Open question: Will you use mobile payment?

Will excitement for mobile payment translate into adoption?

open questionWith near field communications technology built into rumored and released devices and lots of jockeying among large companies, it certainly feels like big things are afoot in the mobile payment world.

But the success of mobile payment is contingent on consumer perception. If it clicks, you’ve got a winner. If not, you’ve got yet another idea that just didn’t catch on.

That’s why I want to take a step back from the current excitement and focus on a different part of this discussion: How you, as a consumer, might incorporate mobile payment into your daily life.

Here’s what I’m curious about:

  • What would it take for you to use mobile payment? (Or, if you’re already using an app or tool, what convinced you to give it a try?)
  • Which companies — or types of companies — do you think are best positioned to offer mobile payment?
  • Do you see mobile payment as an additive payment option? Or do you think it will be a full-fledged replacement for credit cards and cash?

Please weigh in through the comments.

If you’re interested in learning more about the payment development space, check out PayPal X DevZone, a collaboration between O’Reilly and PayPal.


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  • I would welcome the opportunity to use my mobile phone as a payment device instead of credit/debit cards. The near field approach seems promising, provided there are security measures. Long term, I would be happy to have this replace my credit cards for in-shop purchasing but I’m not so sure this would work with online and telephone (not on the mobile) purchases.

  • I welcome mobile payments in place of plastic cards. I pay for most things with my debit/credit card. I only use cash in pubs or where plastic is not accepted (usually when bills are less than €10.)

    To me it is simply that the little payment identifier chip moves from a bit of plastic in my wallet and into my phone. If the phone does some extra interactive authorisation (rather than on the keypad of the payment reader) then fine.

    And if it makes loyalty systems more streamlined then even better.

  • First somehow I don’t like to use mobile for payments. Somehow which is so easy is not good I believe. May be I am wrong but it encourages more buying. I don’t think it will be full fledge replacement for CC but for sure will become addictive if Ben continue printing notes!

  • I can’t wait for the mobile payment revolution to get here. It’s faster, it’s one less card in the wallet, it’s one less place to go to keep track of payments, one less set of passwords (maybe a lot less), and so forth.

    I’m really enjoying the Starbucks payment app. If Apple isn’t working really hard on generalizing this business, I’d be surprised. And I hope they are; it’s a business that PayPal has managed to disqualify themselves from because of lousy interface and undependability, both of which Apple would be a great antidote for.

    Count me in the list that’s high positive about it.

  • I require only three things for me to get on-board with mobile payments:
    1. simplicity
    2. security
    3. broad acceptance

    Initially I see it as an option for lower-value transactions but provided the ease-of-use and security are there I think there is no limit to where it could go.

    I don’t see plastic vanishing, but I do see mobile making major inroads. It could also change the power-structure of the payments industry.

  • Colin

    A phone (or similar) is so much useful than plastic in this regard. I’ve already used mobile payments with Mobil SpeedPass (gas/petrol), McDonalds (they used Fastrak toll road transponders for a while) and would love to use it for all small transactions.

  • Cassandra Marrone

    I would happily use my phone to pay for things, as long as there is:
    1. security, with a guarantee in case of fraud
    2. my choice of what I link to – either credit card or bank account for a debit transaction
    3. simplicity / ease of use

    I think retail is best positioned initially: coffee shops, cafes/restaurants, drycleaners, bookstores, gas stations, bike shops, etc.

    Mobile payments will be additive for a long time, until it becomes the defacto way to pay, or finds it specific niche.

  • Dan

    I think that I’m ready to use it for certain things… I have a Starbucks card that I load every other week or so and I have an iPhone app that is supposed to allow me to use it to pay but I have not yet found a location near me that accepts it – in fact, whenever I ask, the people at the store either look at me like I’m crazy or with great interest. I think that for this type of payment, I’m all for it but to completely replace my credit card or ATM card… not so interested yet – I think that I too frequently hear about security problems to trust this for more than nominal purchases.

  • The biggest challenge with the uptake of this technology is over coming the security concerns. Unless the current holes in the security of phones are closed down then there will be an incident that will dramatically reduce confidence in the technology and hence the use of it by consumers.

  • Joe

    I like technology for some things, but I never understood why it’s become so difficult to carry cash in your wallet. I miscalculate once in a while and need to use a credit card, but I don’t need to replace cash with any kind of electronic payment.

  • John B

    Security, including the ability to block/bar others reading the information without my explicit permission. A button to hold down to enable potential RFID broadcast response, perhaps. The blind response to anything tickling a passive RFID with the right frequency is IMO far too great a risk in this world.

    Similar financial/legal protections to credit cards (NOT debit cards or EFT) with respect to fradulent purchases. If something like near field comms/RFID is used there’s no way to prevent the broadcast signal from being picked up by interested third parties. Given the current state of encryption of such broadcasts, we’ll need that protection pretty quickly as the current rash of cardskimmer installation teams create NFC-sniffers that look innocuous within close proximity to points of sale.

    In short – most likely going to stick with cash for what I can. I don’t expect these concerns to be fixed any time soon…