Although mobile payment technology is ready and is beginning to be accepted, a recent industry study reveals that it’s going to take at least two more years for the emerging technology to take hold.

According to Mobile Payments Today’s 2014 Mobile Payments State of the Industry Report, acceptance of the technology that enables payments through mobile devices is growing and is growing steadily. Mobile Payment Today looks at mobile payment trends and technology.

The report also indicated that about 30 percent more of the population owns a smartphone than they did last year. Because of this increasing trend, more and more people are using their mobile devices to access the Internet. In fact, 93 percent of all smartphone owners will access the Internet with their device; this, versus just 65 percent last year, according to the study.

Although there has been a 20 percent increase in consumers using their devices to shop online, smartphone owners have not caught up when it comes to making mobile payments; even fewer have used their phones to make in-person payments. Only 25 percent of those responding to the study indicated that they use their mobile devices to make payments in stores and only about 18 percent said they have scanned the quick-response (QR) code—that black and white matrixed bar code that brings users to websites without having to type in a URL address.

Experts, looking at retail, banking, food service, and other trends in industry acceptance, say that mobile payments are about two-to-five years from being more fully adopted, according to James Wester, founding editor of Mobile Payments Today, who is now an analyst for IDC Financial Insights, a financial services analytical research firm.

Although full-blown acceptance of mobile payments is a couple of years away, the study found that consumers are much more interested in peer-to-peer payments, with the number of consumers willing to send or receive money via email just about doubling in one year, alone—24 percent last year to 46 percent this year.

The report revealed that another issue with mobile payment acceptance concerns a dearth of mobile carrier support. For example, while Google Wallet appears to be a strong mobile payments tool, the technology is only available in the United States and only on NFC-enabled devices on the Sprint network. This means that Google Wallet is not accessible to consumers on the AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile networks—three key carriers. Those carriers do accept the mobile payment app, Mobile Wallet, said Wester, which is also struggling. “These challenges experienced by Google Wallet and Isis, as well as the many other contenders looking to turn mobile devices into payment tools, are illustrative of larger trends affecting mobile payments,” Wester noted.

The experts say that today’s state of the mobile payments industry, as well as the future state, is dependent on a number of issues including the way in which payment methods have changed for mobile purchases; if consumers are becoming more accepting to the notion of sending funds through their devices; the use of mobile banking app; and issues surrounding security.


Angeles, Sara. “Not Ready to Adopt Mobile Payments? You’re Not Alone“; Business News Daily. October 13, 2013.