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Consumers eager to adopt mobile payments, survey finds

Consumers are more eager to adopt mobile wallets than businesses realize, according to "Future of Money," a global survey and report by NTT Data Inc., a business and IT services provider.

The study, conducted with Ingenico ePayments, Oxford Economics and Charney Research, examines trends in cash use and electronic payments worldwide.

The results suggest companies might not be moving as quickly as consumers would like to offer high-tech payment options.

While 40 percent of executives in multiple industries think people will pay for transactions in 10 years much as they do today, only 27 percent of consumers expect to do so, and one-third expect those payments will be made mostly via mobile device.

Still, said Sam Maule, director of Digital FSI at NTT Data, while consumers expressed enthusiasm for a cashless, cardless future, "user adoption of mobile payments has not come close to the numbers many of us in the industry predicted five, three, even two years ago." 

Maule said mobile certainly will not overtake cash and plastic in the U.S. until standards are adopted to improve security and convenience for consumers. "The results of our study clearly validate the expectations and challenges facing mobile payments adoption," he said. 

Among consumers:

  • more than half (51 percent) of consumers think cash use will decline in the next three years;
  • consumers are least cash-dependent in the U.S. and Europe; only 20 percent of Americans' monthly spend is in cash;
  • nearly a third (31 percent) of executives think mobile money does not apply to their business;
  • only 35 percent of executives think cash use will decline in the next three years; and
  • consumers place nearly identical value on acceptance, security and convenience as the drivers of mobile payment adoption.

Among businesses:

  • 77 percent of U.S. business leaders see the cost advantages of mobile money
  • 83 percent say mobile money improves the customer experience
  • more than half of all executives surveyed say mobile money boosts loyalty

Among young executives:

  • nearly 80 percent of millennial business leaders (age 18–34) believe accepting mobile money boosts, or would boost sales, compared with 51 percent of business leaders over 50 years old; and
  • 71 percent of millennial business leaders say failure to do so puts them at a competitive disadvantage.

The complete report, "The Future of Money," will be published in January, and will be available by email request.