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Mobile payments lag due to consumer confusion

Dec 21, 2012 Dave King

The electronic payment industry has been experiencing a shift toward mobile devices as point-of-sale terminals. However, recent research suggests the technology's use as a payment system may not be as widespread as some seem to believe.

A new survey from eDigitalResearch found that many consumers aren't flocking to mobile payments. In fact, 28 percent didn't know of contactless payments as of November 2012, and nearly two-thirds knew of the technology but hadn't used it.

Furthermore, awareness of mobile wallets was even lower - 54 percent of respondents hadn't heard of it, while 19 percent knew of the technology but had never used it. Only 8 percent of respondents said they have a mobile wallet or near field communications enabled on their smartphones.

One of the barriers to adoption seems to be general confusion among consumers concerning the technology. For example, 29 percent of smartphone owners were unsure of whether the payment system was available to them on their device.

Mobile payment providers continue to press forward with the system, however. Square recently announced it would be adding gift cards to its electronic payments portal.