Are the Days of Plastic Numbered with the Rise of Mobile Payment Options?
Remember when mobile phones were just for making phone calls, provided you were prepared to lug around the battery for them in a separate briefcase. As the mobile phones got smaller, though, the number of things they could do got bigger.
We’ve come a long way since the days of texts with a limited amount of monochrome characters and hours being wasted on games of Snake. Nowadays, we’re all walking around with mini computers in our pockets and our phones can now help us control almost every aspect of our lives.
Paying for Goods and Services
Using your phone to buy goods and services is nothing new, as internet access has allowed us to purchase items from a range of online stores.
However, our phones themselves can now be used to pay for things in physical stores and this may prove to the be the beginning of the end of the plastic in your pocket.
We have been quickly hurtling towards a cashless society for some time now, but the idea that the days of the debit card and credit card could be numbered is a more recent phenomenon.
In the UK alone, almost a quarter of people who own a phone used some form of mobile payment in 2017. Only China and Norway had a higher rate of mobile payment. In China, the most popular payment apps are WeChat pay and Alipay. Almost half of all phone users in China have a mobile wallet and that is a number which looks set to increase rapidly in the coming years.
Unsurprisingly, the mobile wallet is highest among young people with almost 50% of 18-24-year-olds in the UK having one. However, older generations aren’t getting left behind when it comes to this growing technology. 44% of phone users aged between 35 and 44 have a mobile wallet and just less than a third of over 55s have one.
Due to the huge population, the two main Chinese mobile wallets – WeChat and Alipay – are the most popular with around one billion users. The next most frequently used wallet is PayPal with 210m users in 2017 while Apple Pay accounts for 87m wallets.
The use of mobile payment methods looks set to steadily rise int the coming years with industry experts predicting that almost $14bn of transactions will be made using the method by 2022.
The Decline of the Physical Purse and Wallet
As well as the payment wallets by large mobile phone market leaders such as Apple, Google, and Samsung, consumers can also make payments using store card apps with many high street coffee shops combining payment and loyalty cards onto a single mobile app.
This will undoubtedly have a huge impact on the use of plastic cards in the coming years and could even spell the decline of the physical wallet or purse.
Mobile Payment Security
Security concerns over mobile payments have been allayed with the development of fingerprint access and face recognition. So if you are in the habit of paying with your phone, make sure you don’t leave home without it.