Shopping Technology

Consumer Study: Are you ready for a “Mobile Wallet” on your Cell Phone?

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Many researchers and savvy shoppers believe that Mobile shopping will be the next big wave of consumer spending.  This means you’ll be shopping and buying from your mobile phone using new Apps just for shopping.  Some of you are probably early adopters, and are already shopping from your phone.  But how do you pay for goods when you shop on your mobile? That’s the purpose of a new study that offers some surprising findings.  A recent Pulse study from Retrevo, a shopping and review site specializing in consumer electronics, surveyed consumers about their shopping habits and uncovered some interesting results.  The survey asked customers about the idea of a mobile wallet, and who they would want to provide such a thing.  Now, some of you may ask, what exactly is a mobile wallet?  Good question! The concept of the mobile wallet is that you could have all the stuff you usually keep in your backpocket on handbag, like a  bus pass, library card, insurance cards or ID, on your cell phone.  That would reduce the amount of paper that you would have to carry around, and for some of use, that would reduce handbag bulk. Mobile Wallets would work  using NFC ie: Near Field Communication.  NFC puts a chip in devices, like cell phones, that makes it possible to, not only to use your phone to make purchases in a store, but ultimately replace other pieces of paper you carry in your wallet.

So, back to the survey.  Retrevo asked cell phone owners what company they would trust to provide a mobile wallet:

  • 36% Said Google
  • 33% Said Apple
  • 32% Said Visa, Master Card or American Express
  • 26% Said AT&T, Verizon or their cell phone carrier
  • 33% Said none of the above

 Google and Apple were top rated choices for mobile shopping. I don’t know if the study asked about Windows as a choice for the mobile wallet, but it’s certainly something Microsoft could deliver on their Windows phone.

Other study findings:
– 40% of iPhone owners are the most likely to want NFC (mobile wallet) compatibility in their next cell phone, compared with Android owners (24%)
– 75% of people over age 50 were not at all interested in a phone with a mobile wallet
– Men are more interested in a mobile wallet (27%) than women (15%).

I’m not surprised that Men are more interested in a mobile wallet.  That’s because I don’t think that Men really enjoy shopping at all. They want to do a quick hit and run buy. Women still want to go to stores and try things on.  However, I do think Women want to know where the deals are.  There are many shopping apps on the iPhone just for this purpose and Windows Phone Marketplace has a shopping app for tracking sales.   What do you think readers? Are you ready for a mobile wallet that you can keep on your phone?


Since 2008, Mary Hall has been the author of The Recessionista Blog, which is read by thousands of regular readers in over 160 countries. An internationally recognized expert on the art of the living the good life for less, she has been a commentator on local, national, and international radio and TV shows. Her advice has been featured in over 2,000 media outlets, including The New York Times, Reuters, Life & Style magazine, ABC News, NBC News and now The Huffington Post, among many others.