In simple terms, a mobile wallet is a way for a consumer to store credit card data on their smart phone allowing them to use their smart phone to pay for things without having to present their plastic credit card. Android phones have supported mobile wallets for years using Near Field Communications (NFC) to pass the payment data to the merchant point of sale. NFC is a type of wireless signal that can pass information when in close proximity of a NFC receiver. However, consumer adoption for this way to pay with an Android phone has been slow. In fact, recent polls show the average smart phone owner (62%) said they would never use their phone or be highly unlikely to use their phone to make purchase (Princeton Research Associates).
Last week, Apple announced the upcoming release of its iPhone 6 with the new ios8 operating system and it comes with a NFC mobile wallet called ApplePay. The concept is that the iPhone owner registers their qualifying credit card with Apple and they will be able to waive their iPhone over a merchants NFC POS reader to pay for their purchase. Industry insiders believe Apple’s entry into the mobile wallet will be the catalyst for greater consumer adoption of mobile wallets.
Do you think your customers will be interested in paying you with their smart phone any time soon?