Home > Uncategorized > Are Smartphones the New Form of Currency?

Are Smartphones the New Form of Currency?

Without a doubt, the smartphone has revolutionized how consumers leverage technology to simplify their lives and because of this, businesses are trying to find new mobile-friendly ways to engage consumers through channels that were never possible before.  One channel in particular that has started to gain some traction in the marketplace is the concept of using your smartphone to pay for purchases.

A recent AdAge article stated that the value for mobile payments in the U.S. will be $640 million this year, but that will grow to more than $62 billion in 2016 as a bigger segment of the population uses their phone to buy medium-ticket items.  As alarming as this is, I wonder if consumers are ready to trade in their cash and credit cards for their phones.  There is certainly potential in that mobile payments can help simplify consumers’ lives, but will it turn into more of a hassle than anything else for consumers?

I think there needs to be a sense of uniformity in place in order for mobile payments to truly take off in the marketplace.  Having numerous mobile payment platforms creates confusion among consumers; therefore a standard in mobile payment applications should be created.  Having the support from big credit card companies (i.e., Visa, etc.) and well-known banks will also help lessen any confusion consumers may have.

Retailers are another important player in deciding how big of a trend mobile payments will become.  Many consumers are intrigued with the idea of paying for purchases through their smartphone, but if retailers don’t accept that form of payment, then there is no real value in using mobile payments.

Much like any new technology trying to enter the marketplace, consumers will need to be educated about the concept of mobile payments, where they can download the technology and how to use it.  I think in time mobile payments will increase in popularity and become a more common form of payment.  However, I don’t believe mobile payments will replace cash or credit cards for the very simple reasons that not every retailer will accept mobile payments and more importantly, if your smartphone breaks how will you pay for purchases.

Will mobile payments be a game-changing innovation that will simplify the lives of consumers or will it only create more clutter for consumers to sort through?

Are you ready to throw away your wallet?  Share your thoughts!

Here is the AdAge article for more details on mobile payments: http://adage.com/article/digital/mobile-payments-tiny-set-explode-4-years/237810/

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