to the companies pushing these technologies into the market over the next few years, according to a report from Computer World. For one thing, a recent survey from the Pew Internet and American Life Project found that mobile payments were likely to overtake traditional credit card use by 2020 at the latest, and about half of the respondents to a recent Carlisle and Gallagher poll said they would be interested in adopting the technology today.

As a consequence of the trends toward acceptance and support for these technologies, it may behoove companies who were on the fence about participating in their development to begin doing so, and increase the incentive for those slowly ramping up these pursuits to do so in earnest, the report said. Those who do not may end up being left behind in the public consciousness related to mobile wallets as widespread adoption becomes more realistic.

"Financial institutions risk ending up as back-end funding sources for mobile wallets and payment products owned by other brands, who operate the front-end, consumer-facing aspects of the interaction and transactions," Peter Wannemacher, an analyst at Forrester Research, told the tech site.

So why the change in consumer attitudes?
There are two likely reasons for the increasing good feeling toward this type of payment, the report said. The first is that younger and more affluent consumers are driving demand for new technologies that can make their lives more convenient, and the second is that as awareness of these systems increases, there will simply be more interest.

Generally, it has been noted by experts that once interest in these systems reaches a critical mass among consumers, widespread adoption won't be far away, the report said. However, many also believe that at that point, the only true hurdle will be consumers fears over security, which can only change over time when users see how safe their financial information is on these systems in actual practice. One way developers may be able to increase interest at the outset is by making their mobile wallet programs work with other features that consumers currently enjoy, such as store rewards accounts.

Mobile wallet transactions are generally considered to be more secure than those made with traditional credit cards, but consumers concerned about the safety of their accounts should also check their credit reports regularly. This will help them to identify any potentially unfair markings that may be marring their credit standings. Working with a credit repair law firm may assist in confronting these types of issues.