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Mobile Wallet Use Surges

A new study published by market research and consulting firm Chadwick Martin Bailey (CMB) throws another set of data points into the market about mobile wallet usage, growth and adoption.

The study alleges that 2015 is the year that mobile payments will take off in the U.S. as wearables also increase the probability that connected devices, like the Apple Watch, will stoke mobile wallet use.

According to the study, familiarity and usage have doubled since 2013- 15 percent of the respondents have used a mobile wallet in the past six months and an additional 22 percent are likely to use it in the coming 6 months. The study also found that while security concerns remain the No. 1 barrier to mobile wallet use, these concerns are slowly declining – 62 percent of respondents list security as the No. 1 barrier, down from 73 percent in 2013.

Yet, the race for consumer preference and the so-called “winner” remains far from being decided.

“Our findings reveal that mobile wallet and wearable categories are set to expand rapidly and there is no clear winner in sight just yet,” said Jim Garrity, SVP of Chadwick Martin Bailey’s Financial Services practice.

In a recent op-ed Karen Webster asserts that it’s impossible to define one “winner” who technically has to work across operating systems, shopping channels, browsers and technology platforms. Searches, for instance, that may start on the desktop during the lunch break might end up in a sale via a tablet later that day after the kids are in bed – and all use different operating systems, devices and therefore payments methods.

Usage, the study says, is all about convincing consumers to take the plunge.

“The key to success will be to hammer home messaging around table stakes like benefits and security while simultaneously working to make the technology a natural extension of the user through incentives, alternate uses of wallet, and spend management, faster than competitors,” said Garrity.

The authors believe that while many consumers don’t yet see the benefit to using their phones at the point of sale, the ability to scan a wearable device, like a smartwatch, at the register may help consumers overcome this barrier.

Nearly 40 percent of those highly likely to buy wearables in the coming year want it to come with mobile wallet functionality. The majority of likely wearable buyers also claim that the presence or absence of a mobile wallet has a major impact on their purchase decision.

To check out what else is HOT in the world of payments, click here.

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