A new study shows that there’s a huge opportunity for retailers in the form of the mobile wallet – a technology that’s only just emerging.
The study, which was carried out by Citi Retail Services
, focused on e-commerce, or the exchange of money using mobile devices. In most cases, a transaction is made with a smartphone rather than traditional payment methods, including cash, cheque, or credit cards – hence the term “mobile wallet”.
The Citi Retail Services study showed that usage of mobile wallet technology has grown 20-percent since 2014. That said, the study also revealed that almost half of all consumers (44-percent) are completely unaware of digital wallet services.
Molly McCombe, chief marketing officer and managing director at Citi Retail Services, says that means there’s a huge opportunity for retailers to introduce mobile wallet systems and educate the public on how to use them.
“The concept of a digital wallet has been around for decades but their time has finally arrived,” said McCombe. “New research from Citi Retail Services shows that digital wallet usage has increased by 20 per cent from 35 per cent at the start of 2014 to 55 per cent at year-end 2015.”
So, why are people embracing the mobile wallet? McCombe says there’s no mystery about it – they make life easier. “Shoppers are adopting digital wallets at an incredibly rapid pace, largely due to convenience and ease of use,” she said.
Looking ahead, McCombe and other experts believe the challenge will be for companies to clearly show the public how convenient mobile wallet technology can be. Even though usage of the technology is growing, 47-percent of the respondents in the Citi Retail Services study said they continued to feel traditional methods of payment were easier to use than a mobile wallet.
As is usually the case with emerging technology, the experts believe the companies that benefit will be those that lay out a coherent and visible strategy for implementing it ahead of the competition.
“Consumers are ready for this revolution and retailers have an opportunity to leverage digital wallets to better cater to customers in real-time,” McCombe said. “Not only do digital wallets make the payment process more seamless, but they have the potential to combine convenience and value to consumers, storing coupons, loyalty cards and gift cards alongside payment information.”