More Mobile Wallet Use Expected For Holiday Season

Black Friday is a time when Americans forget about the recent election and turn their attention towards all the leftover turkey, and the start of a frenetic shopping season. However, these holidays are different from those of yesteryear — the days of old when moms and grandmas pulled out twenty dollar bills to make a child's wish come true.

At the mall, you'll notice more people swiping their smartphones, reflecting the fast rise of mobile wallets. Here's an example: Capital One Wallet is an app that digitizes your shopping experience at (participating) retail outlets. Your card is secure through instant purchase notifications, the ability to lock your card if misplaced or lost, receipt capture to eliminate clutter and the option to digitize up to 25 gift cards at one time, all in your phone.

The Virginia-based bank (which supports Apple Pay) recently commissioned a study and found that one-fourth (24 percent) of those surveyed currently use mobile wallets, and nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of such consumers have used this technology for less than a year.

The payments industry is seeing growing demand for mobile wallets. Nearly half (48 percent) of respondents say they'll make a gift purchase this holiday season, and 49 percent of users say they use their mobile wallets at retail stores. More significantly, nearly 70 percent of wallet users say they would use this technology even more if more merchants allowed them to pay that way.

Here are other findings from the Nov. 21 Capital One Wallet Survey:

  • More than 43 percent of mobile wallet users have at one point or another had a charge come through that either surprised them, or was for the wrong amount
  • During the holidays, more than half (54 percent) of mobile wallet users get more concerned about credit card fraud

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“More than two thirds of wallet users told us they would use their mobile wallets even more if more merchants had the technology to allow them to pay that way,” said Paul Moreton, Capital One Vice President of Digital Product Management. “As wallet technology simplifies the shopping experience and becomes more readily available at retailers, the adoption and usage rates will continue to increase.”

There seems to be a tectonic shift in consumer preferences when it comes to paying at the register. Digital has transformed the way we perceive our money. Whereas previous generations used physical cash or checks to pay for items, today’s consumers increasingly view money as ubiquitous data that reside on a digital account. And perhaps this paradigm shift is influencing people’s desire to use mobile-based methods to make purchases.

There are other benefits. In many ways, digital is safer than cash. Physical cash — even if stolen — can be redeemed by the note bearer, and checks are subject to forgery. But it’s more difficult to crack an electronic password, especially when backed by other security measures.

“We are focused on innovation and the evolution of digital products and services, like instant purchase notification, the ability to lock your card, receipt capture and gift card digitization,” added Moreton. “Our goal is to provide our customers with solutions that help them succeed and simplify their lives.”

At your neighborhood Target, you might hear the nostalgic tunes of The Christmas Song playing in the background. But at the checkout line, paying for all those toys may be anything but old-fashioned.

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